Richmond, VA (PRWEB) October 14, 2006
Costumes and candy and debt, oh my! Halloween is quickly approaching, and aside from the arrival of costume-clad trick-or-treaters, the spooky holiday can also bring in an unwanted party crasher – credit card debt.
The National Retail Federation estimates that Halloween spending is expected to total nearly $5 billion this year. That's including candy, costumes and other Halloween-related activities, such as visiting haunted houses.
"Halloween can be a major budget buster, as it sets the stage for the consumer spending season," said Ann Estes, Vice President of Client Education and Counseling Delivery for ClearPoint Financial Solutions. "Holiday shopping time is right around the corner, so it's important for consumers to avoid a stressful debt situation by pacing themselves and sticking to a budget."
ClearPoint Financial Solutions offers these tips to help consumers ward off the debt goblins and keep from being haunted by credit card bills once Halloween is over.
- Sweet tooth Consumers will spend $1.5 billion on Halloween candy alone this year. That's a lot of sugar, but it won't look sweet on your credit card statement. To avoid overspending, purchase candy in bulk or consider buying generic brands. You can also join forces with neighbors, split the cost and hand out candy together from a centralized location, such as a cul-de-sac. Other money-saving alternatives to candy include handing out stickers or pencils.
- Devilish décor After Christmas, Halloween is the second largest decorating season of the year. 67% of consumers plan to purchase Halloween décor, and may scare up a huge credit card bill at the same time. Rather than spending a fortune on fancy decorations, get creative and make your own. Pumpkins "carved" out of orange construction paper, spider webs spun from cotton balls, and ghosts made from tattered sheets will turn your house into a ghostly mansion. You can even record your own spooky soundtrack rather than purchasing Halloween CD's.
- Creative costumes Spiderman, Cinderella and SpongeBob all come with a hefty price tag: $1.8 billion. That's how much consumers will spend on Halloween costumes this year. Before buying new costumes, search neighborhood yard sales, borrow from friends or hold a costume swap with kids in your child's class. Making your own costumes can be fun and easy, all you need is a little creativity. Mismatched clothes and some face paint create an instant clown. A flannel shirt, straw hat and some rope create an adorable scarecrow.
- Free admission Striving for a budget-conscious Halloween doesn't have to mean cutting out the fun. Many communities offer low-cost or free activities such as hay rides, haunted houses and family festivals. Check your local newspaper for times, locations and discount coupons.
- Don't forget - Safety First Just as it's important to be budget conscious, it's equally as important to practice good safety measures while trick-or-treating and during other Halloween-related activities. Unexpected costs, like trips to the emergency room, can also strike fear in the household budget. When carving faces into pumpkins, parents should be sure to supervise their children. Always double check candy before allowing children to gobble it up. Also, remember that younger children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian when trolling the neighborhood for sweets.
For additional tips for managing money wisely through the holiday season, visit ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions or call 877-877-1995 to speak with a certified credit counselor. With some simple budgeting, creative thinking and smart spending, you'll have a fun Halloween with few tricks and lots of treats.
About ClearPoint Financial Solutions, Inc.
ClearPoint Financial Solutions, Inc.™ (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Services of America, Inc.) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers achieve financial wellness through counseling and education. Established in 1980, ClearPoint has helped over one million individuals achieve financial security. ClearPoint is currently the only non-profit System-wide member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and one of the largest members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, ClearPoint manages branches across the country. Personalized and confidential consultations are available in person, by phone or online. Visit ClearPoint Financial Solutions at ClearPoint Financial Solutions or call 877-877-1995. Credit Counselors, CDC Consumer Debt Counseling, and Solutions, Inc. are all trade names of ClearPoint.