My friend and I were reminiscing about all the candy we would shove in our mouths growing up after Halloween. Trading candy with friends, bragging about which houses gave the KING size bars, and hiding our stash from our siblings! It’s all a part of what makes Halloween so fun! BUT now that we are moms, we have different views on it…that it is just too much candy for our kids to eat!
Is there a way to slow down the candy intake? Is there a way to use all that candy as a teachable lesson?
Here’s what we came up with since we KNOW you are wondering the same thing! Stop the candy madness, put an end to the sugar high meltdowns, and teach a money lesson. Let’s teach our children the value of money using candy as our currency! I know a crazy idea, but stay with me…
Before we dive in, let’s explore how you want your children to view money. What are the money values you want your kids to learn and live by? Discuss this with your spouse before you take the next step to help ensure you both are on the same page! Do you even know what your spouse’s money values are? The key is to come from a place of understanding with your spouse, and decide together how you want your kids to behave with their own money. This is the best way to help make sure your money values will be inherited along with your money. I see too many families break up over money because their parents never taught them financial values. Or I see an entire inheritance spent super fast after being inherited because the children (adult children!) didn’t know what to do with it. Use Halloween as your chance to get a jumpstart on this conversation with your spouse but also with your children!
Next think about the moments when money is brought up in your household when the children are present. Do you pay the bills in front of them and complain? Do you celebrate when you receive your paycheck with them? Always be conscious of whether it is in a positive manner or a negative one. Is it followed by a fight, anger, or resentment? Or is it in a positive light where you are congratulating each other on your money successes? While speaking at Rutgers University, I asked the students to raise their hands if their parents ever fought about money. Every single student raised their hand, which says a lot about how we grow up with money. Change the script and keep money in a positive light for your children, so they aren’t scared or intimidated by it!
Third, how can you make money an interactive topic where your children are able to participate? Are there exercises and discussions your children can do with you and by themselves to help them learn how money works in our society. Here is a wonderful learning experience using candy! Set up a “shop” at home using candy as currency is a great way to use Halloween and the unending supply of candy to teach your children about the value of money:
Small amount of candy = Small toy purchase
Medium amount of candy= Medium toy purchase
Large amount of candy = Large toy purchase
It’s a great way to give your children an incentive to eat less candy, learn a valuable lesson and be rewarded for it!
Money has become invisible in our society today. At my church, we can donate online for the weekly masses, while we do this, I always have our daughter put cash in the basket during every mass. I want her to see the physical act of giving back instead of just talking about it. How can you do the same in your household?
I’d love to hear your take on it, share your story, or insights! Comment below to share your experiences with our community!