Talking about money with kids isn’t always easy. But you can use a holiday like Halloween to get creative and start that important conversation. Financial professional Mindy McIntosh talks with WJRT on Sunday, October 29th in the 9AM hour about four ways kids can learn valuable money lessons this Halloween.

Halloween isn’t a holiday focused around gifts but Americans are spending a lot on costumes, decorations and candy. All that spending makes it the perfect opportunity and candy can make the money lessons fun and interactive!

  • The Hunt: Kids take Trick or Treating seriously and will probably take ownership of the candy because they earned it by going door to door. Parents can take that idea and teach the importance of hard work and achieving a goal. Discuss with the child what a job is and how you earn money for going to work.
  • The Save: Once you are home from trick or treating, talk about priorities and values. Many kids will want eat the candy all at once. Teaching kids not to eat all the candy at once will help translate to other areas, like not spending all your money at once.
  • The Trade: Kids will get all kinds of different treats from tootsie rolls, skittles, twix, snickers, the list goes on and on. But everyone has a favorite. Siblings will often trade with each other or they could trade with the neighbors or at school. Use this opportunity to talk about bartering and what it means to exchange with another child for an item that is more valuable to them.
  • The Give: Children may not be naturally inclined to give away their money, but helping others is a good habit to get into. Teach your kids about the “Halloween Candy Buyback” drive going on. Buybacks are traditionally at dentist offices. The child donates their candy in exchange for cash, toothbrushes or other creative exchanges and the candy then goes to troops overseas. Establishing a pattern of giving will help kids remember to include it in their budget as they grow older.

Click here for a guide on how to talk to kids ages 3-18 about money.