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Halloween Money Club: Greenbacks for Ghouls

Ah, another glorious Halloween season has come and gone. I’ve wiped the drool off my after-Halloween sale items, packed away my tattered ghosts, vultures and other props back into their yearlong resting places, sadly making my house and driveway look like everyone else’s on my street – sickeningly normal.

I grab the stack of photos from this last year’s Halloween yard decorations I had processed almost seconds after taking them. I lay back in my chair to revel in the thrill my decorated yard always gives me until I think of how it could be better. I think back longingly to the retail giants I’d visited during Halloween with their Edwardian butlers, life-sized gargoyles, and that new coffin I had to get. The items I lusted after dance before my eyes, plugging themselves uninvited into my photos. The anguish I feel rises in my gut as the images taunt me, forcing me to recall how many times I’d looked at them in vain – knowing they were simply out of my financial reach. My mind squirms as the price tags of those items dance before my weary eyes, and I remind myself that I’ll never have enough cash for items like this unless I win the lottery or become the first Halloween person to experience a true miracle – winning a shopping spree in Spencer’s!

What’s a good ghoul to do? I have a few ideas that might make you rest easier as you pile up cash over the next year so that you can look forward to next season the way the Donald Trump ogles a new Manhattan building site – you’ll just do it without the comb over.

Traditional Christmas Money Club

We’re all familiar with the traditional money club, even if we’ve never done one. You sock away a set amount every month and pull out all the money just before Christmas. Christmas has one thing on Halloween that we ‘weeners can’t seem to overcome – acceptance from our loved ones that we need to spend money on Halloween, and being disciplined or flush enough to SAVE! So let’s go over the basic rules of the “Club” and move into more non-traditional ways to plush out our coffins and skip the “broke” way to doing Halloween.

The traditional way of doing a Money Club is to put a set amount away every week or month. Say you can spare $20.00 a month, and you start this month. You’ll have a whopping $240 bones to throw around! I don’t know about you, but that would be unbelievable to me to have that kind of cash in my hands when the props, decorations, and masks hit the shelves. Ohhhhh, think of what you could buy at the after Halloween sales with cash like that? Makes my little boney fingers tremble with glee to even consider it.

Don’t forget the old tried and true traditional way to have money in your pockets when you want it is to take out some of the money from your pockets daily. Yep, take all your change out of your pockets every night and deposit it directly into a sealed can. When the leaves start turning and the wind starts blowing the smell of fall into the crisp air, take your “money can” and drag your heavy change to the bank and grin yourself silly as they tell you how much the sorter says you have. Keep smiling as you tell them that you want them to wrap it into rolls for you since i’’ll cost you as little as ten percent to have someone else to have the luxury of wrapping it for you. So stroll proudly out of your financial institution with a stack of cash in hand to go buy your hearts delights without making the kids eat bulk oatmeal again.

If you’re one of those people – ahhhh hmm, like me – that can’t seem to save a buck no matter what I do – get a lock box and give someone the key who won’t give it back when you start whining and complaining.

Nothing earthshaking here, but one of those ways might work for you and is worth thinking about. But there are many other ways to build up cash that you might not even have thought of. Read on!

Non-Traditional Ways to Save

Now if you would like to add to the $240.00 you’ll have already slugged for yourself, consider new ways to add to the growing stack of cash. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Go through all of your old Halloween items and pull out the junk you know you’ll probably not ever use again. We all have things that were great when we started, but we’ve grown way past that now. Get rid of it and any other stuff that’s just taking up space and now money. Set up an online auction account with Ebay or Yahoo and sell it! Yes, sell it no matter what you’ll get out of it because you’re doing two things for yourself – You’re adding to your cash, and you’re making room for more important props and decorations you will be adding.
  • Make a list of all the common items you use every Halloween, like paint, foam, tools and fabric. Buy a small amount of those items every month and stock pile them. Put those items on separate receipts and carry around an envelope so you can put the receipts in the envelope the minute you leave the store. It’s really important that you make a real attempt at keeping them organized because, when haunting season comes around, you’ll have your supplies you didn’t use – you can now easily return them and have that money back in your pocket rather than your storage room. Just be sure and check on all store return policies BEFORE you shop there for your stock piling.
  • Ask people for gift cards to your favorite Halloween retail haunts on every gift-giving occasion. Hang on to them until the props and decorations arrive or, better yet, save them for the after Halloween sales where your bucks stretch like Stretch Armstrong on Christmas morning!
  • Buy store gift cards for yourself in whatever denomination you can and stack them in your dresser until the haunting season is here. Buy gift cards from places like craft, hardware, and online stores that always have items you know you’ll need. I can’t think of any ‘weeners that couldn’t do big damage with a $25.00 Ebay gift card stash! But again check with store policy in case you need to cash them back in, as some stores will not let you get your cash back. And that would be a bad deal!
  • One radical way to totally infuse cash into your haunting season is to do a small, part-time job like mowing yards, working retail, and other small jobs during the other months of the year. You’ll be surprised at how fast that money will add up, and most part-time jobs won’t bring in enough to mess with your taxes. In my area you have to pay between $30.00 to $40.00 to have a yard the size of an economy coffin mowed every seven days! Add that up over a summer and remember that mowing a few yards takes very little time, and you could add a skull to the top of your mower as an incentive. Put all that money in your Halloween Money Club and only do the part-time job as long as you want to. Then quit when you feel like it. Can you see yourself with $700.00 to $1200.00 in your hot little hands as you peruse the props like a big boy or girl? Ok, get the drool off the computer screen and get back to reading, but this dream is that easy to pull off. And it can all be yours!

There are many other ways in addition to these few examples to finance your seasonal addiction. I bet if you take a small bit of time to think about your personal situation, you can come up with some really great non-traditional ways to save for your haunting days. I would love to hear from all of you good readers and hear all the wild and wacky ways you’ve found to make yourself financially solvent after October and still be able to feed your family.

by Sarah Briggs

About Sarah Briggs

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