It’s a relief to know that you don’t have to go to college to learn about the fundamentals of personal finance – movies will teach you for a fraction of the cost. Sometimes the best lessons are learned in relatively simple ways. The good thing about these movies is that they will not only make you wiser at managing your money but will also allow you to have a great time.
1. Wall Street
Wall Street is first on the list because everything about it is epic. Plus, it talks mainly about money. In case you don’t remember, Gordon Gekko, the main character throws the most famous money quote ever in the history of movies, “greed is good”. While we aren’t making a thesis on ethics and morals, we know that greed is bad most of the times. In fact, Gekko ends up in jail for a long time by incurring in a criminal activity knowns as insider trading. Thus, in every aspect of your personal finance life, keep greed at bay to keep problems away.
We all remember Tom Cruise’s quote “show me the money”. In fact, it is placed on the 25th spot on AFIs 100 Best Movie Quotes of all time. In this film, Tom Cruise plays the “good guy” in the film. He shows us how by ethical living and perseverance we can all reach our personal and financial goals. Personal finance is all about aligning your values with your finances. By having the proper values, you will have your finances in order. Doing what’s right will get you there – even if the road seems longer at the beginning.
Vito Corleone really knew how to make an offer the other side wouldn’t be able to refuse. We aren’t endorsing criminal activities, however, negotation skills are a set of abilities that can either skyrocket or halt your financial position. Every penny counts. Bargaining can decrease your expenses and allow you to reach your goals at a quicker pace. Remember that everything is negotiable. It’s time to get the best price and the best value for your money, especially on larger purchases.
4. The Big Leibowski
The Big Leibowski is one of the most memorable movie characters for one reason: he can get you a toe. And he can get it by 3 o’clock this afternoon and with nail polish! Most of us get stuck in our money problems and think there is only one way to solve them, if any. The concept behind the Big Leibowski implies everything in life is a matter of perception and creativity. Whether it’s debt issues or investment decisions that are running around in your mind…”there are ways, dude!”. While we aren’t as optimistic as our dude Leibowski, we can talk and discuss possible solutions with friends and family in order to come up with the most suitable answers to our money problems.
5. Confessions of a Shopaholic
Ditsy Rebecca is a true shopaholic. She owns around 12 credit cards and has pretty much no more credit limit available. Nevertheless, she somehow manages to keep buying stuff. At the end, she recovers from her addiction and becomes a writer at Successful Saving! Anyway, Rebecca’s life did an astounding 180 degree turn and she managed to pay off $16,000 worth of debt. The lesson is that it is possible to change your money habits if you have the proper aid available. Having the right people around allowed Rebecca to change her mindset from being a compulsive buyer to an smart saver. Another lesson that arises from this film is that you shouldn’t buy everything with credit cards. In fact, you should only buy those things that provide you with value such as a home or education with them.
6. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Before the dot-com bubble exploded, we thought that Enron and other similar companies were stable. It turned out, they weren’t. Enron’s Chief Executives manipulated their accounting practices to show profits Enron didn’t actually have. At the time, many people thought that the dot-com companies were the future market winners. Thus, they started to buy stock until its price reached $90. Since insiders knew that Enron was a dubious investment they started selling their stock rapidly. Soon afterwards, the price plummeted to 6 cents! This means that whatever amount investors had put into Enron’s stock, they ended up with nothing more than peanuts. The lesson here is not to be fooled by the gossip that usually occurs around the stock market. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Investing is best done when you have a diversified portfolio with stocks of companies belonging to different industries.