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Fireplace beautifully decorated for HalloweenHow do you know when fall is here? Is it the crisp, cool air? The beautiful foliage? The sweet smell of pumpkin, cinnamon or clove? To me, it’s the appearance of Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Fall is officially here when those pop-in-your-mouth pumpkins start sprouting up all over the stores. Usually Halloween costumes, cards and fall décor aren’t too far behind.

“After a long summer, consumers are eager to embrace fall and all of the celebrations that come with it,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said.

According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person celebrating this year will spend about $74 on candy, costumes, decorations and more. How does that all add up? The study suggests total spending will reach $6.9 billion!

So what does that mean for the economy? “It seems that most consumers will be taking a more cautious approach before forking out big bucks on the Halloween holiday,” says Andrew Schrage, founder and CEO of Money Crashers. “It will certainly provide a boost of some sort, as it historically does, but it’s fair to say that this impact might be a bit more tempered than in the past.”

What will consumers spend the most money on when it comes to celebrating this year? According to the study, the answer is adult costumes.

Planned Halloween Spending – In Billions

Charts from the NRF Foundation’s Retail Insight Center. To access this data and more research please visit the Retail Insight Center.

“It’s easier than ever for consumers to find creative Halloween costumes given the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram and the immediate access to pop culture trends,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow.

Which costumes top the list for adults, kids and pets this year? Should you splurge or save money by getting creative and making your own? Here’s what some experts have to say.

Witch: Save! Double, double, toil and trouble! There’s no trouble when it comes to dressing up as a witch this All Hallows’ Eve. From classy, gothic, to downright horrifying there’s no doubt why this easy-to-do costume tops the list this year. “It is fun to get creative and make your own costume, it is also a lot cheaper,” says author of GetHolidayHappy.com Felicia Ramos-Peters. “By making your own costume you can also guarantee that it will be one of a kind.”

Princess: Splurge (on savings)! “You can splurge on buying fun Halloween costumes but still save by finding the best deals around,” says Sara Korab with Savings.com. “The site has discounts on countless Halloween costumes, not to mention tons of tips and tricks on how to save on Halloween expenses. With savings like these, you can look good on a dime this Halloween.”

Already have a princess costume from years past? Change it up with some face paint and reuse it! “With a small investment in a non-toxic, high quality face painting kit, it is possible to create unique costumes for the whole family under $20,” says Adriana Saurini of PartyPaint.com.

Pumpkin: Save! My friend Katie loves Pinterest. She consults it for pretty much everything. When I asked for her opinion on saving or splurging on pet costumes, I wasn’t surprised at her response. “Why spend a ton of money on a costume when there’s thousands of DIY pet costumes to choose from on Pinterest,” she said. “You can choose from simple to extravagant. I know it’s not a pumpkin, but I love the Pugkin Spice Latte costume!”

Pugkin Spice Costume

Image: Pinterest

For the full list of top costumes for 2015, check out the list below.


Image: NRF 2015 Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics

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