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Halloween Spending

Nicole Kruse, AEI Coach

Halloween is a great real-world opportunity to talk about money management with your children. There are so many things to spend money on during the Halloween season, from parties and pumpkins to haunted houses, costumes and candy. I bet if we're honest, most of us haven't even thought about how much money we spend altogether on this fall holiday, but for our children's sake, it may be time to start creating a budget.

Halloween spending will hit a record $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation, which surveyed shoppers through research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics. The average planned Halloween spending per household is $86.13, which doesn't sound so bad, but as I think about how much I will/have spent, that average feels a bit low.

My costs:

Cookie Monster Costume: $29.26

Pumpkin Patch Pumpkins: $32.00 (4 pumpkins at $8.00 each...because I can't forget to get the dog a pumpkin!)

Candy from Costco: $26.99

Total: $88.25

Seems simple enough. But then I thought about all the other things we pay for around Halloween that I didn't take into account:


Fall festivals/haunted houses

Ordering dinner in on Halloween

A costume for myself or my husband

If I added all of that in, my grand total would be closer to $300 or more!

I know there are plenty of families larger than mine out there that are spending double or even triple what I spend on Halloween without a thought about how much it costs. And if we're not thinking about how much it costs, we're probably not talking to our kids about it.

But now is the perfect time to talk to our children about a budget for Halloween. Your kids are fired up about AEI, Money Monday and Finance Friday! Take advantage of this great opportunity to discuss budgets and responsible spending.

Don't know where to start?

Here are some great financial lessons kids can learn from Halloween: