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Wes Moss: Dress Wes for Halloween

My children love Halloween.  Well, let me be honest, the entire Moss family loves Halloween.  This year, Ben will be dressing-up as Dracula and Luke will be a frightening Wolverine.  I haven’t settled on my choice.  I’m thinking of going as Ice Man from Top Gun – “You can be my wingman anytime, Maverick.”

Of course, we’re not the only ones who are waaaay into Halloween. (We’ve got neighbors who decorate their house more for Halloween than for Christmas.)  The average amount spent on Halloween has increased by 55% since 2005. Here are some stats from the National Retail Federation (NRF):

  • The total amount spent on Halloween this year will be $6.9 billion (that includes costumes, candy, decorations, and pet costumes). This is down significantly from the $8 billion we spent last year.  The NRF blames slow job growth, higher payroll taxes and the generally anemic economy for that shrinkage.

  • 72% of Americans will hand out candy this year and spend about $20 per- household on trick-or-treat goodies

  • Adults plan to spend a total of $1.22 billion on their own costumes while spending less on costumes for their children  — a mere  $1.04 billion

  • This year, 22 million people will dress up their pets for Halloween, which will result in $330 million dollars in spending.

 Of course, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy Halloween.  Let’s get back to the holiday’s homespun-fun roots.

  • There are many costumes that you can make from items you already have at home.  You can participate in a costume swap or find costume items at a thrift store. Post-Halloween discounts can sometimes result in costumes being almost 85 percent off. Try buying next year’s costume sometime in November and you are likely to get an amazing deal.

  • Think carefully when you buy your Halloween candy.  Think about how many trick-or-treaters you typically see and get just enough candy for that crowd and a teensy bit more.  Switching off the porch light with three bags of mini candy bars still on hand is bad for your budget and waist. And be sure to hand out the candy yourself instead of letting the little monsters deplete your supply by the handful.

  • Skip the bar scene and throw a Halloween costume party at your house or community center.  You and your friends will all save money.

What are your ideas for celebrating Halloween on a shoestring – or spider’s thread?

And more, importantly, what do you think I should be for Halloween?

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