Cosplay Series: #Tips and Tricks for Budgeting in #Cosplay

Cosplay is EXPENSIVE. From the fabric, the wigs, details of each material, the makeup, the props, and at times, the conventions, too! Before you know it – you’re already broke. This is where budgeting for cosplay comes in. It’s a vital skill to have as a cosplayer, here are some tips and tricks to manage your money as a cosplayer.


Before anything else, everyone should know that Cosplay is a HOBBY. It’s not supposed to be your priority. Which means, you should also put your money into savings, you shouldn’t be using your credit cards like crazy which will result you to debt.

AGAIN, COSPLAY IS A HOBBY and it is not necessary for your survival – focus on your basic needs first.

If you have the means to put cosplay as a hobby, here are some tips and tricks into the basic budgeting in cosplaying – the way where in you don’t really need to put all your savings into cosplay.

1. Choose your costume carefully – If you only have a low budget, focusing on a costume with hardcore details maybe out of the question. Remember, the more detailed a costume is, the more expensive it gets. Always try to do something simpler.


For example, school uniforms – it’s a great choice. You can also use basic clothings used in your favorite anime or cartoon show like Pokemon or Naruto. It’s still cosplay, but you can find their clothes at the mall – just try to mix and match. We all have our favorite horror movie or anime and cartoons, too. These are actually pretty easy as there is always a store which often have costumes ready made for you. Plus, it’s perfect for halloween! Check out for your halloween cosplay outfit, its pretty affordable and its free shipping, too!

2. If you can make your own costume – If you are able to make costume for yourself, it will be a lot convenient and cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. Plus, you can actually make this as an extra job for more commissions. After all, believe it or not, there are a lot of cosplayers out there who always needs a tailor for their costumes. Thus, knowing the basics of sewing can help you in more than ways than one!


3. Create a budget for your costume – Start with an outline of what you will need for a costume. Pick a character, check to see what you will need from it.

Do you have to use wigs or can you use your own hair for it?
What is the color of the eyes?
Do you need contact lenses?
Do you need a tanner?

So again, remember that choosing your character and the costume is very important. It mostly says how much you will be spending based on the character and its details of its costume. When I say costume, that includes everything from the costume itself, to the wigs, contact lenses and even if they have any other props or accessories.


If you are ordering online, let’s say a $20 costume – that’s pretty affordable but there are times you may opt to customize it yourself, like the add-on of props to your character. Don’t forget the shipping fee, too!

If you are choosing a very simple character I bet $50-$100 budget will be enough, it could be even less. A costume with a bit of hardcore would cost you at least $200 or less if you are budgeting wisely.

4. Plan Ahead! – One of the tricks into cosplay is do a a lot of planning. You don’t want to spend too much cash all in one go. You can start to buy a wig first and a few weeks later, buy a fabric or choose a cheap costume, you might even find one to rent with and so on. This puts a lot less strain on your wallet.

5. Scavenge – To be honest, you don’t really need to buy everything outside. Check everything at home first. Your kitchen, your closet, your garage. You might find a few things useful that you can use for your costume. A clothing you may want to throw away can always be used for fabric. A tissue box can be made as a prop – get creative!

6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! – If you have already purchased a costume before, try to check if you can re-create or use it for something else. Most likely, you can! You can save a lot from this! What also helps is finding a character that have a similar hairstyle as yours. That saves a lot of time and you didn’t even have to used at least $20-$50 for a wig, right?


I hope these tricks have helped you in case you decide to pursue cosplaying. Again, cosplaying can get really expensive but there are definitely ways to make it affordable to your budget no matter what that budget is – from either having just $50 or less! You can do cosplay as long as you budget right. Good cosplay budgeting always comes from good financial practices from day to day life not just for cosplaying, do remember that!

There are tons of books for financial practices to follow, take some time to read and follow through! It will help you, not just as a cosplayer but as you know, an individual – a human being. ;) Learn how to avoid debt and pay out loans, these are very important. Before cosplaying, you need financial practices first and do them! Good luck!

September 2nd, 2014
Filed Under: Fashion & Style, Features, How to, Inspiration, Lifestyle
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76 Comments to Cosplay Series: #Tips and Tricks for Budgeting in #Cosplay

  1. Its so awesome that you make helpful tips like these for budding cosplayers. I have always been so amazed where cosplayers get the budget for their costume.

  2. Looking good there!! I was at Anime Expo in Los Angeles in 2011 and was amazed by all of the detailed cosplay outfits. People I spoke to said they would plan for months to pull together their outfit.

  3. Great tips! I like that you include it is a hobby, and that people should have other priorities and focus on saving money as well.

  4. Making your own costume would still require some costs of the material to be used as well as your time and effort. I think it would be best to buy used costumes and search online for unique finds.

  5. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I see girls like this when I go to comic con’s, but other than that, I didn’t realize people dressed up like that.

  6. I have a friend that is a great cosplay fan – he’d love this post for sure! Will make sure I share this with him. Thanks :)

  7. The tips are very practical. Good job! I know how expensive those costumes and props can be and the points you shared are spot on.

  8. Love your tips this way cause I thought, it’s very expensive for the get-up. More tips for you in coming days.

  9. maria

    Great tips! Looks like a lot of fun. I bet it is something fun to do with other friends as well.

  10. Your blog is the first I’d ever heard of this. Looks like fun.

  11. OMG, I LOVE cosplay! Great tips for budgeting! Thanks!

  12. I’ve never been into Cosplay myself, but I love seeing all the cool detail that goes into it when others do it. These are great tips!

  13. i can’t imagine a 40 year old man performing a cosplay, haha.
    got to go now and share this to my kids for them to be creative and lesser cost for us, haha.

  14. Very nice! These are great photos too, I’ll be pinning them on Pinterest to some of my fashion boards.

  15. I have no blessed idea what this is. I must be getting old.

  16. Catherine S

    I love all the pictures and thank you for the great tips. I have a lot of friends that Cosplay

  17. I find people who can do this very interesting. It’s a fun thing to see.

  18. I love looking at them Cosplay pictures! Thanks for sharing the tips on how to reduce cost when customizing…

  19. Bonnie @WEMAKE7

    Never heard of that before. You look really good though. =) Great outfits.

  20. You’ve given some great tips. My favorite is to take care of your basic needs first.

  21. Chrissy

    I’d love to do some Cosplay, it seems like a lot of fun! Great tips!

  22. Cosplay is new to me but I guess this would be great for those who love to do it.

  23. I wish I could a wig to change my looks once in a while hehehe.

  24. I have never heard of this term before but have seen the costumes.. or I actually never knew they were costumes but people’s every day wear. They are cute!

  25. These are so neat. I love seeing all the cool details that go into it.

  26. I have a friend who makes her own cosplay costumes, she makes them on a really small budget and is amazing at it :) x

  27. Rebecca Swenor

    Love your tips and Cosplay seems like so much fun. I love your costumes. Thanks for sharing.

  28. I’ve recently heard about this hobby, sounds like something fun to do!

  29. Beautiful costumes! I love that you encourage reusing and creativity!

  30. Recycling and scavenging can be so important when it comes to saving money on costume items. I love your costume and makeup in the second photo. :)

  31. I have never really thought of doing Cosplay. I do know it is super popular with the teens and 20 year olds. thank you for reminding them to set a budget. Us moms want to be sure our kids have fun but save some money too.

  32. Dana

    I always wondered how much Cosplay costs, I’ve never tried it myself because I always thought it was super expensive. But these are some great tips on budgeting for Cosplay, I might try it out myself!

  33. These tips will be very helpful to my friends who are big fans of cosplay. ^_^

  34. These tips are great, I have never heard of Cosplay but these costumes are super cute.

  35. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I must live under a rock because I have never heard of this!

  36. Krystal

    I didn’t know it was so expensive. Seems fun though.

  37. Wanderin Poet

    It looks like a lot of fun.

  38. I think it’s important to have a budget for any hobby that interests you. It will help you enjoy it so much more.

  39. I do not really understand why people find cosplay fun, but hey, different strokes, right? Hehe. You look very well suited to your costumes. Very cute.

  40. I have to admit I have never heard of this before. Sounds very interesting, thank you for sharing.

  41. This looks like a lot of fun! I love costumes, but I usually save them for Halloween or a great party in Vegas!

  42. I find cosplaying as an art of displaying who you want to be as a second character. I’ve never tried it and don’t know which one I’d best portray.

  43. So interesting! Love reading about what other people do!

  44. it can indeed add up pretty quickly and be discouraging.
    it seems like a lot of fun

  45. Cosplay looks like so much fun! A friend of mine from college does it and she always has a blast! Thanks for the tips

  46. When you have a hobby such as cosplay, it is wise to learn how to scavenge and make use of the things you have. My sister works in a beauty supply store and wigs are EXPENSIVE!!

  47. My brother spent a year making his first cosplay of ZERO in full armor. He won an honorable mention award at otakuthon for it. It really is a lot of work and extremely expensive but he enjoyed it thoroughly!

  48. You are very good at what you do I must say, and I appreciate you sharing this with us. I was totally fascinated. Something I could never do to say the least. Wonderful pictures too! You’re a lovely young lady.

  49. Those are some really great costumes. Love the makeup too.

  50. Cosplaying is so expensive if you’re not careful. I’m planning on trying to make a simple one for next year :)

  51. Rizza Kho

    You’re right, it’s expensive! It’s always better to put it together on your own. Much cheaper and way more detailed.

  52. Looks like a fun hobby. I’m a bit too old for that :-)

  53. I hope to do cosplay once in this lifetime. It’s part of my bucket list!

  54. My daughter loves wearing costume.I bet she would want to do cosplay someday. Thanks for the tips you shared.

  55. Cosplay seems to have a very loyal following that continues to grow! These are some great tips for beginners or those wanting to join!

  56. I didn’t know people did this. Always good to find ways to save money whether it be a hobby or something else.

  57. Melissa Smith

    I’m not into Cosplay at all, but I do like checking out the outfits that people wear. Some of them look like they were insanely expensive!

  58. Good tips. I used to want to cosplay as a younger teen.

  59. jane

    reduce reuse recycle is a great one! i dont cosplay but i love trying this clothe sin the shop with my sister hehe there is a lot of store here in mlaaysia about cosplay

  60. I’ve never heard of cosplay before now. Sounds like a growing industry that is becoming popular. I didn’t realize how much money goes into this. I’ll have to learn more about it. :)

  61. Good tips on using your own hair if it’s similar to create a style and save on a wig. The second picture is very cute!

  62. I’ve always thought cosplay would be really fun to do! These are really great tips!

  63. I never knew wha cosplay was! Thanks for the tips. THere is always a way to save.

  64. Kristen

    Wow, some of your costumes are pretty detailed!

  65. I really admire Cosplayers for their creativity. So, I can understand that it can get quite expensive if one is not careful about budgeting and planning properly. I don’t think I have what it takes to dress like a Cosplayer though. I’m afraid I’ll look too silly. Haha!

  66. Mina Slater

    It’s great that you’re helping cosplayers out with budgeting tips. I never knew how expensive it could get until I spoke with a friend of mine who cosplays. I was shocked at how much he spends!

  67. Great tips for those who do cosplay – great way to think of the hobby and still get quality. You can always add more detail later!

  68. You’ll save a lot of money if you can make your own costume!

  69. it’s really hard to cosplay on a budget. as in. i have a lot of friends who do and even if they’re just sporting a common uniform, the amount of frills and accessories needed to fully capture the character they want doesn’t come in cheap! >XD thanks for the tips!

  70. I would say a lot of those tips would also apply to the average waredrobe! I love watching shows on how people create and individualize their cosplay costumes. So impressive!

  71. I think it’s really better to do your own costume. You’ll be able to customize better.

  72. Eliz Frank

    First off, are those photos of you? They are terrific. I’m glad you are giving advice as I imagine some people can go overboard with their costumes. I find the whole scene fascinating.

  73. Thank you for the tips! Halloween is coming and My son would love this.

  74. great tips for those who are into it! I am not a fan but i sure admire people who takes time to do it.

  75. Cosplay seems a fun thing!! Thanks for sharing these amazing tips

  76. I think this kind of hobby is becoming popular these days. I see it on commercials on TFC and we also have comic con conference each yr here in san diego which is similar to this kind of activities.

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