Sep 212009
 

Should kids’ spending money go towards Halloween candy shopping, parties, or costumes? These Halloween ideas are from Karyn Hodgens, creator of KidsSave — she helps kids learn to take charge of their money.

“The best lessons are learned in the context of kids’ everyday lives,” says Hodgens. “So let’s use Halloween as an opportunity to sneak in a few life lessons.”

Should kids spend their own money on Halloween candy for trick or treaters, Halloween parties, or Halloween costumes? Here’s what Hodgens thinks….and if you’re looking for savings on candy shopping (or Jack O’Lanterns), click the picture of assorted candy! It’ll take you to Amazon, where the possibilities for endless bulk shopping for Halloween candy (and costumes!) is almost endless…

Kids’ Halloween Ideas – Candy Shopping, Halloween Parties, and Spending Money

Should kids spend part or all of their allowance on Halloween costumes? Halloween costumes can get quite pricey. Decide in advance how much you are willing to spend, and then stick to it. If your child finds that have-to-have costume and it’s over your budget, then she can pay the difference from her own spending money. That’s usually when you find out just how important that Halloween costume is!

Should kids help buy Halloween candy to give to trick or treaters? No – unless, of course, they want to. But the candy supply should be the parents’ responsibility. 

By the way — if your child is going trick or treating, you might want to read Halloween Child Safety Tips for Kids Who Trick or Treat.

How Halloween Can Teach Kids About Spending Money

Budgeting for a Halloween party. If you’re having a Halloween party this year, let your tween or teen do all the planning and shopping with you as their guide. First, determine the budget. Using that information, have him make a list of all the needed supplies: paper plates, napkins, food/drink items, decorations, etc. To get a general idea of the cost of various items, visit Amazon or other online stores to see a price list. Teach him how to be a good consumer by comparison shopping and shopping sales.

Candy shopping for trick or treaters. Help your child figure out the best deal on bags of Halloween candy. They’ll need to consider things such as the amount and size of candy in the bags. Of course, the type of candy plays a role as well. Buying your absolute favorite (such as chocolate bars) may cost a little more. A good consumer looks at price and value.

The best time to spend money — on Halloween sales. Shopping the day after Halloween is like shopping on Boxing Day! So many cool Halloween things to choose from at prices that are as mouth-watering as the left-over trick-or-treat candy. This is a great opportunity to teach shopping sales, and, of course, planning ahead for next Halloween.

If you have any questions or thoughts on these Halloween ideas for candy shopping, Halloween parties, and spending money – please comment below.

Karyn Hodgens has a degree in child development and a multiple subjects teaching credential.  Her passion is educating parents on the importance of financial literacy for kids.

Hodgens also contributed these articles to Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals:

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (but I wish my name was Rosie Frost!). I'm a bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer. My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher, Mr Merritt, always used to ask me that. And I am happy - despite a difficult childhood (schizophrenic mother, no father, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian.

How is your life unfolding - what do you need? I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion.... Laurie

  7 Responses to “Kids’ Halloween Ideas – Candy Shopping, Halloween Parties, and Spending Money”

  1. This is a wonderful idea. My mother had poor spending habits and those poor habits rubbed off on me until I realized that I needed to change my pattern of spending.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts about dressing up as Michael Jackson on Halloween, Karyn. Interesting question!

  3. Hi Lillian,

    First of all, kudos for having your daughter start budgeting early. These are exactly the kinds of strategies we want to teach our kids.

    As far as your son and dressing as Michael Jackson, where are his feelings coming from? Honoring him or being disrespectful. If it’s the latter, then the answer would be ‘no.’

    But if he’s truly a fan and all his friends know it, then they would also know that he was dressing that way out of respect.

    I would agree with you that it was in bad taste if it just came to him as an idea…one amongst many ideas he could use as his costume. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll just move on.

    Good luck!

    Karyn

  4. Hi Karyn,

    I’ve taught our 12 year old daughter to start budgeting for her Halloween costume EARLY because she always wants the most elaborate expensive costume in the store! So she puts away part of her allowance every week, specially for her costume.

    My 14 year old son wasn’t as into Halloween. This year, however, he wants to go as Michael Jackson to a Halloween party his friend is throwing. I think this is in bad taste. What do you think? Would you let your son go as Michale Jackson?

    Lillian

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    How exciting that your son will be turning 13! I am the mom of two teenage boys, 14 and 16, and I have to say that becoming a teenager was a pretty big deal for both of them.

    So we’re just going to have to get creative with his party plans so that he can “graduate” to young adulthood with the flair he wants, while not creating undue stress for you.

    There are usually haunted houses available for the public in most towns that don’t cost too much. How about going to the haunted house as a part of his party then coming home and finishing the party there. He can put together a few icky things for his guests -for example, eyeballs in slime (jello and small round candy), where kids put their hands in a covered bowl. I suggest he do some research online for ideas; he’s 13 and, with you watching over his shoulder, is capable of coming up with ideas.

    Creating a haunted house is a huge project. It can also be a very expensive project. Tell him you’re being careful about how you spend your money and that your budget this year for the party is ($). If he wants to contribute to the budget with some of his own money, that’s his choice. But he shouldn’t have to.

    An event planner can get expensive. If you feel, though, that it’s worth your peace of mind, it may be something to look into. But not if you’re going to put the expense on your credit card and carry a balance. If you don’t have the cash for it, don’t do it. There are other things you can offer your son:

    Kids love to be creative and do their own thing. What about a party where his friends create some of the gooey, icky things? They can work in groups and come up with a spooky closet or slimy stuff and the other groups can be the guinea pigs and try it out. (My kids do something similar to this when they have sleepovers. There’s usually a lot of laughter involved. And hearing kids laugh is great medicine!) If your son has done some of the research, he can create a list of items to buy. Again, staying in budget.

    So your involvement would be to agree to the ideas your son has come up with, look over his list, then go shopping.

    Turning 13 is a big deal. I think you can help your son have a party that all his friends will enjoy while keeping your sanity and staying in budget. Kids are pretty reasonable if you’re honest and open with them. And you may be surprised at how willing they are to help out.

    I hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out.

    Karyn Hodgens
    Youth Personal Finance Educator

  6. You’re right about buying the Halloween candy too early, Stephanie! That’s my error — Karyn wrote the article, but I was the one who inserted the picture of the candy and invited readers to buy Halloween candy on sale. I never thought of it going bad for next year — thanks for pointing that out. I think Karyn was referring to other Halloween items, and I took it a step further with the candy…

    I’ll make sure she sees your question about your son’s birthday on Halloween. I suspect she’ll be able to make a suggestion or two, and if I can think of any solutions, I’ll be back!

    All best,
    Laurie

  7. This is good information, thank you.

    But I have to say that buying Halloween candy after October 31 for the following Halloween isn’t a great idea, unless you buy stuff that keeps forever. But most candy goes bad: chocolate, chips, even licorice and hard candies.

    My son is turning 13 on Halloween and doesn’t just want to have a Halloween party, he wants to do a whole haunted house. I have depression and another chronic illness, and can’t barely think about getting Halloween costumes and candy much less a Halloween party and haunted house. But it’s his 13th birthday. Should I pay someone like an event planner? I’m a single mom and don’t have alot of money but he does get an allowance. Should I make him pay for half of everything this Halloween party will cost even though it’s his birthday?

    I might ask his grandparents for help but don’t want to.

    thanks
    Stephanie