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.


You Have Your Mortgage Insured With the Bank – Or Do You?

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Life insurance is an important component of a financial plan.  Insuring your mortgage makes perfect financial sense – your home is your largest debt in most cases, and if an unexpected death were to occur, you would not want your family to be forced to sell the home you shared.


Many people have mortgage insurance through a bank or lender to protect their family, but a recent conversation I had with a client, outlines the importance of knowing just how “insured” you are.  Below is an actual case study, I have changed the names to protect anonymity.


A young couple, “John” and “Judy”, buy a home together, which they share with two young children.  They insure the mortgage with their bank (owe approximately $250,000), and the husband has an individual life insurance policy ($100,000) on top of that.  They feel they are well insured, protecting the family.


Tragically, John is killed in a car accident leaving behind his family and debt.  With so many other things to worry about, Judy at least has the peace of mind that her family can keep their home, while the additional insurance will give her some much needed funds to help over the coming months.


This is what happened – John’s individual insurance pays out fairly quickly like it is supposed to, to the beneficiary on the policy – his mother.  He set up the insurance before he was married, but hadn’t reviewed it in many years and had not updated his beneficiary.  His mother decides to hold on to the money – she is sure that if the money is released to her daughter in law that Judy will take the kids and move away.


Shortly after that, the bank contacts Judy to let her know that the mortgage insurance coverage is denied.  Here is how coverage from a lender works:  when you only answer a few questions and are given mortgage insurance, you have not been underwritten.  In this case, the bank decides that they would not have insured John if they had underwritten the policy up front.  They return the premiums paid and the mortgage is still outstanding.


I share this story to outline two things that should never be an issue at such a difficult time.  First of all, have a life insurance policy that is written upfront so that you have a legal contract in case the unexpected happens.  Secondly, make sure you are able to specify your beneficiaries (your family, not a bank/lender) and review somewhat regularly with an insurance professional.


One additional thing to keep in mind – life insurance costs less than mortgage insurance in most cases.


Protect your family, not your lender, and do regular reviews.  At Ecclestone Financial Group, we can help!