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10 Important Money Lessons These Hollywood Blockbusters Teach You

10 Important Money Lessons These Hollywood Blockbusters Teach You

Movies aren’t just fun distractions. The good ones can pass on wonderful wisdom about our own lives. The great ones can change the way we exist from day to day, including the way we spend our cash.

Here are 10 major Hollywood movies and the money lessons they’ve taught us about good old greenbacks. Spoiler alerts and wonderful wisdom ahead!

1. The Money Pit

The-money-pit

    What’s more surprising than the fact that this 1986 movie starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long is nearly 30 years old, is the fact that Steven Spielberg produced the box office smash. The main characters become the victims of scammers who con them into buying a house that starts to fall apart the second they move in. Due to the large and increasing amounts of money it takes to repair the home, the residence is dubbed a “money pit”.

    Lesson learned: Don’t fall for slick stories from desperate home sellers, and make sure to estimate your real remodeling expenses prior to signing any contracts or getting any work done on your McMansion. Like a quote from the movie states, “Just because they showed up to collect the money is no guarantee that they’ll show up to do the work.”

    2. The Wolf of Wall Street

    leo-money

      If there is one thing I learned from experiencing the thrilling body of work that is The Wolf of Wall Street is that men like stuff. Fancy stuff. The kind of Ferrari 458 Speciale cars and “ocean kitchen” fish tanks that they lust over on Fatal Dose. In this 2013 film based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a man who parlays his selling skills into a new wife and wild life as a wealthy stockbroker, we learn that women like stuff, too. However, coveting all that cash doesn’t pan out as planned.

      “You show me a pay stub, I’ll quit my job right now,” Donnie Azoff tells Jordan, proving all that glitters isn’t gold when you don’t truly investigate the source of the riches–and whether or not it lines up with sleeping well at night.

      Lesson learned: Lying to achieve lots of money and buying copious amounts of drugs with our riches isn’t the way to go. Gaining funds by any means necessary is what led Jordan straight to prison and divorce court.

      3. Bridesmaids

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      bridesmaids

        The 2011 comedy starring Kristen Wiig was hilarious, and also quite unique in the way that it showed how income levels can bond or break apart friends. As the film opens, (after that kooky scene with Jon Hamms’ lusty Lothario persona) main character Annie hangs out with her best friend Lillian–played by Maya Rudolph–and they share in the camaraderie of being broke by getting kicked out of their bootcamp class.

        When Lillian’s impending wedding brings a wealthy woman named Helen into her life, who attempts to buy her friendship away from Annie, the true test of how people might react to “friends with financial benefits” comes to light.

        “Help me, I’m poor,” Annie admits during a memorable scene on the plane.

        Lessons learned: The monetary morals uncovered in Bridesmaids are threefold: Don’t let folks buy your love; don’t go crazy trying to purchase expensive decorations you can’t afford when cute, affordable wedding fare sits at our fingertips; and never let a disparity in salaries cause you to drop your bestie. After all, Oprah and Gayle figured it out.

        4. Casino

        casino

          The work of brilliance that is Casino, a feature film directed by Martin Scorsese, puts forth a plethora of gems about money–not the least of which being that you should never marry for wealth, only for love.

          The 1995 movie was based on the non-fiction book by Nicholas Pileggi, whose Sam “Ace” Rothstein counterpart was played by Robert DeNiro. When Ace proposes marriage to a Las Vegas hustler, Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone), she honestly confesses that she’s not the marrying kind.

          “You’ve got the wrong girl, Sam.” Ginger’s intended should have listened. Instead of accepting the truth that she just doesn’t love him, Sam urges her to “learn to love,” and promises to take care of her monetarily.

          Lesson learned: That fiasco of a marriage-for-the-money taught us that the heart may want what the heart wants, but nuptials shouldn’t become business deals.

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          5. The Great Gatsby

          gatsby

            When I used to read reviews about the classic 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, I didn’t understand all the hoopla. It wasn’t until I soaked up the 2013 movie of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire that I truly began to realize the exquisite nature of the storyline.

            Once again, here was a millionaire–Jay Gatsby–at the center of the Roaring Twenties, a time of revelry before the stock market crash of 1929.

            “The truth is I’m penniless,” Gatsby had previously confessed to Daisy via letter, and her rejection of him made the main character vow to win both massive amounts of wealth and the woman he loved.

            Lessons learned: In addition to teachings about Gatsby not being able to pay for the affections of the woman named Daisy that he loved and lost twice in his life, we also realize that when times are good, it’s best to save for a rainy economy. Plus, that all-important line about having plenty of friends when you’re rich is also apropos.

            6. Sunset Boulevard

              In the classic Sunset Boulevard, on-screen Hollywood writer, Joe Gillis, is a starving artist down to his last nickels–literally–when he meets the older and wealthier Norma Desmond.

              “Waiting, waiting for the gravy train” is how Joe describes his status with all the other writers hanging out at Schwab’s Drug Store looking for their big breaks.

              After Norma dangles herself, plus her dilapidating mansion and career, in front of his face, Joe takes the bait. However, he shouldn’t have fallen for the trap because it would end up being the same place of his death. When he tries to leave to spend his life with the woman he really loves, Norma shoots him dead.

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              Lesson learned: If you sell your soul to hang out with someone you normally wouldn’t befriend just because they have money, be prepared for them to exert unnatural (and perhaps nefarious) control over your life.

              7. The Passion of the Christ

              passion-of-the-Christ

                In The Passion of the Christ, Judas Iscariot receives 30 pieces of silver in order to tell enemies the whereabouts of Jesus, but he didn’t realize that blood money was the worst kind of money around. When Judas tried to give it back, the church leaders wouldn’t take it because, ironically, they reasoned that they couldn’t have blood money in their coffers.

                I have sinned, betrayed innocent blood,” the one doomed to destruction realized, but it was too late.

                Lesson learned: A life is worth much more than money.

                8. It Could Happen to You

                It Could Happen to You

                  The romantic 1994 dramady, It Could Happen to You, featured Nicolas Cage as Charlie Lang and Bridget Fonda as Yvonne Biasai–a cop and waitress, respectively–who end up falling in love after winning a lottery jackpot together.

                  The complications arise when Charlie’s wife Muriel (played with annoying brilliance by Rosie Perez) goes crazy spending the bulk of the funds as Charlie and Yvonne have fun doling it out through more altruistic means.

                  Lessons learned: Money doesn’t make you. Getting lots of money only magnifies who you already are inside. Money amplified Charlie and Yvonne’s giving spirits while it also brought out the ugliness of greed in Muriel’s philosophy.

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                  9. Moneyball

                  moneyball

                    The 2011 film Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, reminds us that gaining income can be a matter of changing the way we think after he uses scant resources and a computer-based algorithm to put together a successful team.

                    Lesson learned: Money is mental. Billy shows us that thinking differently about baseball statistics, or any aspect of our lives, can truly bring wealth and riches because our paradigm isn’t like others. It works because he approached the game along with his business partner in a manner that no one was accomplishing at that time.

                    10. 12 Years a Slave

                    12-years-a-slave

                      The greed of the slave masters as displayed in12 Years a Slave, the 2013 film based on the real-life 1853 book of the same name, is what stands out as the biggest monetary lesson learned therein. In the shadows of the Capital Building, free man Solomon Northrup is kept in a slave pen until he is transported south near New Orleans, where he suffers unspeakable horrors along with the other slaves, all because the slave masters want to enjoy the income that their fieldhands and servants provide through hours and hours of hard labor. In the end there is proof that taking advantage of others for your own material gain does not pay.

                      Lesson learned: Greed is bad. Very bad.

                      Featured photo credit: 12 Years a Slave 02/newstatesman.com via newstatesman.com

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                      Last Updated on April 28, 2020

                      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

                      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

                      As technology evolves and information becomes more accessible, it has also become more challenging to define success. A lot of people are trapped in the rat race while trying to discover the actual formula for success.

                      You could become overwhelmed with what tools, techniques or philosophies to imbibe while trying to get tips over the internet. At every click and turn, there are ‘how-tos and quick-fix’ on how to become successful overnight. You will find several courses, articles, videos and books on how to achieve financial success.

                      But what if I tell you it doesn’t have to be complicated as people made it out to be? What if you could achieve success by merely following these 9 millionaire success habits?

                      1. Read for Personal Development

                      A daily habit I have discovered millionaires share in common is reading. For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, you need to read to become an efficient leader and a productive business owner. Reading helps you to grow and learn without going to a business school.

                      A research conducted by Thomas Crowley indicates about 85% of self-made millionaires read at least two or more books each month. [1] Warren Buffett is one of these examples. He spends 80% of his day reading. In the early days of his investment career, he would read 600 to 1000 pages in a single day.

                      While millionaires sometimes read for pleasure, they also learn to improve themselves. They read topics on leadership, how-tos, self-help, biographies, lifehacks and also follow current events.

                      Here’re some recommendations for you: 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                      2. Establish Multiple Sources of Income

                      Another success habit I noticed about successful people is that they don’t depend on a single income source. Every millionaire possesses multiple sources of income. This helps them to manage economic challenges and also make more money.

                      They are passive income addicts. They earn interests from loans, rental income from real estate, royalties from intellectual properties, dividends from investments. They also launch a side business or run a website or sell information products.

                      How income is made either passively or actively is what separates the successful from the wannabes. They are always learning ways to build multiple streams of income.

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                      3. Live on a Stipulated Monthly Budget

                      An average millionaire does not believe in luck and jackpot. They take the time to understand cash flow-income and expenses. Based on this, they establish a monthly budget and religiously stick to it.

                      The essence of the budget is to minimize unnecessary expenses. This will help you gain complete control of your financial life. Budgeting helps you to avoid overspending to achieve your financial goals. Here’re some tips to help you stuck to your budget: 32 Hacks for Sticking to Your Budget

                      4. Manage and Maximize Money

                      The most significant education for a millionaire is financial intelligence. Nobody attains financial freedom without gaining financial intelligence. This is the more reason millionaire, regardless of their income, keep their knowledge about tax strategies updated.

                      They always seek to reduce their tax bills. One approach they employ is by living or incorporating their business in states with no income tax.

                      Do you know that about 60 companies paid $0 legally in the 2018 tax year? Some of these companies that ‘avoided'(note: not evaded) federal income tax include Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, General Motors, Delta. Their US income was totaled at $79 billion with an effective tax rate of -5%.

                      What’s the deal? They got a tax refund.

                      How do they accomplish these?

                      An ITEP report indicated that they have the culture of throwing huge sums at tax experts who assist them in discovering creative, as well as convoluted means of paying little tax as much as possible.[2]

                      5. Avoid Debt

                      Another habit that separates the millionaires from the rest of the world is how they manage debt.

                      They don’t live an extravagant lifestyle; instead, they only buy what they need and can pay for. They do not book hotels and flights by using their credit cards to pay for them.

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                      They are conscious of the interest rates even when they use credits cards or take loans. If possible, they try to pay with cash because of its zero percent interest rate.

                      6. Set Daily Goals

                      It does not matter if they are setting up a business, a career, or financial projections; they have the success habit of setting short term goals. They plan daily and weekly goals to generate momentum in achieving their long-term goals.

                      Ensure you prioritize when setting daily goals. This will help you to achieve the most important to-dos on your list.

                      Setting priorities will help you to focus on highly rewarding activities. If you desire financial freedom, it is wise to pursue activities that earn you thousands of dollars rather than hundreds of dollars.

                      7. Don’t Act Rich

                      The goal is not to act rich but to be productive. Interestingly, Thomas Stanley buttressed in his book that for the most prestige brands of cars, about 86% percent are toys of the non-millionaires. While most believe that people with huge fortunes tend to drive exotic cars, in reality the largest consumers of pricey cars are aspiring millionaires.[3]

                      According to findings by Experian Automotive Researchers, 61% of individuals who earn $250,000 or more rarely buy luxury brands. Instead, they buy Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords like the rest of the world. The reason is they are not ready to spend money on premium cars that tend to drop in value in a couple of years as it would cost money. Millionaires invest in assets that appreciate.[4]

                      8. Own or Buy Businesses

                      In Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant, he divided how you earn income into four quadrants. The E and the S quadrants take the left position while the B and the I are on the right side. According to Robert, it is possible to be on all quadrants, but the millionaires are not.[5]

                      • E stands for employee – they work for others
                      • S stands for self-employed – they work for themselves
                      • B stands for a Business owner- employees work for them (500 or more employees)
                      • I stand for Investors – Money work for them like Warren Buffet.

                      Your goal is to move from the left quadrant to the right quadrants where you own big businesses or make money work for you.

                      It is possible to become financially successful by pursuing what you love. For instance, if you love writing, aspire to be the best seller. Wealth and passion work together.

                      Check out How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money for tips.

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                      9. Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

                      A millionaire holds patience as an essential virtue. It takes patience to become successful, not only in finance but in every aspect of life. While it is possible to become financially successful at an early age, most millionaires hit it at age 50. They live a moderate life, invest in their future and retire rich.

                      Bonus: How to Develop the Millionaire Success Habits?

                      Having learned these habits, the next question is,

                      How can I develop the Millionaire Success habits?

                      Here are six values you will need to develop:

                      Establish Your Life Vision

                      You need to be clear about what you want in life to set yourself for a life of success. Your vision has to go beyond becoming a millionaire to understanding why you want to become one. Any great entrepreneur you will ever find has a clear vision and an established mission.

                      Understanding why you are doing what you do will drive you to become the kind of successful person you want to be.

                      Make Your Passion a Profession

                      When your passion becomes your profession, work becomes pleasurable. Loving what you do enables money to flow to you and through you.

                      So what’s going to be? Wake up every morning by speaking positive words into your work, love what you do, and focus on the work that brings you joy.

                      Take a look at this article and learn how to make it happen: 5 Steps To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

                      Focus on Solution

                      Focusing on the solution means establishing the problem that you or your business address. This will help you focus on the solutions when others are faced with challenges.

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                      A millionaire has a mindset that is fixed on the solution. He or she knows there’s a way out, and that every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

                      Improve your problem solving skills with these tips: 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                      Develop Your Leadership Skills

                      Leadership skills are an asset that is indispensable if you want to develop a millionaire success habit. The more you hone your leadership skills, the more you will attract leaders who share your values.

                      Be Growth-Focused

                      Millionaire entrepreneurs prioritize self-improvement. Here’s how to achieve it:

                      • Get a coach. Coaching will impact your life, and you will achieve peak performance in life and business when you have a life coach.
                      • Be coachable. It is not enough to have a coach; you must be coachable. Sometimes, you need feedback and counsel to reposition your life and business. A coach has the wisdom and experience to counsel you from a higher perspective. The more you receive feedback and work on yourself, the more you become better at what you do and who you are.

                      Flip Your Thought Pattern From Acting To Being

                      It is not enough to have a millionaire success habit, you must also become a person of positive influence. This is how you can become significant. Bill Gates is not only rich; he is changing lives in Africa and different parts of the world.

                      If you want to become successful, you must first be and think like a successful person. This is how resources you need can flow into your life.

                      Here’s a final thought from me:

                      It is not enough to do something to have something; success is about being someone who possesses what is needed to take positive and inspired actions.

                      More Success Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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