What’s more frightening to parents than overspending on Halloween festivities? The thought of disappointing their little ones because the Halloween traditions they know and love may not happen this year due to COVID-19. With restrictions on trick-or-treating and large gatherings, Halloween will be re-imagined this year, but fear not: within all this uncertainty lies an opportunity to reimagine your Halloween budget (in a good way!). Here are a few ideas for wonderful new traditions that will save money, too:
The magic of DIY costumes
Don’t buy it. Bake it.
Next to costumes, candy is the second largest line item in most Halloween budgets. Since trick-or-treating is on hold this year, why not devote some of the candy budget to a new baking budget? This is a less expensive option, and it could be the start of a fun, new family tradition in the kitchen. For ideas, check out 50+ Halloween Treats That Are Dangerously Delicious and 60+ Best Halloween Snacks for Kids to Devour This October.
The New Monster Mash
Trick-or-treating may be out, but virtual Monster Mash dance parties are in! It’s easy to transform the dining room into a dance hall for your superheroes and fairies. Move that table out of the way, and all you need are a few glow sticks, Halloween party music, disco laser projections, and your favorite video chat application. (Laser projectors range in price, starting at about $35. They can be a great investment because you can use them again for holiday festivities, birthday celebrations, and more).
Dress Up a Selfie Station
With a surge in online orders, cardboard boxes are easy to find. With a little paint and a nip and tuck here and there, you can give those old boxes new life as the background for an at-home selfie station. Kids will love making silly faces in their own photo booth using homemade props and accessories from Halloween’s past. It’s sure to be a hit with their friends on social media, too.
Host Spooky Saturdays
To break up the monotony of staying at home more this year, host Spooky Saturday movie nights leading up to Halloween. From Room on the Broom and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, to Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus, there are plenty of age-appropriate Halloween movies available on streaming services you may already subscribe to monthly. You can even invite friends and family to join in the fun from afar by hosting a watch party using services such as Netflix Party or Amazon Watch Party.
Explore the great outdoors — in disguise
Make like MacGyver – Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
For the items you need to purchase, consider how they can be reused or repurposed in the future. Consider reserving some pumpkins and decorating them with felt or construction paper instead of carving them. That way, they can be used at Thanksgiving. When lighting a Halloween setting, incorporate strings of white lights that can be used again during the holidays. Metallic or neutral table cloths transition well into other events, too. Of course, there are some quintessential items – spiders and spider webs, witch hats, and ghosts – that are only good once a year. For those things, be sure to comparative shop for the best price, and always consider if there is a homemade option.
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Daniel J. Santaniello, President, and CEO, of Fidelity Bank, publishes Financially Fit with Fidelity, your guide to financial well-being, every Thursday. If you’re interested in a financial topic we haven’t yet covered or want to subscribe to our emails, please feel free to drop us a line at blog at fddbank dot com. We would love to hear from you.