36% of Halloween Celebrants Plan on Spending More Money Than They Did Last Year

36% of Halloween Celebrants Plan on Spending More Money Than They Did Last Year

Consumers still look for ways to cut costs on their Halloween celebrations
happy trick or treaters showing off candy

After putting life plans on pause for over a year and a half, many Americans are looking forward to making new memories with family members and friends this Halloween.

CIT Bank's new survey on Halloween consumer spending revealed that 65% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year (versus the 51% who did so in 2020), while another 11% who usually have plans will skip them this year.

And in line with the increase in this year's Halloween revelers, over a third of respondents (36%) who plan to celebrate the holiday this year also expect to spend more money than they did last year. In comparison, 38% plan to spend about the same amount and 18% will spend less.

Increase in this year's Halloween plans leads to more spending

This year, American consumers are making the most of the Halloween season by participating in time-honored traditions such as:

  • Decorating (33%)
  • Carving pumpkins (25%)
  • Wearing costumes (25%)
  • Trick-or-treating (24%)
  • Partying in-person with family and friends (23%)
  • Attending public events (14%)

Meanwhile, only 8% of respondents plan to celebrate the holiday virtually with their loved ones.

A different survey from Affirm also found that most Americans expect to spend more on their end-of-year holiday season purchases to make up for last year — CIT Bank discovered that, for this Halloween, things aren't much different. The report showed that, on average, consumers plan to spend:

  • $92 on costumes for themselves, their family or their pets (49% increase from 2020)
  • $47 on home or yard decor (21% increase)
  • $43 on virtual or in-person party (76% increase)
  • $34 on candy (10% increase)

"While it's easy to get lost in the excitement around the holiday, Halloween shouldn't be seen as a time to bypass your budgets," says Ravi Kumar, head of CIT's direct bank.

"Consider how you can stay ahead of holiday-related costs by saving in anticipation of Halloween spending on candy, costumes and activities, and incorporate these expected costs into your monthly or annual budget."

Consumers employ a variety of strategies to reduce Halloween spending

During a year characterized by budgeting and saving, many shoppers have already begun shopping for their Halloween essentials in the hopes of saving some money upfront. For instance, CIT Bank found that 44% of respondents who plan on celebrating Halloween this year had already planned out their costume almost a month and a half in advance.

This trend of buying ahead of time may have also been exacerbated by the recent supply chain issues facing consumers, as a survey from Oracle indicated that shoppers are changing their buying habits in anticipation of certain items becoming unavailable.

Some respondents with plans of dressing up will take more budget-friendly approaches, including making their costume (54%), reusing one (49%) or borrowing one (27%). Additionally, the CIT Bank report showed that about 2 in 10 consumers are willing to trim their Halloween budget on:

  • Decorations (24%)
  • Candy (22%)
  • Costumes (21%)
  • Parties (19%)

Still, that doesn't appear to diminish the amount of fun that Halloween revelers will have this year: Only 19% of respondents expect this year to be less fun than last year, while 36% expect it to be more fun and 46% say it'll be the same amount of fun.

Methodology: The Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 2,075 American adults (ages 18 and up) between Sept. 16-20, 2021 on behalf of CIT Group.