Have a Happy Halloween without scary expenses

The last three months of the year — October, November and December — boast the three most consecutive budget-busting holidays of them all, with All Hallows Eve, commonly known as Halloween, kicking off the list of expensive festivities.

According to the National Retail Federation 2011 report, consumers spent about $6.8 billion on Halloween activities with the average person spending $72.31. The bulk of Halloween dollars spent last year was on handing out candy (73.5 percent), decorating the home or yard (49.5 percent) and carving a pumpkin (47.8 percent).

Although not among the top three expenses in terms of Halloween spending, dressing in costume accounts for 43.9 percent of spending, slightly less than the funds spent for carving pumpkins.

Halloween is a fun holiday indeed, but it doesn’t have to drain your financial reservoir. There are many ways to reduce unnecessary spending that will ensure a successful holiday.

Here’s a list of simple tips and ideas about how to make this a fun holiday without excessive costs.

Candy

Shop early. Chances are you’ll find the best deals.

Buy In bulk. The more you buy, the more you save.

Buy generic. It costs a lot less than the “name brands.”

Decorating

Do It yourself. Avoid expensive décor. Shop at thrift stores. They often have great décor at cut-rate prices.

Carving

Do It Yourself. It’s a lot more fun. CBS MONEY WATCH

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