Halloween teaches us valuable financial lessons like budgeting candy, but it’s not all gum drops and lollipops. A retailmenot.ca survey found that Canadians spent $1 billion on Halloween in 2015. In fact, the Halloween industry is so large that it can support retailers who are only open for the season.


According to Global News, the average Canadian spends $52 per person on costumes.T he cost of costumes rarely reflects the quality. So why shell out so much money? Save yourself from the frightening cost of a costume by dressing up as an iconic movie or TV character in plain clothes. Don’t let the cost of Halloween costumes scare you away this year.


4 Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas from Your Closet


For men:


Marty McFly from Back to the Future

You will need white sneakers, a jean jacket, blue jeans, a white buttoned shirt, an orange vest and a red t-shirt.

Quote: “Wait a minute, Doc. A… Are you’re telling me you built a time machine… Out of a DeLorean?”


Ace Ventura from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

You will need to style your hair up and back in the iconic Ace Ventura style, a pair of black converse or boots, red striped pants or something similar, a floral pattern shirt, a white tank top and an ID card reading “Ace Venture Pet Detective”.

Quote: “That was close one ladies and gentlemen, of course in every contest, there must be, a loser. Lew-Who, Za-Her.”


For women:


Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family

You will need dark black mascara, a white collared blouse, a black long sleeve shirt, white stockings, a pair of black shoes and your hair in pigtail braids.

Quote: “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker colour”


Sandy Olsson from Grease

You will need red lipstick, a tight pair of black pants (preferably leather), a black shirt that shows off your shoulders and red high heels.

 Hang a leather jacket over your shoulder and do your hair to match Sandy’s to really sell this costume.

Quote: “Tell me about it, stud.”


Bonus: You can have a lot of fun dressing up as yourself in high school. Find an embarrassing photo of yourself and replicate the look.

A DIY costume will show off your creativity and make you the life of the party. Consider a costume from your closet before spending money at a retailer. The key to a great Halloween costume is making it fun, so memorize some movie quotes, dress up as your favorite character this year and save your money.


Helping your kids increase their financial literacy

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“Since I graduated from high school, not one person has asked me to find the value of X.”


We hear this comment all the time, and it’s generally meant as a joke, but it echoes what many think about our education system – that it’s a bit heavy on things that aren’t “real life” important, and light on things that are.


Take the subject of financial literacy, for example. It’s one that hasn’t received the attention many think it should. Topics that become vital in adult life – like the use of credit, or the importance of saving – are ones many students receive little guidance on in high school, until they’re forced to learn about them the hard way - through experience.


Fortunately, we’re seeing some provinces take action to improve this. For instance, Ontario is rolling out a pilot project to introduce a financial literacy course in 28 high schools, with hopes that a full course will be available provincewide in September 2018. Most other provinces are also making efforts to improve children’s know-how in this area.


But in the meantime, there are plenty of ways you can help your children become more financially literate – no matter how old they are. Here are a few links with great ideas on how to introduce your children to good financial habits


Canadian Living published this piece on the dos and don’ts of teaching kids about money:




Here’s a great online resource created by the Manitoba Securities Commission, called “Make It Count.” It’s got a few activities and tips that help kids incorporate money management into their daily routines.




Finally, this page on the Investor Education Fund’s website is devoted to financial education when raising a family. There are some resources on this page with content related to teaching teenagers about financial literacy.




Helping your kids learn these concepts when they’re still kids can pay significant dividends down the road. If you have any questions about any of the tips or techniques in these links, please get in touch with me any time.