7 Ways Halloween Candy Gave Me A Real Taste For Money
If you venture out on Halloween trick-or-treating escapades, you may come back home with a bag full of financial wisdom.
Growing up, Halloween was all about costumes, candy, and haunted houses. In my quest for Butterfingers and Peppermint Patties, I braved life-sized plastic mummies, graveyards, and spooky music played from porch speakers.
At the end of the night, I sorted all of my candy into piles. I ranked them from favorite to least favorite, then ate one piece from each category. Then, I stored each group of candies in separate containers.
Yes, I was that kid – the one eating Halloween candy at Christmas. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I became a meticulous budgeter when I grew up.
Budgeting wasn’t the only lesson I learned from trick-or-treating, though. Somewhere between choosing a Disney princess costume and trading Milky Ways with my brothers, Halloween taught me lessons about money that have stuck with me, even after I transitioned from candy collector to candy distributor.
Self-restraint can save you money
As a teenager, I was a bit too old to go trick-or-treating, but I still had Halloween candy cravings. So I waited until November 1st, when most candy sold for half price. Today I still wait for sales instead of purchasing something the first time I see it.
Manage Resources and Time to Earn More
I always picked a trick-or-treating neighborhood with closely-clustered houses to maximize my candy “profit” for the night. As an adult, I try to use my resources – savings, income – with the greatest return on investment.
I never ate all of my candy in one night, but plenty of my classmates did. I knew I would be thrilled to have a stash in the weeks and months to come. Today I make sure not to blow a paycheck or a windfall all at once, and sticking to a budget makes my money last longer.
How much you earn depends on how hard you work
To get any candy at all, I spent the evening speed-walking between houses and humoring adults in “scary” costumes. Most grownups gave out candy to everybody, but a good number rewarded kids with the coolest costumes. You can take a look here at Cat’s ideas on how to motivate your kids to work hard.
Earning candy, like money, requires effort, and the harder you work, the more you’ll bring in.
Value is Relative
Even though Butterfingers were my favorite candy on the planet, my brothers didn’t like them, so they were worthless in trades. Just because something is valuable to one person doesn’t give it real-world value.
Contribute to charity
The day after Halloween, my school collected candy for a local charity that distributed our donations to homeless kids. Growing up with this tradition led me to value sharing some of my adult income with others.
Taxes must be paid
In exchange for making our costumes and chaperoning us on Halloween night, my parents always requested a few of their favorite candies out of our stuffed pillowcases. Instead of paying candy to my parents, today I pay taxes to the government!
If I went trick-or-treating without a plan, I ended up in neighborhoods without much candy, climbing up steep driveways for a packet of Nerds. As an adult, plans are still important to achieving my financial goals.