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.


Charity Owned Policy

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A charity can acquire a life insurance policy under which the donor is the life insured and the charity is the beneficiary.  Since the charity does not have an insurable interest in the donor, the charity must obtain the donor’s consent when applying for the policy; this is usually a minor formality.  Alternatively, the charity can become the owner and beneficiary of a policy that is already owned by the donor.  The donor will be the life insured.


Where a donor donates a life insurance policy to a charity or a charity takes out a policy on the donor’s life, the premiums paid by the donor will be considered a charitable donation eligible for a charitable tax credit (for individuals) or deduction (for corporations).  Note that Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that the beneficiary designation need not be irrevocable in order to obtain this treatment.  The donor may also get a credit or deduction for the value of the policy if an existing policy is donated.  However, upon death, no further tax benefits accrue to the donor or his/her estate.


One point of caution:  generally, premium paid prior to the transfer of a policy will not qualify as charitable donations; only those paid after the transfer will be receipted.  Although, for a newly issued policy, the fair market value of the donated policy may well be the amount of premiums paid to the point of transfer.


Under each of the alternatives (whether issued to a charity or transferred to a charity after issue), the donor will continue to make the premium payments on behalf of the charity owner and will be entitled to a donation tax credit for the amount of the premiums.  Either the donor can pay the premium to the charity who will forward the funds to the insurance company or the donor can pay the premiums directly to the insurance company.


If the donor ceases paying premiums, the policy may lapse or the charity, as owner, may continue to pay premiums or surrender the policy for its cash value, if any.  At death, the charity will receive the death benefit directly, as beneficiary of the policy.  The policy proceeds will not pass through the donor’s estate.


Source:  Manulife Financial Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services November 2014