Halloween Costs Can be Downright Scary

BMO Harris Bank Reminds People to Spend Wisely

Oct 23, 2012, 12:22 ET from BMO Harris Bank

PHOENIX, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The seven out of 10 Americans who will celebrate Halloween this year are expecting to spend an average of nearly $80 dressing trick-or-treaters, feeding goblins and ghosts, and decorating their haunted houses, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF)*. The largest portion of the holiday spend will be on costumes ($28.65), followed by decorations ($23.56) and candy ($23.27). Total consumer spending for this spooktacular holiday is expected to reach $8 billion.

BMO Harris Bank reminds consumers that you can still get into the spirit of the holiday without needing to break the bank by employing these few simple tips:

Make, don't purchase, your costume – Who said you need to buy your costume? Remember how much fun it was when you were a kid and rummaged through your parents' closet to create your customized outfit.  With a little planning and creativity, you and your little ones can win the costume contest using items you have on hand. Turn a cardboard box into a life-size laptop, TV, or robot. With a few folds of a sheet you can become a shepherd, Roman royalty, or the ever-familiar ghost. Need more costume ideas? The Internet has several websites with inexpensive and last minute ideas for everyone from the baby to the family pet, just search "inexpensive Halloween costumes".

DIY decorations – Pumpkins are plentiful and fairly inexpensive this time of year. It's easy to turn your yard into a graveyard by cutting out cardboard headstones from old boxes, paint them gray, add your favorite saying, attach a stake to the back, and place throughout your yard. Change the color of your porch light to create an eerie glow. Check out lighting stores for inexpensive colored bulbs and blacklights.

Save on your treats – Hold off purchasing your candy until the last minute when many retailers will put it on clearance. Additionally, kids will get enough treats, so stick to bite-size candy bars that are easier on your wallet.

"You can have an enjoyable holiday without spending a fortune," said BMO Harris Bank Arizona President, Steve Johnson. "Keeping your costs down eliminates the stress and allows you to enjoy this fun family time."

For additional simple steps on how BMO Harris can help you make sense of your money visit: www.bmoharris.com/helpfulsteps  

About BMO Harris Bank

Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

*Survey conducted by BIGinsight for NRF from September 5 – 11, 2012.

SOURCE BMO Harris Bank