Last-Minute Halloween Ideas

Here are some quick, fun ways to celebrate a fantastic last-minute Halloween on a budget! 

Super Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes

Use one of these quick and cheap costume ideas to dress up for Halloween for less.

  • A “punny” joke. Pun-based Halloween costumes are always a hit! Wrap a paper plate in tin foil and tape it to your back to instantly become a “quarterback.” Tape some grey paint samples to your shirt to unlock your inner “50 Shades of Grey.” Or write a ton of different names on name tags, stick them all to your shirt, and become the “identity thief!”
  • A makeup masterpiece. Costume makeup is available at every grocery store and bargain outlet during October. Instantly transform yourself with a little paint and creativity! From a spooky skeleton to a pop-art princess, the possibilities are endless. Look up a few YouTube tutorials to nail your look! 
  • A MoneyLion. This is a shameless plug. Make a lion’s mane out of yarn (instructions here), and attach a dollar bill to your shirt. Voila, You’re a MoneyLion! Roar!
  • A minion: Everyone loves the babbling yellow minions from “Despicable Me”! Head to the dollar store and pick up a set of cheap safety goggles. Paint a black rim on your goggles, throw on a yellow shirt and check your closet for overalls. Don’t have a pair? You’ll find a massive selection at your local thrift store.

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Fun and Free Halloween Events

There are plenty of fun and free things to do around Halloween! Check your local listings for these festive events.

  • Halloween costume parades: Dressing up is fun — but so is seeing what everyone else’s costumes look like. Check your local newspaper for free Halloween parade events and head out for a night of fun. Consider contacting the parade organizer and asking if you can join in the fun if you have a great costume!
  • Children’s Halloween parties: You don’t need to wait for a family member or friend to throw an awesome party to enjoy the spooky spirit! Local libraries, churches and community centers often hold free Halloween parties for children to meet new friends. If you have a little one who’s desperate to play games and show off his or her costume, a free Halloween party is a great way to spend the night!
  • Halloween carnivals: A carnival doesn’t have to happen during a summer night. Halloween carnivals have grown in popularity, as clowns and costumed booth managers take over the night for an evening of games and junk food. See if you have a free local carnival happening in your area and bring a few dollars for games. You’ll have an amazing time for almost no money. 

Host a Halloween Party for $50

Throwing an awesome Halloween bash doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Here’s how to throw a great Halloween party for about $50.

  • Food: $30. There are a few favorite party foods that everyone loves — and that you can pick up for a low price. Pizza is a go-to option that every one of your guests will guarantee to love. Pick up a few different types of pies to appeal to every taste and ask your guests if there’s a particular pizza they’d like. You can save time and money by getting creative with your desserts. Whip up a batch of cupcakes, coat them with black frosting and add little eyes for adorable (and delicious) spider cupcakes. Or use white frosting and candy eyes to create edible mummy faces.
  • Music: $0. Free music streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify allow you to create a spooky playlist without spending money on music. Take some time to create a list of the songs you want to play for your party and make your playlist ahead of time. When the day arrives, just connect your speakers and get ready to party!
  • Decorations: $20. Your local dollar store is overflowing with affordable decorations you can use to get your home ready for the party. From fake cobwebs to jack-o-lantern printed tablecloths to orange and black streamers, the possibilities are endless.

Celebrate Halloween on a Budget

One last tip: No party is complete without a little entertainment! Are you throwing a party for children? Plan a few not-so-scary games. Toilet paper “mummy” races, pin the smile on the jack-o-lantern and homemade pinatas are all affordable and fun games that kids love. 

Planning a party for adults or teens instead? Stream a horror movie marathon for cheap by checking out your local $1 movie rental box. Have fun — and stay safe! — this Halloween. If you need cash fast, check out our 0% APR Instacash service!

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