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.


Saving for your kids’ education – it’s not too early. It’s never too early.

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It’s no secret that the cost of sending your kids to college or university is rising – and has been for quite some time. So let me ask you a question, are you saving for your kids’ education and do you know how much it truly costs to send your children to college or university?


The cost of university tuition in Canada


During the 2015/16 school year, undergraduate students in Canada paid an average of $6,000 in tuition alone says Top Universities. That was up more than 3% from the same figure in the previous year, which in turn was 3% higher than the year before it.


The shocking fact is that this statistic only representations the cost of tuition. It doesn’t include the cost of resource materials, books, living costs and personal supplies. According to The University of Alberta students (and their parents) can expect annual living costs for the school year to be around $16,800. That adds up to a total yearly post-secondary school cost of over $22,000.


Ways to save for your kids’ education


With current forecasts predicting that the trend of rising tuition costs in Canada will continue, it’s important for everybody with school-aged children to put saving for your kids’ education at the top of your financial goals priority list.


The best way to start saving is to talk to a financial advisor and set up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). On top of a number of tax-sheltering advantages an RESP offers, there’s the instant benefit of collecting the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) from the federal government. In most cases, this grant equals 20% of the amount you contribute into the RESP - and can sometimes be even more. If you make your maximum contribution to the plan, you can eventually end up with $7,200 in grant contributions from the government.


There’s lots more to know about RESPs and how they can help save for your kids’ education. If you’d like to have a discussion about this plan and how education savings can fit into your overall financial goals, please get in touch with me anytime.