How Much Should I Budget for Halloween?

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What's a good budget for Halloween? Let's find out! It seems like everyone talks about how much to budget for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Valentine’s Day, but what about Halloween?

In 2022, Americans significantly increased their Halloween spending, reaching an all-time high. Consumers in the United States were expected to spend a total of $10.6 billion on Halloween-related items, including costumes, candy, and decorations.

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Don’t you think you should spend time budgeting for it? Let's look closer at how much the average household spends at Halloween, what affects that amount spent, and some ways to save money.

Let’s dive in.

Family posing for the camera in their Halloween costume in a party.

How much did the average person spend on Halloween in 2022?

In 2022, Halloween spending in the United States reached a record-breaking high. According to data from various sources, including the National Retail Foundation, Fox9 News, and Statista, American consumers were projected to spend an unprecedented $10.6 billion on Halloween-related items. This marked a significant increase from the previous year's figure of $10.1 billion.

The spending not only included candies but also costumes and decorations. In fact, data from Capital One Shopping revealed that shoppers spent a total of $3.6 billion on costumes alone for Halloween 2022, up 9.09% YoY. The average consumer had a budget of $33.75 for costumes.

As per MoneyGeek, the average family of four was expected to spend between $86 and $100 on Halloween traditions, which are primarily driven by costume purchases. This data provides insight into the growing enthusiasm and financial investment American consumers are willing to put into celebrating Halloween.

How much does it cost to throw a Halloween party?

Throwing a memorable Halloween party doesn't need to break the bank. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you plan your best spooky soiree, no matter your budget.

Cost Breakdown

  1. Decorations: Depending on your theme, decorations could include jack-o-lanterns, ghoulish tablecloths, spider webs, and more. An estimated budget for this could be $50 – $200.
  2. Food & Drinks: Consider finger foods, themed snacks, and beverages. This could cost anywhere between $100 – $500, depending on the number of guests.
  3. Entertainment: If you're hiring a DJ or live band, this could be your most substantial cost, ranging from $200 – $1000. If you're creating your own playlist, the cost would be minimal.
  4. Venue: If you're hosting at home, there's no cost. However, renting a venue could range from $100 – $1000.
  5. Extra Elements: Photo booths, costume contests, or professional makeup artists can add extra fun to your party but also additional costs. These could add an extra $50 – $500 to your budget.

Cost-Saving Tips

  1. DIY Decorations: Save money by making your own decorations. Use cardboard to create tombstones, make homemade lanterns from mason jars and tea lights, or craft spiders from black pipe cleaners.
  2. Potluck Style: Ask your guests to bring a Halloween-themed dish instead of catering. This not only saves money but also adds variety to your food offerings.
  3. Spotify Playlist: Create your own Halloween-themed playlist instead of hiring a DJ. You can even ask your guests for song suggestions.
  4. Home Venue: Hosting at home can save the cost of a venue rental. If space is an issue, consider co-hosting with a friend who has a larger space.
  5. Creative Contests: Host a costume or pumpkin carving contest instead of hiring for entertainment. This can be a fun, interactive way to entertain your guests.

Planning a memorable Halloween party is all about creativity and resourcefulness. With these tips, you can throw a fantastic party that fits within your budget and leaves your guests with unforgettable memories.

Side by side photo left Halloween Jack-o-lantern next to a photo of Christmas presents under a tree.

Is more money spent on Halloween than Christmas?

In 2022, the spending on Christmas and Halloween in the United States differed considerably.

According to Forbes, the total spending for Christmas in 2021 was around $886 billion, which was expected to be similar or even higher in 2022. The average consumer was projected to spend approximately $870 on Christmas gifts, according to Statista.

On the other hand, Halloween spending reached a record high of $10.6 billion in 2022, and this was an increase from the $10.14 billion spent in 2021, as reported by Investopedia.

While Halloween spending has been on the rise, it still doesn't come close to the amount spent during Christmas.

How do you budget for Halloween?

Halloween, while an exciting holiday, can also burden your wallet heavily. To help you navigate this spooky season, here is a comprehensive budget plan covering all the bases without breaking the bank.

1. Identify and Prioritize Halloween Expenses

The first step in creating your Halloween budget is identifying all potential expenses. These typically include:

  • Candy: This is a must-have item if you plan on handing out treats to trick-or-treaters.
  • Costumes: Costumes can be a significant expense for yourself or your kids.
  • Decorations: From pumpkins to cobwebs, decorations set the Halloween mood.
  • Parties: If you plan on hosting or attending a Halloween party, consider the costs of food, drinks, and party favors.
  • Pumpkin Carving Supplies: If carving pumpkins is part of your tradition, you'll need supplies for this, too.

Once you've identified these expenses, prioritize them. If you're tight on budget, you may need to decide what's most important to you. Perhaps you love decorating but could do without a fancy costume. Or maybe you'd rather spend more on a party than on candy for trick-or-treaters.

2. Saving Money with DIY

One of the best ways to save money on Halloween is to go the do-it-yourself route.

  • Costumes: Instead of buying a costume, consider making your own. You can often create unique and impressive costumes from items you already have at home.
  • Decorations: Similarly, homemade decorations can save you a bundle. Use materials around your house to create spooky decor. You'd be surprised what a little creativity and some old sheets or cardboard can do!
  • Party Food: If you're hosting a party, homemade treats are usually less expensive (and often tastier) than store-bought ones.

3. Stretching Your Budget

Here are a few practical tips for stretching your budget:

  • Shop Sales and Discounts: Keep an eye out for sales leading up to Halloween, especially for candy and decorations.
  • Buy in Bulk: Buying candy in bulk can save money if you live in a neighborhood with many trick-or-treaters.
  • Reuse Decorations: Save your decorations each year and reuse them to save on future costs.

4. Tracking Halloween Expenses

It's crucial to keep track of your spending. Use a spreadsheet or budgeting app to record every Halloween-related purchase you make. This will not only ensure you stay within your budget, but it will also give you an idea of where your money is going.

5. Post-Halloween Tips

  • Leftover Candy: Use it creatively if you find yourself with leftover candy. It can be used in baking, frozen for later, or even donated.
  • Store Decorations Carefully: Take care when packing away decorations so they can be reused next year.

Remember, Halloween is about having fun! With careful planning and budgeting, you can enjoy this spooky season without any scary financial aftermath.

Here's a simple budget table to give you a rough estimate of the typical costs associated with Halloween:

Halloween ExpensesEstimated Cost
Costumes (per person)$30
Parties (food, drinks, favors)$100
Pumpkin Carving Supplies$15

Please note that these are just estimates, and your actual costs may vary. For example, if you have more than one person in your household needing a costume, that cost will multiply. Similarly, if you live in a neighborhood with many trick-or-treaters, you might need to spend more on candy. Adjust these numbers according to your needs and situation.

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What Activities Do You Have Planned?

Obviously, the planned activities will play a large part in how much money you should budget for Halloween. For example, you'll need costumes and gas money if you plan to take the kids trick or treating.

On the other hand, if you plan to go all out and trick or treating and then host a party afterward, the cost gets more expensive. You’ll need to consider food, decorations, party favors, etc.

If you want to stay home with the hubby and kids, the cost might only be some snacks and pizza. This is why you need a good plan for everything you want to do to create a complete budget.

How Old Are Your Children?

Your children's ages will determine how much you should budget for Halloween. If your kids are younger, you might want to go all out with costumes, a party, fun events, etc. On the other hand, if your kids are preteens, they might think they are too cool for Halloween and might want a costume to wear to a friend’s house if that. Your older teens may want to stay home and hand out candy while you go out and do something with the younger ones or your spouse.

Cash on top of a paper with the text budget and 5 numberic bullet points. On the left there's a Halloween pumpkin and candy corn.

What Can You Do to Save Money?

There are so many great ways to save money at Halloween!

  1. Shop sales for Halloween candy starting in September.
  2. Check thrift stores for costumes or create your own using vintage clothes from there.
  3. Spend the evening watching movies and order a pizza special.
  4. Make your own decorations.
  5. Bake cookies and cupcakes at home.
  6. Shop for decorations at the Dollar Tree.
  7. Hit thrift stores for decorations.
  8. Host a potluck Halloween party.
  9. Attend a community event.
  10. Revamp costumes from previous years into something new.
  11. Buy candy at Costco or Sam’s Club.
  12. Purchase greeting cards and invites at the Dollar Tree.
  13. Serve a Kool-Aid punch at the Halloween party.
  14. Find party favors at the Dollar Tree.
  15. Search for great deals on pizza, wings, and other party food.

Halloween may not pack the same financial punch as Christmas, but you may spend way more than you meant to without a budget. Use my planner to help track what you need to buy and how much you want to spend so that you don’t overdo it.

Halloween Trick or Treat & Party Planner

Are you looking to make this year's Halloween the best one yet? Then you need our Halloween Trick or Treat & Party Planner! This printable planner contains everything you need to plan the perfect Halloween event. With 31 fun and festive planning pages, you can plan your event down to the last detail.

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