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Hallo-why would you spend that much on a costume?

I’m not a Halloween person. I don’t like to be scared, I’m not into dressing up in revealing clothing that will be worn once and only once (or ever, for that matter), and I find clubs and parties to be claustrophobic and loud. Yes, I am an 80 year old trapped in the body of a 24 year old, why do you ask?

While I don’t get into the spirit of the holiday, millions of Americans are very much into this ghoulishness (Number 1, see what I did there? Number 2, apparently ghoulishness is a real word). Halloween spending is expected to hit $6.9 billion (yeah, with a “b”) this year. This is actually a huge decrease from last year’s $8 billion (also with a “b”). Apparently the government shutting down is scaring the average consumer more than Miley’s VMA performance scared the Smith family.

That being said, for any of you that are in the holiday spirit, there are a million and five ways to save on Halloween. Here are five of those ways. Feel free to list the other one million in the comments.

1) Thrift shopping. What, what, what, what… Take a cue from my fellow ginger Macklemore and hit up your local thrift store for some frightening duds! Your frugal self probably hangs out there on the reg anyways, might as well pick up a costume while you’re at it. Costumes you can easily create for cheap from the thrift store include: farmer, hobo, eighties dude/chick, nineties dude/chick, or zombie. Or, you know, something not stereotypical of thrift store duds.

If you are really lucky, you could find actual Halloween costumes (in great condition) there! After all, most people only wear these costumes once. On that note…

2) Swap with your friends. You will never need a naughty kitten outfit more than once in your life (unless you and your partner are into that!), so swap with a friend. You can be a naughty cop or naughty pirate this year. Why are all costumes naughty? Look at this shit. That’s right, toddlers are “naughty” now. Because sexualizing children is a great idea, Wal-Mart.

3) Plan ahead. When is the cheapest time to buy costumes? After Halloween. This won’t work for this year, but it will work for years to come. You’re finance nerds, delayed gratification should be your middle name these days.

Note: do not apply this to Halloween candy. A) I’m not sure if one year old candy is a great treat for your neighborhood kids and B) you know that candy won’t make it to Halloween. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you have enough self control to leave Kit Kat bars and peanut M&Ms unopened for the longest 365 days of your life.

4) Get crafty. Use Pinterest and crap you already have to make costumes. Green sweatshirt? Great! Dig out the Christmas decor early and go as a tree. Purple or green balloons? Blow them up and go as grapes! Lingerie and animal ears? According to Mean Girls, that’s all you need! Go as a promiscuous animal, because that’s totes normal.

5) Just be a hermit. Don’t do anything. Nothing. Halloween will just make you plump and put you approximately $75 in the hole. Turn off your porch lights, open a bottle of wine, and crack open a book, just like every other night. If you live in Portland and are boycotting Halloween, you can hang out with me. Just don’t talk to me, this book is really good…

What are you doing for Halloween? Any creative ideas to save cash?

[Image from Uproxx]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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