Budgeting For Halloween


With summer over and fall on its way, it is time to start thinking about the kid’s Halloween costumes. As with many other holidays it can be a very fun time, but also a very expensive time. Most parents can agree purchasing costly Halloween costumes is not a wise choice. They are only worn for a few hours and your child will almost certainly not want to wear the same one more than once.

It is true it can be very difficult to avoid the temptation of dressing the little ones up in all those cute store-bought costumes that are so easy to find. The pictures and the memories for years to come alone can make the cost almost worth it. However, there are ways to avoid the overpriced store-bought variety and opt for creative costumes your kids will be excited to wear and you won’t feel guilty about purchasing.

To start, sit down with your child well in advance of Halloween and discuss what type of costume they may want. Go over all of their current interests; cartoon characters, movie heroes, superheroes and music idols. Ask them to think about cool costumes their friends had last year that they may want to have this year. The biggest mistake parents make is leaving the costume creation to the last minute. You will be left susceptible to paying all the extra costs. In fact, many stores may capitalize on the fact parents have left Halloween shopping to the last moment and perhaps raise their prices. On top of that, the selection is not very large and last-minute shoppers are forced to pick through all the leftovers to find something decent.

The best way to avoid overpaying for your child’s Halloween costume is to create a plan early on and leave plenty of time to pull it together. GET creative! If you have two kids, consider reworking the eldest child’s costume from last year into an entirely different one. You have all the basics from the old costume and it is just a matter of using a bit of ingenuity to create something new. In addition, if you have a sewing machine, this project can be a fun way of interacting with your child and teaching them a new skill. Children love to give their input and watch their costumes’ come to life.

If you don’t have any previous costumes to work from ask your friends if their children have any old costumes they wouldn’t mind passing down. You can reciprocate with them as well. Pool resources together with other parents and you all can really save a bundle. Why not start up an annual Halloween costume swap at your child’s school or with your neighbors. It is cost effective and environmentally friendly to reuse what someone already has.

Another way to be creative is to visit a second hand clothing store and rifle through what they have to offer; it might also spark some original costume ideas you may have never dreamed of. As well, you can get some very cheap accessories like sunglasses, jewelry, shoes and hats to make an ordinary costume extraordinary. The clothing at a second hand store is generally less expensive than a new costume or new material at a fabric store. Your selection really expands. It also gives a great example to the children about being resourceful and imaginative.

Also, stores often have sales on Halloween clothing after October 31st so you can always buy next year’s costume at a reduced price. If you’re an avid eBay user, why not look into buying costumes online a few weeks before Halloween? If you buy more than one costume from a seller you may be entitled to a discount, and many eBay sellers have rare or vintage costumes that would be hard to find in regular shops.

Chances are you already own a fabulous outfit that would make for an eye-catching costume. Still have your old rugby uniform or that dress you loved in the 70s? Your kids will get a kick out of wearing your vintage clothes as a costume to be a Disco Diva, Hippie, Rock Star or anything else they imagine! Why not bring them over to grandma or grandpa’s house and look for some hidden treasures in the attic or basement that can be worn for a one of a kind costume everyone will remember.