Use Halloween Candy To Educate And Annoy Your Kids

Sometimes parents like to drive their kids crazy by showing up on Facebook, or listening to rap music, or professing that Zac Efron is a cutie-patooty, but Grad Money Matters suggests a whole new level of annoyance: use their Halloween candy to teach them about money. Here’s how: on Halloween night, you buy all their candy off of them, then give them a pre-set limit of how much they can spend each day to buy choice pieces back, and as the days go along, you drop the “prices” on the candy so that they can purchase more if they want or forego the sweets in order to increase their savings.

In the meantime, you can secretly substitute the real candy with carob and bouillon cubes. Or better yet, put on their Halloween costumes and steal the money back from them and eat all the candy, so you can teach them about the dangers of identity theft.

“Use Halloween to Teach Kids Money Lessons” [Grad Money Matters]


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  1. Takkun says:

    Sheer brilliance. I may have children simply for this very reason.

  2. SOhp101 says:

    The author sounds like he’s never had children in his life.

    Better remember to confuse your kids even more with future/present values, ordinary annuities/annuity dues, interest rates, market rates, service charges, and MORE!

  3. timmus says:

    What if they just go take that money and go to the Dollar General to get a $2 jumbo pack of candy?

  4. JessiesMind says:

    So, let me get this straight.
    1. Take kids trick-or-treating. YAY!
    2. Steal their candy. BOO!
    3. Tell them they may purchase it back from me (even though they essentially did all the hard work of knocking on doors, hauling the goods around and remembering to say “thank you”.) BOO!
    4. They buy it back with money I’ve loaned them and I charge a fair 13.5% “bite” out of each purchase. Why not teach them about loans and interest rates while we’re at it, eh? BOO!
    5. I’m down cash, up a few jeans sizes and I’ve got sugar-high kids running around the joint. BOO!
    Yeah, I’m not seeing anything good about this idea. Thanks, but no thanks.

  5. mconfoy says:

    And the reason to torture my kids on this holiday they look forward to so much every year is what again? being a cruel parent teaches them good life lessons?

  6. darkclawsofchaos says:

    if I knew my parents were gonna do this, I would sell it piece by piece for a high price, and when they expect me to buy the candy at an even higher, price, I just got to some local drug store and buy the same amount of candy and still have cash left over

  7. delphi_ote says:

    @timmus: No doubt. Especially with the post-Halloween candy discounts!

  8. BigNutty says:

    Are you crazy! Don’t torture your kids on such a fun night. There will be plenty of other opportunities to teach your kids.

    This is the night when you let them eat whatever they want and let them get sick. That’s the way to educate them about candy.

    If my parents did what you suggest, I would have got even somehow. Maybe hide the car keys or something like that. That’s the trick they would deserve.

  9. djyox says:

    Kids, turn off spungebob, its time to learn about savings!

    High school or Jr. High school is where kids need to learn about this stuff, not 2nd grade. Dumb advice, this guy must have had a slow day.

  10. My dad used to do something similar, but the only lesson I learned was that he was a greedy bastard.

  11. swunder says:

    Wouldn’t work in my house. I’d end up eating all the inventory before I could sell it back to them.

  12. North of 49 says:

    we make our kids pay “Parent tax” when it comes to their treats before they even get any candy. We inspect it and take our taxes then let them go nuts on Hallowe’en but no more from then on.

  13. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I’m glad my parents didn’t believe in turning everything into a “lesson.”. My brother and I would take our pillowcase out for trick or treating, bring it back full, and then gorge ourselves on candy for days and days until our teeth were tingly and we were puking sugar. It was awesome!

  14. RandomHookup says:

    All Halloween candy goes half-price the day after, so perhaps your kids can simply buy more at a better price by heading to Walgreens. Also perhaps teaching parents a lesson about the nature of the free market.

  15. RokMartian says:

    You can extend this concept to other holidays. Let them open their presents at Christmas, and then take it all back and in return give them back the Halloween candy. (Throw a couple of candy canes in there to teach them how to accrue interest.)

    If they find enough eggs at Easter, then they might be able to earn the presents back.


  16. nuch says:

    I can’t believe the negative response to this article. I wish my parents would have done something like this so that I would have a) learned the value of saving instead of spending indiscriminately every time I see something I want, and b) not eaten so much damn candy. My bank account and my weight would both have benefited in the long run.

  17. Also perhaps teaching parents a lesson about the nature of the free market.

    @RandomHookup: HA! That sounds like an episode of a family sitcom.

    …then give them a pre-set limit of how much they can spend each day…

    If you’re telling them how much they can spend how does that teach them how to save their money?

    I think if the kid went out trick or treating then they earned the candy and taking it from them when they haven’t done anything wrong is jerkish.

  18. hi says:

    So the kids are supposed to learn to take things from people, who have worked for those things, and then charge those people to get them back.

    This would just teach them to not like halloween.

    Kids learn about saving by doing odd jobs.. mowing grass, raking leaves, etc…

  19. says:

    once you buy the candy off of them, they’re just going to spend that money on video games, then eat their candy when the parents aren’t looking, because you know they’re going to find where they’re hiding it. kids always do.

    maybe this could work for some kids, but this wouldn’t have worked for me because i almost never spent my allowences anyway. i still have that spend-a-phobia my parents instilled into me. it’s a blessing and a curse.

  20. AD8BC says:

    For the love of Pete, let them eat their candy.

    I used to immediately hide the Snickers. My mom would steal all of those.

    I let her eat the candy corn and those awful little peanut butter kisses.


  21. B says:

    When I was a kid, I used halloween candy to learn about money. I’d bring my candy to school and sell it to the other kids. I made a pretty tidy profit until the principal found out and busted me for soliciting.

  22. @B: THERE we go. THERE’s the market lesson kids should be learning! Well done.

    My dad was a DICK and he never did this Halloween-for-parental-profit thing to me. Doesn’t this kind of make parents into pimps, since it brings “currency” (candy) into a relationship where there wasn’t any through the work of the child, and then creates a closed, circular market where the aforementioned pimps are the only ones who are going to make any sort of profit?

  23. Chicago7 says:

    You don’t give them actual MONEY, you fools! You give them scrip!

    This way, it will teach them not JUST about money, but about what it was like to live in a company town and buy only from the company store! AWESOME!

    Maybe we will get more classics songs out of it, like: “I owe my soul to the company stoooooore!”

  24. SaraAB87 says:

    I wouldn’t ruin halloween for the kids, there are other opportunities to teach the kids about money and much better ways of doing it. There are certain days of the year where kids should be able to have fun and halloween is one of them. We shouldn’t be so uptight about raising perfect kids that we take away all the fun of being a kid because they will be grown up so fast and then you will wish you would have let them be a kid just a little bit.

    Plus your kids will hate you if you mess with their halloween candy, I can understand limiting the amount they eat, I think every parent does that. Try to be a cool parent, then your kids won’t hate you and you will get along better with your kids.

  25. SVreader says:

    The parents could even make a huge price drop a few months later and piss off their early candy adopter kids.

  26. Dilbitz says:

    Jesus! JUST LET THE KIDS HAVE FUN! Hell, my parents would start handing out MY candy when they ran out! I still haven’t forgave them for that. Bastards.

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    Twenty years later, the tykes turn the tables by playing Retirement Home Roulette to teach their now-infirm parents probability analysis.

    “Sorry, dad, you got double zeroes – it’s the ice flows for you… Tee Hee!”

  28. Trai_Dep says:

    Or, it’ll teach the kids that their odd uncle will give away candy without ANY games. Well, except the Naked Movie Star game.

  29. Murph1908 says:


  30. consumerd says:


    Well the first 3 Sound like the goverment. The 4th one sounds like the subprime loan fiasco training. The 5th one just teaches them to blame the goverment for everything.

  31. Myron says:

    Gee. That sounds like FUN. We’re having FUN, right kids. Stop crying.

  32. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    1) Skim off the good candy, put it in a separate bag, hide it. Maybe leave a few pieces in the main bag to avoid suspicion, or tell your parents that a bully stole it, or something.

    2) Take the money, don’t buy any of the crap stuff back.

    3) Enjoy your secret stash.

  33. @svreader & @Myron: Y’all made me laugh my evil laugh.

  34. Trackback says:

    Here’s a great way to help teach your kids about the value of money, as well as control the amount of candy they consume.

  35. luz says:

    Parents exist to annoy their kids. Is this news to anyone?

  36. That-Dude says:

    @SOhp101: @timmus: @halloweenjack: @delphi_ote:

    Concur with you all. While I don’t have kids, I have a math degree, and that exercise is confusing to say the least. I mean how long do you prolong this for. I mean a smart(er) kid either skims, buys some after-Halloween sale candy, or exercises fiscal restraint UNTIL the price is like 50 pieces for 2 bucks. Then you are arguably in a worse place than you started — she’s been eating candy for two months straight and now hits the motherload around Christmas.