With the cost of costumes, candy, and other festive favors, your credit card bill could easily be the scariest thing you see this Halloween. First, you spend $10 on a freaking pumpkin that you'll forget to carve, and before you know it, you've dropped another $50 on an elaborate Pizza Rat costume. But (despite your lame costume) you're not alone. In fact, the average person celebrating Halloween this year will spend roughly $74, according to the National Retail Federation’s new Halloween Consumer Spending Survey.
In total, 157 million Americans are expected to celebrate Halloween in 2015 and will spend as much as $6.9 billion. That's slightly less than last year's estimation of $7.4 billion, but that's still a lot of chocolate coins. As you might expect, most of that money is spent on costumes; specifically, $1.2 billion will be spent on adult costumes, $950 million will be spent on children's costumes, and $350 million will be spent on costumes for pets, per the survey. $350 million on pet costumes! As many as 68 million Americans will don some sort of costume this year, but that doesn't mean they'll be good or remotely relevant.
Along with the scary big spending figures, the survey reveals additional interesting insights into our Halloween spending habits:
- Nine out of 10 shoppers will buy Halloween candy, which will total $2.1 billion.
- Two in five Halloween revelers will purchase decorations -- roughly $20 per person -- totaling $1.9 billion.
- About a third of celebrants will blow cash on greeting cards for some reason. That'll add up to about $300 million.
- 41% of people will carve pumpkins.
- Over 43% will wear a costume.
- Almost two thirds will hand out candy.
Regardless of what you spend on Halloween this year, it'll probably be worth it, because other holidays just can't beat jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses, and wearing scandalous or offensive costumes in public. But whatever you do, don't buy -- let alone hand out -- shitty candy.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and has yet to spend a single dollar on Halloween, but that could change by this weekend. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.