Money Wellness
image of a group of children dressed up in Halloween outfits taking sweets off a lady
category iconcost of living
calendar icon20 Oct 2023

Warning - the cost of Halloween could spook you!

Average British families will spend around £300 to celebrate Halloween this year, according to research by Money Wellness, an organisation providing free debt advice.

Historically, huge Halloween celebrations were reserved for our friends across the pond but in recent years the craze for spooky festivities has spread here.

There’s predicted to be a hair-raising £1bn spent on Halloween in the UK this year alone.

Money Wellness decided to look at how much the average family of two adults and two children are likely to spend and it shockingly revealed that it could easily add up to £300.

The biggest spend on the list was costumes at £76 for two adults and two children, with a further £10 needed for wicked make up and £1.89 each being spent on trick-or-treat buckets.

Pumpkins didn’t come in cheap at £1.90 each (£7.60 for four) and an extra £2 for a basic carving kit – rising to as much as £13.99 if you’re looking for something hardier.

No one can do Halloween without treats for their visitors. Money Wellness estimates that the average household will spend around £26.50 on making sure they’re stocked up.

Decorations don’t come cheap either, with a huge choice available on the high street and online ranging from 99p plastic spiders to props for £100s. The average household will spend around £64 turning their home into a haunted house of horrors this year.

But it’s when you add in the price of party food (£46) and drink (£62.40) that the bill really skyrockets.

And if households think they’ll keep costs down by going to an organised spooky event, they couldn’t be more wrong with the average family four-person ticket on sale for £56.00.

It’s Generation Z who will spend the most on Halloween forking out around £60 each on outfits and  £80 or more on professional make up before they’ve even left the house.

Ian Somerset, Chief Executive of Money Wellness, said: “Halloween has become a mainstream celebration in the UK in recent years, with trick or treating the most popular activity. The amount households spend has also grown because of the influence of seeing what other people are doing on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. This has led to far more households throwing parties and going all out on costumes.

“However, it’s important not to let peer pressure make you spend more than you can comfortably afford – there are lots of creative ways to mark Halloween without breaking the bank.”

Here are Money Wellness’ five top tips to stop your Halloween spend getting frightful!

Costume swap shop

Kids grow out of clothes quickly – see if you can set up a costume swap among your group of friends and hand down outfits that are too small. You could also check your local charity shops as lots of costumes get donated and you’ll sometimes find a selection still with the price tags on. Alternatively, go all 1990s and use old bedding to turn your little ones into ghosts or get creative and transform them into the tinman with carboard boxes and paint.

Hard-working pumpkins

Don’t buy cheaper inedible pumpkins – go for the slightly more expensive variety and use the insides you scoop out to make spicy pumpkin soup or pumpkin cake.

Bring your own

Hosting a party doesn’t need to be expensive - ask everyone to bring a Halloween-themed dish and a bottle to keep the cost down. You could even serve your pumpkin soup or cake.

Go own brand

Halloween isn’t about quality it’s all about quantity. Go for large bags of unbranded sweets and chocolates rather than pricier well-known brands – the kids won’t care. Look out for any buy-one-get-one-free deals and shop around at discount stores.

Decorations

Creating a spooktastic venue can soon add up. Keep costs down by making spider webs out of shredded black bin bags, hang bed-sheet ghosts from trees outside or cut up paper plates to make a skeletons to hoist above doorframes.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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