Hacking Halloween: Budget Tips for the Holidays

As the days start to get shorter and the weather threatens to cool off, we creep closer and closer to the start of the holiday season. For many, the first bite of the holidays isn’t Thanksgiving, but the spookiest day of the year: Halloween. The ultimate trick during the holiday season is not to terrorize your budget. We’ve gathered some of our favorite budget tips to help control those Halloween spending demons and still have a thrilling time.


What was once the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), has become an outlet for over 170 million Americans to live out their spookiest fantasies. Though it may be one of the more affordable holidays of the season, it is still expected to be a boom for the US economy.

Halloween, like many major spending holidays, can have significant short-term benefits for the economy by encouraging extra purchases that might not otherwise occur. Last year, Americans spent a record $9.1 billion on Halloween, up 8% over the previous year. This year it is projected that consumers will spend slightly less, around $9 billion on Halloween, yet will spend more per person ($86.79) than previous years. (Amadeo, 2018)

In a booming economy, people are more likely to spend more on frivolous goods such as costumes, candy, pumpkins, and home decorations. It is expected that Americans (especially millennials) will spend $480 million on costumes for their pets alone! (Soloway, 2018)  Increased spending generally leads to higher GDP, helping to jump-start economic activity and lead to potential job growth. (Investopedia, 2018)

6 Hauntingly Good Ways to Save this Halloween

While it may be great for the economy, overspending on candy and fake blood may be a living nightmare. Here are a few ways to save and still have a spooktacular Halloween:

  • Set limits for total holiday spending
    • Create a budget that works for you. Decide on what you can comfortably spend this holiday season. Make sure to consider everything you may need and set a budget you can stick to without caving in and overspending. Not sure what to spend? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you figure it out.
  • Avoid shopping last minute (unless it’s for candy, see below)
    • A little planning ahead can help you cut costs and limit the potential over-spending for the last minute costume.
  • Don’t waste money on fancy costumes – go thrifting instead!Don’t waste your money on run-of-the-mill costumes that no-doubt will be out in droves at every Halloween party. Dollar and thrift store finds, paired with a little creativity, can make for a memorable, cost-effective and unique costume. Check out Pinterest for great costume and DIY decor ideas.
  • Candy & Pumpkin Hacks:
    • Buy candy in bulk. Buy it off brand and buy it 4 days before Halloween (reportedly at its cheapest).
    • Choose the right stores – grocery stores like ALDI will have much more affordable carving pumpkins vs what you will find at pumpkin patches.
    • Skip the cheap tools and books of patterns, use kitchen tools and find free patterns online or make your own!
  • Make/Recycle Decorations
    • Again, Pinterest is a great resource for DIY decoration crafts. These zombie arms are made just using duct tape, paint and “creepy cloth” (cheesecloth) from the dollar store.
  • Take advantage of post-Halloween discounts.
    • Though it may not help you this year, November 1st is a great time to buy on sale décor and other items. Don’t kid yourself with the on-sale candy lasting an entire year. But if your monster sweet-tooth has yet to be satiated this may be the perfect time to stock up.

The most important tip of the season is to stay safe and have fun! Have a bone-chilling good tip to share? How about an awesome costume or DIY creature? We want to know!

Happy Halloween!



Amadeo, K. (2018, October 4). Halloween Spending Statistics, Facts and Trends . Retrieved from The Balance: https://www.thebalance.com/halloween-spending-statistics-facts-and-trends-3305716

Investopedia. (2018, July 10). Halloween’s Effect on the Economy. Retrieved from Investopedia.com: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/102714/how-does-halloween-affect-economy.asp

Soloway, L. (2018, October 15). The Economics of Halloween. Retrieved from GenFKD: https://www.genfkd.org/the-economics-of-halloween

The links referenced above are to third-party sites and are not affiliated with Morris Financial Concepts, Inc.  This article is for informational use only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer to sell any product.  The opinions expressed herein are those of MFC and are subject to change without notice. MFC reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.   MFC is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about MFC including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. MFC-18-09.