BulldogWhen I was a kid, Halloween was about three things: dressing up, games and MONEY!

More than any other holiday, Halloween was an opportunity to cash in.

My Mum would wrap dollars in tinfoil and bake them in apple tarts. As part of our Halloween gaming we’d bob for dimes and quarters at the bottom of a basin full of water and we’d all develop a taste for barnbrack (Irish fruit bread) as my Granny would bake one stuffed with a rag, a ring and a piece of baking parchment!

If you got the rag it meant your financial future was doubtful, if you got the ring it meant romance, but we were all after the baking parchment as it contained a $5 note! My brothers, sisters and I developed a ‘first dibs’ system on it – whoever spotted the baking parchment first, claimed the slice.

These days, costumes and candy have usurped many of the games we played as children, but I’ve started to notice that as my own kids grow, they’re getting more and more interested in Halloween games and their associated earnings!

In their minds:

  • Christmas = Family gatherings & presents
  • Halloween = Dressing Up, Dollars & Dimes!

It’s only September and the kids (11,10 & 7yrs)  have yet to decide on their 2017 halloween costumes, but they’re already talking about what ‘treasure’ (i.e. money) they expect to be hidden in our traditional buttercream ‘snot top’* Halloween cupcakes and apple pie!

I’ve grown wiser though, and as they get older, I gotten smarter about dishing out the cash. The kids might get a ‘free’ dollar in the odd cupcake, but they also know how to earn a buck or two! In our house, extra chores bring extra reward, for example:

  • Loading the bird feeders pays-out $1
  • Raking (and bagging) the leaves off the grass will earn $5
  • Cleaning the halloween stencils off the windows pays out $5
  • Basically, any job I hate doing could earn them $$$’s

It’s a win, win for everyone!


PennyOwl: Helping Parents Raise Money Smart Kids

Download the free app or check us out on Facebook