Movies are fun! They make for an ideal weekend evening with a huge bowl of popcorn and drinks. While everyone loves being entertained by a good movie, there are a few that strike the right chords and stay with us for a long time. Here we have a list of movies that teach us important financial lessons, which, if taken seriously, can help us go a long way in life. Take a look:
1. Confessions of a Shopaholic
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Under what looks like a pure chick flick, there lies a striking movie that teaches you heaps about personal finance. Based on the Shopaholic series novels by English writer Sophie Kinsella, this is a story of Rebecca Bloomwood who finds herself in a financial mess due to her shopping obsession. We have all been there. Remember the last time you maxed out your credit card to buy those sparkly diamond earrings?
In the movie too, Becky finds herself in massive credit card debt and is being chased by a debt collector. A credit card is a wonderful idea till you cannot pay your bills on time. So, it is better to track your spending regularly. However, in an unfortunate scenario, if you end up with credit card debt, don’t worry. There are various ways to quickly get out of it and redeem yourself. Always remember, you often don’t need what you think you do, so think twice before spending your hard-earned cash.
2. The Company Men
This movie brings to life the greatest fear every employee has somewhere deep down in his heart – being fired. Ben Affleck (as Bobby Walker) is a white-collar employee who suddenly loses his high-paying job due to corporate downsizing and is left without a Plan B. Due to this, his fabulous lifestyle, family happiness, and emotional state go for a toss. This movie teaches us that we must expect the unexpected and not take our regular income for granted.
Make sure you invest it well. Also, don’t set off on a lifestyle so difficult to maintain that you cannot adjust with a lower salary. The movie also teaches us to always be prepared for the worst. So, it is better to have an emergency fund ready for crisis situations. This will ensure your regular costs do not take a hit. If you don’t have an emergency fund in place, it’s never too late to start.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
Genre: Biographical dark comedy
Who doesn’t love this one? With smashing performances, smart dialogues, and an overall high (pun intended) energy, this movie surely won many hearts. This biography of a former corrupt American stockbroker Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, teaches us innumerable financial lessons. The most important one being how to handle success wisely.
We have seen and read about many people who rocketed to success only to fail miserably due to the inability to handle it well. Also, in the movie, DiCaprio is hedonistic and greedy. Working hard to earn more money is one thing but being deceitful and immoral to satisfy your greed is a big no-no!
4. The Money Pit
This Tom Hanks and Shelley Long stars in a story about a young couple in love who end up buying a huge house at a really low price. While it looks like a steal initially, they soon realise that the house is in a mess (almost falling apart) and the cost of repairing it is humongous. This 1986 movie establishes an extremely important financial lesson – check thoroughly before investing money into something big.
If you are new to the investing world, it is better to hire an advisor to guide you. You could also invest using your CPF monies if you don’t have existing cash on hand. Also, always make sure you distribute your money into different options so if one fails, you have the rest as backup. And lastly, stay away from anything that appears to be too good to be true. It usually is!
5. A Christmas Carol
Whether you like the new version or the classic one or even the famous book, A Christmas Carol has a lot to teach us. This adaption of Charles Dickens’ book with the same name is about an arrogant miser Ebenezer Scrooge who is disliked by everyone around him for his attitude. All he has is hoards of money. On one Christmas Eve, he has a change of heart and discovers that the greatest joy is in giving.
Yes, saving money is important but what is more important is sharing it. Like they say, when you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence. This movie teaches us to give back to the community. Being the reason behind a stranger’s smile is a joy like none other! If you want to do your bit for the community, there are many ways to do it. Why not try something this weekend? We bet it will bring more joy than shopping at the mall. Try it to believe it.
If you liked this, you may also enjoy:
Are there other movies that have taught you about personal finance and money management? Let us know in the comments!