We are a religiously ambiguous family and so for us Easter essentially means chocolate and looking for (and hiding) a continuous stream of chocolate Easter Eggs. I just stopped at our local Lindt store to pick up the supplies we needed for this weekend (3 kilos of chocolate for 4 people — madness!).
After paying the bill, it got me wondering how much people actually spend on Easter and specifically on chocolate. I was practically blown away to see that North Americans will spend 2.4 Billion Dollars on chocolate. Seriously!! Think about that. Most of the chocolate in our house will eventually be melted with milk to make hot chocolate, put into a cake, incorporated into chocolate fondue or somehow be consumed in some other way, because 4 people (one of whom is supposed to be on a diet!) cannot realistically consume 3 kilos of chocolate in 72 hours!
Thinking about what else we could do with 2.4 billion dollars, I went back to the article I wrote for kids on Saving Money (it’s an awesome article on ExplorerHop.com — definitely recommend a read, and while you are at it, pick up a subscription for your kid as well. Here’s a 20% code to entice you ADVENTURE20TMN ). This kind of excessive spending defies all the 5 Golden Rules of Savings that I have written about and try to instill in kids.
With Easter being a precursor to Christmas spending and setting the trend for that, it forced me to think of alternative ways to spend this money.
Here are my top 5 suggestions on what to do with the 2.4 Billion Dollars we spend on candy at Easter.
<cue in the David Letterman drum roll>
Suggestion #1: It costs an average of $1.18 to educate a child per day in the developing world. The amount we spend on chocolate can educate every single child under the age of 15 in ALL of Africa for 4 days. This would certainly buy us brownie points with karma.
Suggestion #2: Mortgage debt accounts for over $1.3 trillion in debt in Canada. That 2.4 billion spent on chocolate would reduce the mortgage of every person in Canada by $67. (this is a bit skewed because I assume that all those awesome folks south of the border will give up eating candy on Easter just to save me 67 bucks on my home).
Suggestion #3: Take about 20% of the entire population of Toronto on a holiday to the Caribbean at the cost of $5000 per family for a week. I am now on my second chocolate egg, seriously questioning the value of all things good (and caloric!).
Suggestion #4: The Toronto District School Board that is chronically underfunded and has a deficit of about $110 million could easily be no longer in debt. Just think about this, if we all put the money I put towards buying just a few of these Easter Eggs, we could completely wipe out the debt for the biggest school district in in Canada and improve education for over 250,000 kids in our city alone. With my rather rotten math skills, I assume that we could still eat some of these amazing chocolates. This seems to be a good compromise.
Suggestion #5: You remember the pics of Obama looking so happy right after he left the white house and partied at Necker Island with Mr. Branson? A week there costs 420K. 2.4Billion would allow you to party there for a whole year and still have about 200 million left over to eat more chocolate. The a thought of me on Necker Island for a year makes me quite happy. I can take 27 people with me, so email me if you are interested. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: During the writing of this article I have already consumed about $10 of chocolate.