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Money Matters Blog

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don’t let Halloween Scare Your Checking Account

Kemp with two of her three children
in front of the 2011 version of the
bonfire of pumpkins.

Ghosts and goblins have taken more and more of their share of Americans’ money over recent years, and there doesn’t seem to be a slowdown anywhere on the horizon.

According to a projection from the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend more than $8 billion on Halloween this year, for an average of almost $80 per person – an increase of 16% from 2011.  That $8 billion even includes $370 million on costumes for pets, which is an increase of 30% over the previous year.

The report also found that more than 70% of Americans will participate in Halloween in some way this year – also a record.

But is it necessary to spend that much money for the annual spooky holiday?

Dana Kemp, financial sales representative at the Community Financial Canton Center branch, has created a family and neighborhood friendly Halloween tradition, for less than $40.

Last year, Kemp visited a local pumpkin patch with about $35 in her pocket on Halloween morning and walked away with about 24 pumpkins for her décor that night, showing even Halloween decorating can be done on a budget.

Spending the next eight hours carving flames into those pumpkins, she created a “bonfire of pumpkins,” something she replicated from having seen it at another house during a previous Halloween.

“We try to make it a family friendly atmosphere, where even a toddler can come up and not feel fearful at all,” Kemp said.  “That was my whole goal to not make anything scary.”

By decorating for Halloween for less than half the cost of what the average American is expected to spent this year, Kemp’s check account isn’t going to scare her either.

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