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Cornelius News

Parents can use Halloween candy to teach kids about personal finance

Nov. 2. Here’s advice on how parents can use the process of collecting and allocating Halloween candy to teach children about personal finance.

Two experts gave this advice to WalletHub.

Cost, quantity and math

“Lessons on personal finance need to be age appropriate. For younger children, learning basic skills in the areas of mathematics, logic, and executive function skills are the building blocks of personal finance. Families can start children off by involving them in the decisions about decoration and candy purchases, pointing out costs and quantities. In many places, pumpkins are sold based on price per pound. Pointing out how weight is connected to measurement is a learning opportunity. Involving children in purchasing decisions and making the decision-making process transparent is always a good idea. Post-Halloween, once the treats are collected, mathematics can also come in the form of having children count and sort their candy.”

Martha Buell, Ph.D. – Professor; CEI Senior Faculty Fellow for Engaged Scholarship, University of Delaware

Is your child a spender or a saver?

“Children have natural money personalities, and observing the way they handle their Halloween booty is a great learning opportunity for parents. At its most basic form, children are either naturally ‘spenders’ or ‘savers.’ Once a parent gains a better idea of their children’s money personalities – and they will all be different – the parent can begin to provide some structure around how the candy is eaten, shared, and given away. Setting guidelines could include a piece of candy given away or shared for every two eaten. Or, only allowing it after homework and chores are done and in limited quantities to teach about delayed gratification. And, do not forget the opportunity to teach kids about taxes. ‘Dad tax’ is what we call it in our house. So, Dad helped pay for the costumes, shuttle the kids around, and fix the cheap costume malfunctions throughout the night, so Dad rightfully gets his percentage of the candy.”

Luke Erickson – Associate Professor, University of Idaho, Boise Center