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Halloween spending neednt be spooky

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MADISON, Wis.(10/20/10)--Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, giving ghosts and goblins an entire weekend to celebrate. That translates into estimated spending of nearly $66.28 a person--up considerably from last year’s $56.31--on costumes, candy and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. And while spending is expected to increase, three of 10 Halloween shoppers plan to be frugal by using last year’s decorations and costumes, making costumes, buying less candy, or forgoing visits to a haunted house. Parents can use Halloween shopping as a financial responsibility lesson for their children by employing these ideas from the Credit Union National Association’s Center for Personal Finance editors:
* Discuss the budget. Explain how much money you plan to spend; make a list of items that money needs to cover such as costumes, candy, decorations and pumpkins. If you’re having a party, include food, beverages and paper products. * Set a savings challenge. Ask kids to find ways to save money with some comparison shopping. What’s on sale? Can they find any coupons? * Get creative with costumes. How can last year’s princess and Spiderman become this year’s vampire and Avatar? Take children to local thrift stores for ideas, outfit and accessories. Encourage imagination by searching sites like eBay and Craigslist to view items with lower price options. * Do the math. How much candy did you give out last year? What’s the projected weather and how might it affect this year’s trick or treating numbers? How much more--or less--candy do you estimate you’ll need? * Reward efforts by sharing the savings. Demonstrate how frugality pays. Can the kids save enough on costumes to host a party? Will savings be put into an account to fund next year’s celebration or other goals? Set a goal and ask the kids to help track efforts in reaching it.
For more ideas about communicating with your kids about money, see the video “Talk With Your Children About Family Finances” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.