Toronto, ON – Retailers are now knee-deep in Halloween merchandise. Every time you walk into a store you are inundated with decorations and costumes destined to turn your adorable children into little demons. In 2009 an article on Money.ca reported Halloween is a $1.5 billion holiday in Canada and the fourth busiest shopping event of the year. Each year families incur an average of $90 on Halloween costs such as candy, costumes and a trip to the pumpkin patch. Save money by giving children a budget this year to create the Halloween experience at your home. They will learn that budgeting doesn’t have to be spooky if they plan their purchases wisely and do most of the work themselves.
“It is easy to take your children to the closest retailer to choose their Halloween costume but it’s paying the bill at the end that may be scary,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Use this Halloween as an opportunity to teach your children good money management skills by giving them a budget to create a fun experience at your home.”
Let your children plan their perfect Halloween by:
• Creating a list of what they want Halloween to look like at home;
• Determining what they need to bring their ideas to life;
• Finding supplies around the house to do-it-themselves;
• Assigning an amount to the items they must buy, making sure it fits in their budget; and,
• Reviewing their ideas one last time to see where they can save any money.
Making costumes and decorations is one of the easiest ways to stretch a dollar. It also encourages creativity, collaboration and resourcefulness amongst your children. “Offer a reward to not spend the entire budget, just because the money is allocated doesn’t mean it needs to be used,” continues Schwartz.
To help with the planning children can brainstorm with each other and research ideas on-line. Some retailers offer free or inexpensive workshops and there are a host of do-it-yourself websites available, such as:
Consolidated Credit offers free information on their website on teaching children good money management skills.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
Consolidated Credit’s unbiased debt-counselling service offers alternatives to help people get their debts under control. Alongside assisting with consolidating payments, Consolidated Credit experts focus on education and understanding. Strategies include teaching basic but vital concepts such as how to budget, understanding credit and how to manage money.
Consolidated Credit also offers a free web-based budget and debt analysis tool and a plethora of website resources for people interested in learning more about debt and credit on their own, including tips on smart spending, buying a car, taking out a student loan and a survival guide for holiday spending. Its online learning centre offers free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Make sure to download our free iPhone and iPod Budget Tool application which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.
For more information or inquiries about our debt management plans, visit www.consolidatedcredit.ca or call toll-free at 1.800.656.4079.