I know I’m a couple of days late – but Happy Halloween everyone! While I’m a little too old to go out trick-or-treating it’s still a fun day for the kid in everyone. As it turns out, it’s also an amazing day for retailers everywhere. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) the average person spent $79.82, up over $7.50 per person from last year.* I don’t know about you, but I think that is a CRAZY amount to spend just on Halloween. Let’s look at some numbers:
- The median household income in the US is approximately $50,000 a year (the latest figures suggest it’s a little higher, but we’ll round)
- According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the personal savings rate is averaging 3.8% (for Feb-Sept of this year – and this is of after tax dollars, which means that people are really only saving about 3.4% of their gross income – but that’s another article for another time)
- So if you do the math (which I have done – let me know if you want the full details) that means the median US household is only saving $140.90 per month…YIKES!!!!
I think there are a lot of things wrong with spending $80 on Halloween, but I also think there is a lot wrong with only saving $141/ month (which is only $1,692/year). If you are in this situation and you chose to spend $80 instead of adding it to your retirement or other savings – then you will definitely stay average. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, there are a lot of opportunities to spend outrageous amounts of money on crap you don’t need for no real reason. Of course, if you have millions of dollars and are financially independent and want to spend some money on decorations or a new costume – then go for it. But if your life is closer to average then it’s time to tighten things up.
If you went a little overboard with Halloween then don’t worry, just remember the experience so you don’t repeat it. With all that said, I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween. If nothing else, when you’re cruising the aisles of your local Wal-Mart, Party City, or wherever and you see the “perfect costume”, I hope you’ll think twice and save the money instead!
*This figure includes candy, costumes, and decorations.
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