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Money Fix: How to rein in the costs without spoiling the fun

One way to cut down on costs is

One way to cut down on costs is to organize a Halloween costume swap party. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/Pixel-shot

When did Halloween get expensive? Some kids are tricking their parents into treating them. A new survey from CompareCards.com found that more than half of millennial parents polled said their kids have “guilt-tripped them” into spending money on Halloween-related stuff. Then there’s social media. About 48% percent of millennials fessed up about purchasing Halloween items so they could include them in social media posts, as did 37% of Gen Z and 30% of Gen X.

So how to rein in costs without spoiling all the spooky fun?

Set limits

“You and your child should come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it,” says Christopher Congema, a certified financial planner with Landmark Wealth Management in Melville.  

Make it a teachable moment. “The need for instant gratification or to impress friends and family, at the cost of a larger savings plan can lead to bigger problems down the road.”

Get creative

Have your kids make their costume instead of buying one -- it can be cheaper and more fun. Or host a costume swap with friends and family.  

“Window shop to see what materials are needed and find an alternative at a secondhand store, or in your closet. A striped tie and a sweater can turn into a Hogwarts uniform, some makeup and a cheap wedding dress from a thrift store turns you into a corpse bride,” says Brittany Waters, a financial coach with Ready Set Life in Toronto.

Shop smart

Hit the Dollar Store, Amazon and thrift stores. Says Congema, “Halloween is supposed to be a little bit scary, but looking at your bank account should not give you the same feeling.”

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