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Financial Advice From Six Classic Movies

Financial Advice From Six Classic Movies

What I learned about finances from The Godfather is you give The Godfather the money he wants and you get to keep your knee caps. That seems like a fair trade. Joy Mali, of The Washington Times and Dumb Little Man, shares more financial and credit advice from The Godfather and other classic movies:

There are three main reasons many of us watch movies:

  • We watch movies to be entertained.
  • We also watch movies to become aware of social and economic issues.
  • We watch movies to be informed and educated.

Films are subjective-what you like, what you don’t like,” says director Christopher Nolan. “But the thing for me that is absolutely unifying is the idea that every time I go to the cinema and pay my money and sit down and watch a film go up on-screen, I want to feel that the people who made that film think it’s the best movie in the world, that they poured everything into it and they really love it. Whether or not I agree with what they’ve done, I want that effort there-I want that sincerity. And when you don’t feel it, that’s the only time I feel like I’m wasting my time at the movies.

Movies can help educate us on how to manage our finances and credit health. Here are six movies that not only provide lessons about money, but may also give you tips to improve your credit rating:

wallstreet

    Wall Street (1987): “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. 

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    Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.” – Gordon Gekko

    This quote by actor Michael Douglas, playing the infamous Gordon Gekko, speaks boldly about how greed drives our country. This impassioned speech gives a nod to how important it is that we want more and more, to the point of greed. Because we want to have the ability to purchase more, we open up credit accounts that allow us to buy what we want now and pay for the items later.

    These payments are tracked on our credit histories. Even the United States government goes into debt to pay for the things the country needs today and makes payments on these credit accounts.

    shawshank redemption

      Shawshank Redemption (1994): “Get busy living or get busy dying.” – Andy Dufresne

      This award-winning film about a wrongly imprisoned New England banker sends the message that viewers might want to plan for the future, especially in these current times of economic crisis.

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      Maintaining stable employment, working to pay off debts, building an emergency savings fund, and checking credit history to make sure everything is in order are four things every consumer can do to help plan for the uncertain future.

      This character understands if you are not living, then you are dying. In financial terms, we could view this statement as: if you are not saving then you are wasting.

      the god father

        The Godfather (1972): “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Vito Corleone

        This timeless trilogy provides a viewpoint on money that indicates how everything has a price to be paid. Corleone is not speaking directly about monetary value when he states the above, but the statement is applicable to finances.

        Every financial action we make comes with a price. If we cannot refuse the offer to open up certain credit accounts, we must also take the responsibility for paying off the debts we incur.

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        jerry-maguire-1996-03-g

          Jerry Maguire (1996): “Show me the money!” – Rod Tidwell

          Athlete, Tidwell, makes this statement to his sports agent, Maguire, to motivate him to make more lucrative endorsement deals and contract agreements for him. Tidwell knows his worth, and he will not settle for less pay than his expertise and celebrity can command.

          To take a page from Tidwell’s book, you can ask for the salary you deserve and show confidence that you will get it.

          1083_019971.jpg

            Field of Dreams (1989): “If you build it, he will come.” – Shoeless Joe Jackson

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            When you make sound financial decisions and monitor your credit, you can build a positive financial standing that can result in creditors offering to extend you credit.

            Lenders tend to reward consumers with positive credit standings with even more credit lines. These are the consumers who can write their own loans, with favorable terms.

            boiler room

              Boiler Room (2000): “And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that’s it, I’m done.” – Jim Young

              There are winners and losers in every aspect of life. In the world of money, the employee who enters the boss’ office with a well prepared request for a raise may come out the winner. This employee may know his or her worth and is willing to negotiate for a higher salary.

              If the employee is less prepared, or full of self doubt, the discussion could very easily turn into a declination of the raise request. Those who climb the financial ladder to increased salaries are relentless in their pursuit of higher pay.

              Joy Mali is a staff writer on The Washington Times and Examiner. Her work is also published on Lifehack, Yahoo and other mainstream sites. She likes to share interesting tips to help people manage their personal finances & credit.

              Greed Is Good! How Financial Advice From Gordon Gekko and Vito Corleone Can Teach You About Credit Management | Dumb Little Man

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              Published on September 17, 2018

              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

              Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

              With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

              So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

              1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

              It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

              You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

              So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

              2. When you want something big, wait

              Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

              It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

              We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

              A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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              So, you get the itch.

              You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

              Here’s where you have to take a step back.

              Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

              Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

              It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

              The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

              3. Live smaller than you can afford

              You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

              You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

              That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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              Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

              Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

              The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

              But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

              4. Practice smart grocery shopping

              Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

              But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

              Create a grocery budget

              Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

              Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

              I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

              Make a list… and never deviate

              Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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              You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

              These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

              Eat before going grocery shopping

              It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

              If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

              After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

              Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

              However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

              This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

              5. Cancel your gym membership

              Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

              The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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              Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

              I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

              Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

              Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

              For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

              Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

              There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

              It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

              I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

              Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

              The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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