🍽️ More treats less tricks

Plus: watch oil prices from here, make sure to book window seats, a coin flip is not 50/50, and more...

Together with

Hey Future Funders family,

So it’s October 23rd and we are now getting daily requests from our 3 year old to drive by the “scary house”, to listen to “scary music”, and to watch “scary movies” (like, what?).

So to all our parents with October babies… are they all creepy like this?

And happy 3rd birthday to our fierce, funny, and spooky little girl, Scarlett. Without your relenting encouragement, we would have never learned the art of retrieving a stray balloon without a ladder.

Okay let’s get to it…

💬 Quote Of The Week

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

🥗 The Appetizers

News Headlines That Matter

📝 Earnings season has started poorly. Companies are in the process of reporting third quarter earnings which will get heavier in the next few weeks. Results so far have been more negative than positive with broader economic pressures building (staffing firm Manpower raised eyebrows citing weak hiring trends) and according to J.P. Morgan the world is at one of the most dangerous times in decades.

Our take: Investors had hoped that earnings season would be a positive offset to rising geopolitical risks, elevated interest rates, and the political theater in Washington right now, but so far results have been disappointing. Over the next few weeks we will see more companies report, but so far about three out of every four companies that have reported have seen their stock prices go down.

🛢️ Watch oil prices closely. Countries in the Middle East posses about 50% of the world’s oil supply, and because of the tragic events that have taken place since October 7th, oil prices per barrel have moved higher by a few dollars (the current price sits at about $91/barrel). Analysts are now publishing reports estimating that if the conflict were to widen, it could result in oil prices as high as $140 /barrel (you can track the price of oil yourself here).

Our take: While not a precise measurement, a general rule of thumb is that every $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil roughly equals about 25 cents per gallon increase at the pump. Looking back at our June 2022 highs in gasoline prices ($5.02 per gallon) the price of oil was just over $120/barrel; at $140 / barrel, as some are now estimating, this would almost assuredly have severe consequences for the global economy and inflation.

🍽️ The Main Course

Your Big Money Story

More Treats, Less Tricks

🚀 What’s happening: Halloween spending this year is about to hit an all time record of $12.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. This is almost $2 billion more than people spent in 2022 with the average American expected to shell out about $108 on a mix of costumes, candy, home decor and party supplies. 

How did we get here?

Despite Halloween having been around for centuries as one of the oldest traditions in the world, decor and costumes didn’t start popping up until the early 1900s when the holiday revolved mainly around adults hosting parties.

In the 1930s the focus shifted to kids, leading manufacturers to expand to all members of the family. And just like that, an entire industry was born.

Slowly, decorating for the holiday became more mainstream. In 1958, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower decorated the White House for Halloween for the first time, featuring skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, dried corn and pumpkins.

Enter big box retail.

While all the above contributed to the rise of spending around the holiday, the explosion today is due almost entirely to the rise of big box retailers in the 1960s.

As Walmart, the Home Depot, Lowe’s and so on continued to grow in size and scale… the offering of seasonal merchandise — whether it was spring, summer, holidays as well as Halloween — continued to grow right along with it.

These companies realized that Halloween was the bridge of business between summer spending and winter holidays, so they maximized offerings, ad spend, and consumer targeting.

In the past few years alone, Home Depot, Walmart, and Target have more than doubled the amount of products they carry for the holiday (and also started selling earlier and earlier each year).

Where is this all going?

The momentum around Halloween spending is unlikely to slow in the near term and is probably going to expand (in fact, even haunted houses have now grown to become seven figure businesses).

Our guess is that it won’t be too long before travel companies and airlines look to get a piece of the action. Maybe you’ll start seeing more “Halloween inspired” destinations or experience driven events offering spooky fun for the whole family.

👪 Closer to home: Knowing the above, it’s easy to see how families’ wallets are prime targets on Halloween.

Being vigilant and now more aware of what advertisers are trying to do, we can all use this holiday to get a bit smarter about how we spend. While you do, it may also be a great opportunity to teach our kids the value of making good financial decisions in between them stuffing candy in their face.

Here are some tips to help you and your family through the holiday:  

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Dinner Discussion ❓

For a bit of fun this week, what is expected to be the top selling candy this Halloween?

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No peeking! Answer is below.

 Dining With Greenlight

The money and safety app for families.

Greenlight is the loved, trusted banking app and debit card for kids and teens.

With the Greenlight debit card and app, kids earn money through chores, set savings goals, spend wisely, and invest.

Parents set flexible controls and get real-time notifications every time their kids spend money. Go ahead and shine a light on the world of money for your kid today.

🥘 The Side Dishes

Your Money And Your Kids

🧾 The IRS plans to launch a free tax filing service pilot program next year in 13 states. Say goodbye to turbotax.  

🧺 While laundry is our least favorite chore… we did find a good resource with tips that will save you money and extend the life of your clothes.

🍪 Inflation has now come for girl scout cookies… so instead of crying over spilt milk here is how to get your kids involved earning some of that dough.

🍫 Half of Americans who celebrate Halloween have stressed over running out of candy (Mars actually commissioned a poll). And in a clever PR stunt, they are now putting together a Halloween rescue squad.

💸 How far does $1 from 1999 go today? Find out here.

✈️ If you are booking a trip with the family on United Airlines make sure you book a window seat. The company just announced that they are testing out a program of boarding all window seats first because they say it will save them a whole 2 minutes in the boarding process.

🃏 Want to teach the kids (or learn yourself) to be a better investor? Learn to play poker.

👻 Unless you’re buying a home in these four states a seller is not required to disclose that their house may be haunted.

💳 If you have an Amex card and are a race fan, we would definitely call them up and ask if you get any benefits from the company’s just announced partnership with Formula One.

🪙 Think that a coin flip is exactly a 50/50 probability? Think again.

🧑‍💻 We continue to believe that the return to office vs. work at home productivity argument is very dependent on the specific job or role we are talking about. That said, if you want to see what the latest trends are we found this report on 2023 RTO trends to be solid resource.

🍨 Dessert

This Week’s Deals And Reads

👼 Subscribe to the Parent Genius and get the email that makes you smarter about parenting 0-6 year olds in just 5 minutes. Subscribe here!

🪑 Need some furniture around the house? Simplihome is having an up to 50% off clearance sale for a limited time that we thought was worth checking out.

🤖 Get smarter about your career in 3 minutes. Office Party is a free 2x a week email that makes HR and career news fun! One click sign up here.

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Dinner Discussion ❓

Answer: According to Candystore.com data looking at the past 16 years Reese Cups are expected to be the top Halloween Candy sold for 2023 (we are Kit Kat fans in this house and would disagree).

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