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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2008

Angela Waugaman
For Visa
703-683-5004, ext. 133

Visa Inc. Survey Finds 18% Jump in Halloween Spending

Average American will Spend $47 on Candy and Decorations

San Francisco, CA - September 17, 2008 - Despite the economic downturn, Americans are planning on spending even more this year then last on Halloween candy and decorations, a new survey released by Visa Inc. finds.

The survey shows that 75 percent of Americans plan to celebrate - and spend on - Halloween. Among those, the average person will spend $47 on candy and decorations. Disregarding the current economic headwinds, this spending represents an increase of 18% from the $40 Americans reported they were planning to spend on Halloween in a similar Visa survey last year.

"Depriving our children, and our neighbors' children, of Halloween trick or treating is not something Americans seem willing to bear," said Jason Alderman, Director of Financial Education at Visa Inc.

Additional findings in the survey include:

  • Men estimate they will spend $50 on Halloween, while women say on average they will spend $43.
  • Consumers under the age of 45 will spend $17 more than those 45 and over. The younger group estimates their Halloween spending at $55 and the older will spend $38 on average.
  • Urbanites ($51) intend on spending $8 more than those who live in the suburbs ($43), and suburbanites are spending $4 more on average than those who live in rural areas ($39).
  • Parents with children 18 or under living at home are planning on spending an average of $57 on Halloween candy and decorations compared to $40 for anyone without children living at home.

Visa believes using opportunities like Halloween spending as a way to begin or continue the money conversation within the home is critical.

"While spending $47 may not break the bank for many families, it is an ideal 'teachable moment' where parents can instill in their children the value of budgeting and spending wisely," said Alderman.

To help parents turn shopping for Halloween candy and decorations into a lesson about financial responsibility, Visa has developed the following list of budgeting tips:

  1. Tell children what the overall budget is for Halloween spending and where that number comes from. Will it mean no movies this weekend? Or did it require saving for several weeks?
  2. Have them figure out how much candy you gave out last year and how much you need to buy this year.
  3. Encourage kids to consider ways to cut costs and manage cash flow, like clipping coupons, looking for sales, or comparison shopping.
  4. Let children pick out the candy and add up the costs as they go along in the store. Stress that getting a more expensive candy means getting less and that there might not be enough for all of the trick or treaters.
  5. If they are adamant about getting more expensive candy that exceeds the budget, tell them they will have to pay the extra cost out of their own pocket.
  6. Reward their frugality by telling kids that if they come in under budget, you will split the savings with them.
  7. Continue the budgeting lesson by getting kids involved in the weekly grocery budgeting and shopping.

To help consumers budget for holidays or other financial events, Visa Inc. offers parents, teachers and consumers of all ages free access to a financial education program called Practical Money Skills for Life. Practical Money Skills for Life is an award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The program contains three comprehensive sections, complete with money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home, in the classroom or at work. It also contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of other budget calculators and interactive games.

Visa Inc. also runs What's My Score (, a leading higher education consumer awareness program. The website guides college students through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.

About Visa
Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Angela Waugaman at +1 703-683-5004, ext. 133.

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