Halloween: More than kids, costumes and candy

Ala Charnyshova | Dreamstime.com 

Spooky . . . Strange .  . .  Scary . . . Sinister . . . Spine-tingling Halloween is a holiday that has caught on around the world. From old Celtic customs that marked the end of harvest season, harkening long, dreary winters, many cultures have adopted this popular fall holiday. Soon the season’s familiar colors of orange and black will decorate houses, yards and public places everywhere.  

Macabre symbols and scary scenes – witches with cauldrons, slinky skeletons, ghastly ghostscobwebs on porches, and cemetery headstones – will appear everywhere. On October 31, a surprising number of adults and kids will go to school  or work wearing costumes, depicting everything from underworld creatures to their future dream career choices, fairy princesses, even food like hot dogs or pizzas.                                                                                                                                   

What hidden financial lessons can families find in Halloween?                                 

It’s better to give than to receive. Most adults have experienced the heady feeling that giving generates: “It’s better to give than to receive.” However, that’s a hard lesson for many children to learn. Halloween may be just the right time to talk to kids about sharing their good fortune . . . and saving for the future.

Sharing is caring. Giving something of ours to someone else connects us to them and shows that we care. Tell kids that’s why their neighbors, churches and other local organizations open their doors to pass out treats on Halloween. Before young tricksters leave home toting their pumpkin containers or black-cat bags, remind them that they, too, should be ready to share their evening’s loot with family and friends.

Saving is wise. An even bigger lesson to be learned on Halloween, though, is the value of saving for the future. Remind children as they spread out their haul and start counting candy bars that some treats should be set aside for another day. Rather than gorging themselves with chocolate, suggest that they freeze a few goodies for later when candy won’t be so plentiful. Provide a big dish or glass jar for each child to fill and keep on the counter for daily treats over the next few weeks.

Instant gratification leads to later issues. If children are allowed to eat a whole bag of candy at once, they are likely to get into wanting instant gratification, or fulfilling all their desires immediately. They will want everything NOW. It will be harder for them to save anything, and they’re unlikely to put away money for better things later in life. As adults, they’re more apt to blow whole paychecks vs. saving for the future.

For children, life is a learning game. Raising kids to be responsible adults who will use money and other assets wisely throughout life is a matter of finding lessons in each phase of their development. Halloween can be more than kids, costumes and candy. It can be a great life lesson in sharing, caring and saving.

Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by Advancd Asset Management LLC                          

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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP               

4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2               Grandville, MI 49418                             For permission to reprint:                     rvansurksum@aamllc.com  

Phone: (616) 531-5220                             Cell: (616) 450-8439     

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Advanced Asset Management
4555 Wilson Ave SW, Suite 2
Grandville, MI 49418

Phone: (616) 531-5220