When we go to the cinema nowadays, money management is far from most of our minds. Instead, we empty our purses trying to cover the cost of our tickets. Think you were going to buy popcorn? Think again, unless you’re willing to take out a second mortgage. Let’s face it; the cinema is damn expensive these days.
Hence why you may think we’re crazy to put financial security and cinema tickets in the same sentence. But, bear with us. Many of the films which hit our screens can teach us a load about the way we spend and the habits we should change. Heck, a good movie can teach far more than that. We’ve all trusted our favorite films when we’ve found ourselves in a tight spot. But, that’s far too much to cover in one modest blog post. Instead, then, let’s stick with the financial.
Most movies out there contain some financial lesson if you look for it. But, there are some which take us further than others, and those are the ones we’re going to look at here. If you’re still dwelling on the sting of that cinema ticket, let it go. Only one of these movies is still at the cinema. DVD prices might not be cheap either, but at least you get to watch time and again. All the better for absorbing those crucial lessons to the full.
Without further ado, then, let’s look at the money lessons laying hidden in our favorite big screen productions.
Crazy Rich Asians
We’ll start with the cinema option first, shall we? Crazy Rich Asians hit our big screens back in August, and it’s fair to say that we’ve been loving it ever since. Even better, getting past the initial cost of your ticket frees you up to enjoy financial lessons galore. Lesson number one: Singapore is the place to be. Just joking. Really, though, this film captures the growing wealth of this fantastic country. Filmed on location, there are some epic shots of the lavish Singapore locations. The chances are that you’ll already have property listings like these Punggol hdb options up on your phone before the lights come up again. Of course, moving to Singapore may not exactly be the best financial decision you’ve ever made. But, that aside, there’s plenty to learn in this film, especially when it comes to finances within a relationship. Some of the key take home pointers include:
Be upfront about your financial situation
Most of us are pretty squeamish when it comes to talking about our finances, even with partners. But, Rachel and Nick have been together for a year before he even broaches his super-rich origins. This is sure to make Rachel feel pretty inferior from the off. Don’t do it. Be upfront with your partner about your earnings, and urge them to do the same. That way, you can keep your relationship a judgment-free zone.
It’s better to be good than to be rich
This may be a lesson you can find in the majority of movies, but we’re claiming it here. Rachel is morally superior to her class ‘superiors’ throughout the film. If being rich means being that unpleasant, who would want it? Instead, do as Rachel would do. Be frugal with your cash, and focus on being the best person you can be. Just like that, money troubles will fade from your mind. Hopefully.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
It’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie. Confessions of a Shopaholic is one of those films which can brighten the darkest of days. It could also work wonders for helping with your finances. The overarching message of the movie? Never do as Rebecca does. Let’s be honest; she gets herself in a fair old financial mess no matter what she does. The low point, of course, being when she sells her best friend’s bridesmaid dress. Not cool! And the lessons don’t end there. Other gems include –
Don’t run away from debt collectors
Rebecca has become so adept at hiding from her debt collector that she has a special ringtone just for him. But the guy manages to find her anyway! And, when he does, her life unravels at a staggering speed. You don’t need us to spell it out for you, do you? Never run away from your debts, even if you have a whole host of personalized ringtones. These issues don’t go away. Face them before they’re too big to handle.
Ask yourself ‘Do I need this’
Your shopping habit may not be as extreme as Rebecca’s. Still, get into the habit of asking yourself whether you need something before parting with cash. Rebecca’s impulse buys get her into more trouble than you could imagine. And, frankly, she doesn’t need half of that stuff. An excellent way to master those ‘I want it’ impulses would be to walk away and see if the item sticks with you. If yes, it might be worth the price. If no, this question won’t even matter anymore.
In keeping with the chick flick fun, Bridesmaids could also teach you a thing or two about the money in your bank. Throughout the film, Annie tries her best to be the bridesmaid she’s sure her friend needs. But, her financial struggles mean that lavish gifts and airplane tickets for the hen do are a push too far. If you’ve seen the film, well, you know how things go. All we’ll say is: you can sum it up with the wedding dress shop scene and the sinks… Seriously, though, this movie can also help you with money, mainly by pressing the following crucial lesson.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
By committing to things she has no chance of affording, Annie gets herself in a whole load of trouble. There’s no need to let the same thing happen to you. Instead, don’t be afraid to say you can’t afford something. The chances are that you can all come to an agreement amongst you. Stating a clear budget for things like a hen do or your outfit ensures you never have to stretch yourself. This doesn’t even mean anyone has to miss out. There are some easy and fantastic ways to save money as a wedding guest, or in any other walk of life. But, they won’t be an option until you’re honest.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Sadly, we’re ending on a tear jerker. But, come on. Money is a serious issue, after all. As Will Smith can attest in The Pursuit of Happyness. Chris is busting his backside to provide a better life for his oh-so-adorable son. But, things don’t always go according to his financial plan. We know that feeling, right? Lucky for you, watching his struggle could have the benefit of teaching you a thing or two, including –
The importance of never putting all your eggs in one basket
Chris puts all his money into his portable bone scanner. The trouble is, no one wants his services. He risks every financial security he did have on his ‘get rich fast’ plea. The harsh reality is: money doesn’t come fast for anyone. You’d be better off conserving your pennies with a long-term, slow-burn financial plan.
Never give up
It’s not all bad news. Chris’ determination in the face of adversity is what sees this movie through. No matter how bad things get financially, remember that it’s in your power to change them. All you need is the mindset with which to do it.
This is a contributed post.
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