Americans are going to spend a scary amount of money this Halloween

Halloween spending expectations are soaring higher than a witch's broomstick this year.

After a long summer and heightened consumer confidence, total spending for the spooky season is expected to reach a record $8.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey. This is the highest amount in the survey's 11-year history. More than 171 million people in the U.S. are expected to take part in Halloween festivities, spending an average of $82.93 (up from last year's $74.34).

Costumes will likely be the largest spending category, with consumers planning to spend $3.1 billion on Halloween garb, according to the survey. And 47% of those surveyed plan to don costumes to celebrate the holiday. The survey found that 35% of consumers will scour the web in search of the perfect holiday tresses, getting inspiration on sites like Pinterest and Facebook, and the majority of shoppers (47%) plan to head to discount stores to buy their Halloween items.

RELATED: Most popular Halloween candy in every state:

Most popular Halloween candy in each state
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Most popular Halloween candy in each state

Alabama, Washington


(Photo: nmcbean/Flickr)

Alaska, Illinois


(Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL)

Arkansas, Nebraska


(Photo: JeepersMedia/Flickr)



(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for NYCWFF)



 (Photo Illustration by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Colorado, Ohio 

Milky Way

(Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL)

Connecticut, Rhode Island

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

(Photo by Julia Ewan/The Washington Post/Getty Images)



(Photo by Getty Images)

 3 Musketeers

(Photo by Julia Ewan/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Crunch Bar

(Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

100 Grand Bar

(Photo: Alamy)

Reese's Pieces

(Photo: BenRogersWPG/Flickr)


(Photo: Getty Images)


(Photo: oskay/Flickr)

Swedish Fish

(Photo: Shutterstock)


(Photo: Lynda Giddens/Flickr)

Almond Joy

(Photo: Getty Images)


(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Hershey kisses

(Photo: Getty Images)

KitKat Bar

(Photo by: Newscast/UIG via Getty Images)

Sour Patch Kids

(Photo: rusteford/Flickr)

Tootsie Roll

(Photo: Getty Images)

Jolly Rancher

(Photo By Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


(Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL)

Candy Corn 

(Photo: Getty Images)

Laffy Taffy

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


According to the survey, 94.3% will be buying candy and spending $2.5 billion on it. Consumers also plan to spend $2.4 billion on decorations (49% want to decorate their home or yard) and $390 million on greeting cards. Many consumers (46%) will also be carving pumpkins. And all this spending will happen soon — most (44.4%) expect to start shopping in the first two weeks of October.

The National Retail Federation's annual survey was conducted from September 6 to 13 by Prosper Insights & Analytics and asked 6,791 consumers about their Halloween shopping plans. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Don't Get Spooked By Your Spending

If you're one of the millions of people who plan to dish out some cash on Halloween, it's best not to spend yourself into too much debt. If you're carrying a large credit card balance that you're finding difficult to pay off, consider learning from costume DIY videos to save some cash where you can. Too much debt can affect your credit score, and keep you from acquiring loans when you need them. You can monitor your credit by getting a free credit score, updated every 14 days on

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