Kids’ Finance Lessons from Your Halloween Candy

Another Halloween is behind us, and we have enough candy to last through Christmas!

The girls have carefully sorted their haul and proceeded with the annual tradition of bartering, negotiating, and trading. They’ve been taxed, they’ve freely gifted our favorites, and they’ve worked together to be sure everyone has what they “need.”

What our girls don’t even realize, though, is they’re learning serious lessons about finance along the way. Even the youngest has quickly picked up on value — Dum-Dums and Tootsie Rolls are obviously not worth as much as Reese’s or Snickers.

She’s okay with that, though, because her trade strategy is to end up with the largest candy pile possible. And, so they’re also learning that everyone has a different view on money.

Some would rather have a lot of little things than save up for something big. Others are fine giving up cable and dining, if it means they can afford a vacation at the end of the year. There are those who will reject the idea of trading in their sodas and lattes and those who will gladly trade it all in for something more valuable.

The bartering gets pretty serious around here. The teen only accepts chocolate in her trades. The youngest will trade nearly anything for a large stash of candy. The tween sorts and attempts to collect an equal amount of each type of candy. I just know the girls’ developing negotiation skills will come in handy one day.

The girls are also learning about being responsible citizens. They readily hand over the required parental candy tax (I collected a nice stash of Reese’s, Snickers, and Skittles tonight!) and showcased their generosity by sharing a little candy with their older sister who missed the first round of trick or treating.

Of course, all the trading and taxing still leaves them with more candy than any 10 kids should eat, but I guess that’s what it’s all about!

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