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I don't really have a budget, but I do try and keep my costs low. I try and recycle as much as I can, find things on sale, and go thrift shopping for most of my supplies. I have a general idea about how much I have spent on any one of my builds/projects but can not give you an exact amounts. I figure if I can make something for less than half of what it would cost me to buy it I'm doing good. I spent more on my cemetery watchman than what I wanted, but I also spent less than I thought I would on my mausoleum so the extra cost for the CW was off set by the lower cost of the mausoleum. Lighting and extension cords are usually my most expensive costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I don't really have a budget, but I do try and keep my costs low. I try and recycle as much as I can, find things on sale, and go thrift shopping for most of my supplies. I have a general idea about how much I have spent on any one of my builds/projects but can not give you an exact amounts. I figure if I can make something for less than half of what it would cost me to buy it I'm doing good. I spent more on my cemetery watchman than what I wanted, but I also spent less than I thought I would on my mausoleum so the extra cost for the CW was off set by the lower cost of the mausoleum. Lighting and extension cords are usually my most expensive costs.
Lighting and cords... that was a huge expense last year. I actually told my husband the other day... do you even realize what I paid to light up a Dollar Tree tombstone? I am not ever going to say lighting is a bad investment cause you can take some very mediocre things and make them pretty stellar with good lighting. I will however say that buying multiple outdoor cords with timers and splitters is a small fortune. Thank goodness you can keep using them!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Nope, I just buy whatever I want, but I make sure I really want it and will use it every year, before I drop any cash on it.
Scrutiny. A sign of a true Halloween lover! You are right though. As you acquire more and more you definitely start asking yourself some very serious questions about what you want and what you need. I鈥檓 with you, in my head I have this list of what has to be bought and for the most part if it鈥檚 not available anywhere else, it鈥檚 probably getting shipped soon to me.
 

It's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
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I like you do not have a budget. I have in my head a list of needs to make a display happen and of course the things I want. Do you think though in some ways there鈥檚 still a limit? Maybe even if just not paying full price?
Yes, I still have a limit. The new house has much less storage. I lost a basement, large shed and double car garage for the next year or so. My storage unit is near capacity. So anything I build, I have to figure out where to keep it. Next house will be a different story!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I think most hobbies are like that.
What鈥檚 interesting about the 鈥渉obby鈥 mentality is never considering you have one... until you see your Visa statement! You are right. Hobbies are normally linked to 鈥減assions鈥 and I don鈥檛 think that always comes with budgeting.
 

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I built a couple props last year (3 faceless ghouls - so basically some chicken wire, PVC, garbage bags & "shrouds") and some smaller Halloween stuff from Walmart (hanging skeleton, screeching cat skeleton, etc.). Back in July (middle of the long hot summer in Phoenix where I mostly don't go outside for 3 months - lots of "random thoughts time), I came up w/ the idea for a much larger scale setup featuring pirate skeletons, because I really enjoyed building my ghouls and the response I got from all the kids coming through (like 200 of them). Since I don't have a lot of "leftover stuff" or "last year's stuff" to work with, I had to start planning out what I was going to build and what else I needed to pull it off - including 7 5 foot skeletons, pirate clothes, a pile of foam board, paint, tape, etc. etc. etc., and then start shopping for this stuff. I've purchased nearly everything w/ attention to price, getting lots of scores at Goodwill, Michael's and the Dollar Store, but it's still adding up to probably $750 at this point, and still not complete. Not to mention I still have a crap ton of stuff I need to build, and it's just too hot to do things outside yet.

The plus side is that I can reuse some of this stuff - like the skeletons will always be useful, and the leftover building materials (scrap wood is one my most favorite things!) The other thing is the learning process - I regularly visit the Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Oriental Trading, and other retail websites w/ Halloween stuff so I know the going prices of most things. Then I cross check things against Walmart. But then I randomly stop into a dollar store (any variation - 99 cent store, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc.) and find a bunch of nearly the same stuff, maybe someone cheaper quality, but for huge % less. And then I go home and kick myself for not finding it sooner. But I'm learning ....!
 

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Over time most people will discover that the real limit is not budget but storage.
Restless acres, You have said it Best!
Its not that the Budget is the issue or the problem,......the only thing that limits us is the lack of endless storage space.
We are presently purging tons of things that have Value to them......and are just Throwing them away, in order to Free Up a lot more storage space for our Halloween collection.
For the past 4 years, we have been meaning to have a Yard Sale, during our better months of May / June / July and August, and we are still yet to do it.
The problem is, that is the Sun is out on the weekend we are either at the Lake or at the Beach or out on our Bikes, or Boards or on the Boat.
We just can't find the time, to hold a Yard Sale.
We don't even have the time, to take it down to the Good Will........instead......it is all going into the Dumpster as soon as we return home, from our Holiday.
SPACE and STORAGE is the only thing that Limits us, from spending more and more and more.
At one time, we were able to use our Patio for Entertaining.....for Sun Tanning on and for Barbecuing on.
Now?
Our patio is the permanent home for 14 Full Size Coffins and our Halloween Graveyard Fencing!
True Story!
 

The Haunting Girl
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Lighting and cords... that was a huge expense last year. I actually told my husband the other day... do you even realize what I paid to light up a Dollar Tree tombstone? I am not ever going to say lighting is a bad investment cause you can take some very mediocre things and make them pretty stellar with good lighting. I will however say that buying multiple outdoor cords with timers and splitters is a small fortune. Thank goodness you can keep using them!
I finally was able to stop buying cords about two years ago. Before that I was buying two or three a year... They do come in handy outside of Halloween. My landlord borrows some for their Christmas lights every year. We used my extra long ones during the power outage post-Super Storm Sandy to run power from the generator to where we needed it. I've had to replace some timers over the years, but overall you can keep using them. I use them for all of my Christmas stuff inside the house during that season.
That is the thing about doing this sort of stuff... There is the obvious stuff people see and think about when it comes to haunts and Halloween displays like props, animatronics, and fancy lights. Then there's all the stuff most people never even think about like extension cords, splitters, landscape pins, timers, stakes, and tape/zip ties/etc. You factor that stuff in and suddenly you've spent what feels like a down payment on a house in some cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I don't, but I have a plan every year for the large things I want to build and whatever they cost, that's what they cost.
Sounds like most of us do this. We have some idea in our head of what we want to do and then outline what we need to do it. Use our coupons when we can and watch for sales, but at the end of the day, if it鈥檚 part of my vision, it鈥檚 happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
This year I created a savings account for Halloween, with $100 a month auto deposited into it, anything else comes from my weekly spending money. I will likely end up a little over just because I didn't start until February and October, November and December won't be included since it deposits on the last day of the month. It sounds like a lot as I type this but it goes fast!
You know I have a little account I set up that puts $75 a check in. And I normally just use it for holidays. Never considered tapping into it for Halloween. Clearly can鈥檛 do it this year, but that鈥檚 a great solution since it鈥檚 direct deposit.
 

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When I was growing up, I think @Meadow that the banks called that their Christmas Club or Christmas Savings Club. Weekly deposits that would earn you some interest. Of course that was back when opening an account could get you a toaster! Sure some of you remember that. Sure they never set anything up for Halloween, which definitely wasn鈥檛 as commercial but more homemade back then鈥攜ard decorations, real pumpkins, homemade costumes and face paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I built a couple props last year (3 faceless ghouls - so basically some chicken wire, PVC, garbage bags & "shrouds") and some smaller Halloween stuff from Walmart (hanging skeleton, screeching cat skeleton, etc.). Back in July (middle of the long hot summer in Phoenix where I mostly don't go outside for 3 months - lots of "random thoughts time), I came up w/ the idea for a much larger scale setup featuring pirate skeletons, because I really enjoyed building my ghouls and the response I got from all the kids coming through (like 200 of them). Since I don't have a lot of "leftover stuff" or "last year's stuff" to work with, I had to start planning out what I was going to build and what else I needed to pull it off - including 7 5 foot skeletons, pirate clothes, a pile of foam board, paint, tape, etc. etc. etc., and then start shopping for this stuff. I've purchased nearly everything w/ attention to price, getting lots of scores at Goodwill, Michael's and the Dollar Store, but it's still adding up to probably $750 at this point, and still not complete. Not to mention I still have a crap ton of stuff I need to build, and it's just too hot to do things outside yet.

The plus side is that I can reuse some of this stuff - like the skeletons will always be useful, and the leftover building materials (scrap wood is one my most favorite things!) The other thing is the learning process - I regularly visit the Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Oriental Trading, and other retail websites w/ Halloween stuff so I know the going prices of most things. Then I cross check things against Walmart. But then I randomly stop into a dollar store (any variation - 99 cent store, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc.) and find a bunch of nearly the same stuff, maybe someone cheaper quality, but for huge % less. And then I go home and kick myself for not finding it sooner. But I'm learning ....!
There is such a learning curve on Halloween! It鈥檚 definitely not always easy to shop for cause unless you DIY it, you can only buy what they make.

I know in my mind the first year we went a little bigger I did spend more than I probably should have on the GR witches stirring their cauldron. Every time I have worried that maybe I could have help out I remember each year they鈥檙e a hit so money well spent. I want to say that year we probably spent $400-$500. Second year, I lucked out at Lowe鈥檚 and got the Nlack Widow prop for $29 and two spooky trees for $19 each. Bought the arch and some beef netting but cords and lighting killed me. Plus $70 in lighted pumpkins cause I wanted the entire railing covered in pumpkins, I bet all in all it was another $400-$500. Fast forward to this year, I did benefit from a $250 gift card from my employer which I used to get Zaltana and Madame Misery by did drop another $150 ish at Big Lots for two wolves, a werewolf rug, and the pumpkin groundbreaker. Another $70 at Menards for supplies, $50 for the moon prop, PVC, sheets, another $18 at hobby lobby for sign materials and who knows what I鈥檝e given dollar tree.

I鈥檓 praying since my attic is so full I鈥檓 done. And next year I can rely solely on what I have and I can keep from suffering Visa statement shock!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
When I was growing up, I think @Meadow that the banks called that their Christmas Club or Christmas Savings Club. Weekly deposits that would earn you some interest. Of course that was back when opening an account could get you a toaster! Sure some of you remember that. Sure they never set anything up for Halloween, which definitely wasn鈥檛 as commercial but more homemade back then鈥攜ard decorations, real pumpkins, homemade costumes and face paint.
Yes! My credit union actually still does this. But it does make a lot of sense if you think about it. It鈥檚 not like we don鈥檛 know what day Halloween is on. And we all know we are spending something!
 

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Sounds like most of us do this. We have some idea in our head of what we want to do and then outline what we need to do it. Use our coupons when we can and watch for sales, but at the end of the day, if it鈥檚 part of my vision, it鈥檚 happening.
I don't have "some idea", I know exactly what I'm going to do. I planned it last year on Halloween night while the decor was up. I already know some of the things I'm going to do for next year but won't finalize it until the decorations are up.
 

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Restless acres, You have said it Best!
Its not that the Budget is the issue or the problem,......the only thing that limits us is the lack of endless storage space.
We are presently purging tons of things that have Value to them......and are just Throwing them away, in order to Free Up a lot more storage space for our Halloween collection.
For the past 4 years, we have been meaning to have a Yard Sale, during our better months of May / June / July and August, and we are still yet to do it.
The problem is, that is the Sun is out on the weekend we are either at the Lake or at the Beach or out on our Bikes, or Boards or on the Boat.
We just can't find the time, to hold a Yard Sale.
We don't even have the time, to take it down to the Good Will........instead......it is all going into the Dumpster as soon as we return home, from our Holiday.
SPACE and STORAGE is the only thing that Limits us, from spending more and more and more.
At one time, we were able to use our Patio for Entertaining.....for Sun Tanning on and for Barbecuing on.
Now?
Our patio is the permanent home for 14 Full Size Coffins and our Halloween Graveyard Fencing!
True Story!
If you have stuff of any sort of value that others could use, instead of throwing it in the dumpster call Goodwill or other thrift shops in your area and see if they will come and pick it up. Contact your local Boy or Girl Scouts or Jaycees, or any number of local organizations that do fund raising events and see if they may want some of your decor and have them come and pick it up. Advertise your stuff on local FB buy and sell groups, or other online buy and sell sites. You could sell the stuff as individual pieces or as a whole lot. You don't have to hold a yard sale on a weekend. Plenty of people in my neck of the woods hold them in the evenings during the week. They just have to make sure they advertise them on FB, or on our local radio's swap shop.
 
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