Taming the
Halloween Spending Monster

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending is expected to decline in 2009 from last year. Although at a whopping total of $4.75 billion, it may not seem like there is much slowing down. Halloween decorating and parties have become big business, and it can be easy for it to make a dent in your family budget. Still, there are plenty of ways to keep spending down - and plenty of ways to teach your kids about money in the process without having to get out a magic wand.

Halloween spending

Lions and tigers and princesses - oh my!
Costumes are still the largest part of Halloween costs. Savvy shoppers might buy costumes the year before. But as many a frustrated parent knows, last year's pirate might be this year's Superman. And then there's the Hannah Montana phenomena. Whatever happened to clowns, hobos and witches?

They may not be gone, after all. One way to keep your Halloween costs in check is to rely on traditional costumes which can usually be fashioned from stuff around the house or the more general supplies in the Halloween section. Both cost less than any full outfit. Get even more costume ideas here.

Trick or treat...and treat...and treat
It seems like trick-or-treaters get older each year. Must be the candy. And, boy, does it take more and more candy to get through the Halloween night crowds. Depending on your neighborhood, you might even get visitors from all around - not just from the couple of streets around you. What are the options to cut one of the biggest Halloween costs?

Spooky decorations
The classic Halloween decoration is the carved pumpkin or jack o'lantern. But it has been replaced by lots of fancier stuff - large scale decorations with light and sounds and blow up decorations powered by small generators. What's the solution if you still want to have that graveyard atmosphere but don't want to kill your Halloween budget doing it? Not to worry - we have a creepy list of ideas to get you going.

Party on, Frankenstein!
Halloween parties can quickly add up - and blow your Halloween budget. But we have a solution - and ways to get the kids involved. Check it all out on this page.

What are some ideas you have to cut your Halloween spending? Share them with us here.

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