Halloween on a Budget

We are excited about Halloween at our house. The kids had their costumes picked out in August (my oldest will be a princess, youngest will be a ladybug) and can hardly wait to go trick-or-treating. This will be our first year to officially trick-or-treat since my oldest is only three! Our weekend is full of local fall festivals and our candy is ready to hand out. With all the festivities, Halloween can get a little pricey. Here are some tips to stay on budget this Halloween:

  • Make the costumes at home- I remember my grandmother making most of our costumes growing up. She would sew each one, and it probably took her hours to complete. Unfortunately, the sewing gene did not get passed along to me, so here are some easy (most require no sewing at all) and inexpensive homemade costume ideas.
  • Making candy instead of buying candy- A bulk bag of Halloween candy is expensive! If you get enough to feed a neighborhood of kids, you’re looking at about $20! Why not bake some cookies, make some rice krispie treats, or dip some caramel apples instead? You can get the kids involved and individually wrap treats to hand out. You will save money and spend some quality time with the family.
  • Decorate with things around the house- I love the idea of using mason jars or milk jugs to decorate. In the South, who doesn’t have a few extra mason jars?

What kind of Halloween traditions do you have in your family? Do you take the kids trick-or-treating? Decorate the house? Or are you more into hayrides and fall festivals?  

If you have pictures from Halloween we would love to see them!! Simply upload them to our Facebook page at facebook.com/bankoffayettecounty.


Employee Spotlight: Larry Bishop


Where did you grow up? I grew up in Middleton, Tennessee.

What are some of your hobbies? Grandkids are pretty much my main hobby, I spend as much time with them as possible.  My wife and I are big University of Memphis basketball fans and usually attend all home games.  Other than that, I’ve been known to collect a knife or two.

Where did you go to school? I graduated from Middleton High School, then University of Memphis.  Later I graduated from the Tennessee School of banking at Vanderbilt and the graduate school of banking  at LSU.

Are you married? Kids? Pets? Next month, Kim and I will have been married 36 years (bless her heart).  We have a son Adam and daughter Amanda and 4 terrific grandkids.  Sorry, no pets!

What’s your favorite book? I enjoy any book by Lee Child.

What TV show do you watch religiously? I’ll watch sports and enjoy a comedy but there’s nothing that’s “must see” for me.

How long have you worked at the Bank? I’ve been here 3 ½ years.  Prior to coming here, I was with another bank in the county for 26 years.

What do you do at the Bank? I’m a lender, primarily consumer loans.

What’s your favorite thing about the Bank? This group I work with is  an amazing combination.  They can play hard but they always work hard and are a joy to be around.  Despite their remarks about my “advanced age”, they help keep me young!

Employee Spotlight: Leigh Ann Nance


Where did you grow up? I grew up in Collierville, Tennessee.

What are some of your hobbies? Hiking, riding 4 wheeler, boating , hunting, fishing (just about anything outdoors) and taking Kaleigh to gymnastic and dance.

Where did you go to school? Collierville High School, Southwest Community college and the U of M.

Are you married? Kids? Pets? I’m married to Landon Nance ( 5 ½ years), we have a      3 ½ year old Daughter named Kaleigh Reese, and we have 2 cats and a bunch of chickens.

What’s your favorite book? What are you reading now? About the only books I read these days are Fancy Nancy, books about Princesses and any other one Kaleigh Wants to hear before bedtime.

What TV show do you watch religiously? I don’t usually even sit down to watch even an hour of TV a week but I record Greys Anatomy and private practice and watch them when I can.

How long have you worked at the Bank? I’ve currently been at the Bank for almost 6 ½ years.

What do you do at the Bank? I am a New Account Representative/Teller.

What’s your favorite thing about the Bank? I love working for the Bank and all the people that I work with here. We are one big family !


Budgeting 102: More Tips

If you are still working out the kinks in your budget, these tips may help…

1) Give yourself some time. After creating your initial list of income and expenses, monitor your spending for at least a few more weeks to catch the things you forgot. Little things really do add up and if they are not taken into account, your budget may not hold up under the pressure.

2) Prioritize your list. Once you do have a complete list of expenses, put them in your own order of importance. You may find that you were not spending in line with your values. If you have a goal of early retirement, or paying for your kids college, it should be reflected in your spending. Are you planning for your goals, or spending it on other stuff…like lattes?

3) Don’t beat yourself up. If you get too hard on yourself for past mistakes, you will fail at creating a new working system. Accept that mistakes happen and try to work up some excitement for creating a new financial future for yourself.

4) Give yourself some fun money.  We all need a little money for the stuff we just want to buy. My husband and I allocate allowance for each of us, and we get it in cash at the beginning of every month. We can spend our money on whatever we want, and can’t comment on how the other spends their allowance. If you don’t have any spending money, you will feel deprived. Completely depriving ourselves can lead to huge splurges in the future that may derail a budget altogether. Do not set yourself up to fail.

5) Remember the “Miscellaneous”. Every budget needs a small amount dedicated to stuff that happens. Tires pop. Kids get sick. Dogs hurt themselves. Stuff just happens. If you don’t have money in your budget set aside for the “darn its”, you’ll find another category taking the hit.

6) Automate as much as possible. I love automating my savings so I don’t even see the money before we squirrel it away. It’s much harder to spend something you never really felt like you had. Why do you think the government takes their cut out before you even see your paycheck? If you automatically fund a Roth IRA or whatever, you’ll be truly surprised how much you can save up with just a little time.

Hope these tips help keep you on track. Good luck!

*Some of these tips are from www.budgetingthefunstuff.com.