I’m a bit nervous to broadcast what I’m about to say in fear that I will get endless amounts of hate mail, but it looks like I’ve already started down the path, so here I go: Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Yup, I said it. And it’s true. I’m not sure if it’s because my mom dressed me up as a picnic table in 4th grade (ants, empty chip bags and all) or that my stomach turns upside down with the smallest splatter of fake blood, but my excitement for October 31st has definitely dwindled exponentially as each year passes.
But adding to my true apathy was the statistics of how much Americans spend on Halloween. Are you ready to be totally spooked?
Adults spend $1.2 billion dollars annually on their costumes. WHAT?! Now, I’m usually the first one to comment on a super creative costume or one that’s just totally off the wall, but let’s visit the Dollar Tree, a discount craft store, or better yet, our basements to create a masterpiece that’s sure to get heads turning at any party.
As far as the kiddies, of course their parents are shelling out the dough for their “dream” costumes. Whether your little girl wants to be Sofia the First or your son wants to be a Mutant Ninja Turtle (Donatello to be exact since he was my favorite,) it’s going to cost you.
Now, let’s get ready for this stat: $1 billion is spent each year on… PETS’ costumes! That is so crazy to me. Sure, I’ve seen some great pet costumes, like my friend’s chihuahua turned shark. But this is just insanity.
It’s frustrating to know there are so many people hurting out there financially, yet this frivolous spending is happening on every leaf-covered, jack-o-lantern lit street in the nation. It’s most likely too late for you to curtail your purchase of those $50 glittery heels you HAD to have for this Halloween. But maybe next year, we can work on it. Here are some tips:
1) Before you decide what you want to be, come up with a budget. This will help you narrow down your costume choice. How much can you REALLY afford to spend? How much SHOULD you spend?
2) Once you have the dollar amount set in stone, start thinking about your options. Could you rent your costume? Make it? Buy all the elements at the local thrift store? Be sure to investigate all your options—and buying your costume at the closest party supply store probably isn’t your best option.
3) If you’re purchasing your costume, make a list of all the things you’ll need. Be sure to take inventory of what may be collecting dust in your closet or basement, and prepare that pair of shoes or crazy hat for its revival!
I know people LOVE Halloween. I mean, let’s face it, the numbers don’t lie.
But being in debt and spending money you don’t have is a lot scarier than the creepiest costume you can find!