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36% of Americans Plan to Spend More This Halloween

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‘Tis the season to spend money, and Americans aren’t doling it out just for the holidays.

In CIT’s most recent Halloween survey, the Pasadena, Calif.-based bank reports that some consumers may spend scary amounts of cash to ring in this year’s spooky season.

Among Americans who plan to celebrate Halloween this year, more than a third (36%) intend to spend more than in 2020. Nearly 4 in 10 consumers (38%) say they’ll spend the same, while close to 2 in 10 (18%) expect to spend less.

65% of Americans expect to celebrate Halloween this year

More than 6 in 10 Americans (65%) plan to celebrate Halloween this year in some fashion. This is an increase from 2020, where just 51% had planned to celebrate. However, just more than 1 in 10 (11%) folks who typically celebrate say they’re planning to skip this year’s festivities.

So what are the plans among U.S. consumers who’ll celebrate? Per the CIT survey, nearly 4 in 10 (37%) plan to trick-or-treat, 35% plan to attend a private in-person party with friends and family and just more than 1 in 5 (22%) say they’ll attend public events, like a haunted house.

While folks may attend a virtual party, they’re not as nearly in-demand as an in-person party: Only about 1 in 10 (12%) who will celebrate plan to partake in an online event. But no matter how people plan to enjoy Halloween this year, about half (46%) say they think Halloween will be more fun than in 2020, 36% say they expect it’ll be more fun this year than in 2020 and 19% believe it’ll be less fun.

Notably, what counts for Halloween fun varies regionally. When asked what their favorite part of Halloween was, the majority of respondents in the West are into costumes (24%). Northeast residents (30%) and Midwesterners (28%) prefer the fall weather, while denizens of the South (23%) say they enjoy the candy the most.

Halloween spending to ramp up across various categories

According to the CIT survey, U.S. consumers expect to spend more, on average, than in 2020 in various categories:

What Americans plan to spend more on this Halloween
Spending category 2020 2021 % change
Costumes (for self, pet, family members) $62 $92 49%
Party (in-person or virtual) $25 $43 76%
Decor (home or yard) $39 $47 21%
Candy $31 $34 10%

By generation, millennials (ages 27 to 40) will spend $106, on average, on home or yard decor; Gen Zers (ages 18 to 26) will fork over an average of $72 on parties; Gen Xers (ages 41 to 55) plan to spend $37, on average, on costumes for family members; and baby boomers (ages 56 and older) expect to dole out an average of $22 on candy this Halloween. Each represents the highest average spending.

Finding ways to save at the same time

Even as they splash cash in some form for Halloween, Americans are also showing they’re still willing to curb their spending in certain areas. According to the CIT survey, here’s where respondents say they’re willing to spend less on:

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

A further 2% answered “other.”

In addition, many U.S. consumers are coming prepared for Halloween, getting an early jump on their shopping. Nearly half of those who intend on partaking in festivities (44%) had their costume planned out as far back as a month and a half or so before the holiday.

Among those dressing up, only 1 in 4 (26%) say they’ll buy a new costume. Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) are going the thrifty route, either DIYing their costume, borrowing one or reusing one.

Besides just limiting their budgets, those trying to cut back on Halloween spending this year can consider redeeming points on their cashback reward cards. To make the most of reward points on a credit card, consumers can also look into rewards cards in line with their spending habits.

Methodology: CIT commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct a survey of 2,075 U.S. adults 18 and older, fielded Sept. 16-20, 2021.


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