How our favorite movies are teaching us to be financially responsible

Aug 15, 2019

Film Geek Guy - Money Jar Up Movie

For many of us who might not have a professional advisor to guide us in various life problems, we often look back on our favorite pieces in media to reflect and compare if we’re in the right direction. 

Movies, in particular, can be powerful enough to bring out a positive influence on our daily plights. And more than just being sources of entertainment, its visual element creates an easier way for us to imagine scenarios on life’s do’s and don’ts.

With the abundance of titles in cinema, it’s impossible to not lift something from them that can be useful for what we truly need. This article puts to spotlight our need to be financially responsible.

The concept of finance and economics in movies tends to be trivial, and it’s perfectly understandable. Numbers and statistics are usually reserved to people who handled them by profession, although it shouldn’t be complicated at all.

We revisit films that have effectively served their purpose to entertain, as well as teach us about being financially healthy throughout by way of saving or budgeting. These titles, which mirrors recommendations made by experts on practices like budgeting, carry practical saving tips that we can easily apply.

Up (2009) 

The piggy bank in Up was instrumental in its central couple Carl and Ellie. After being married, they immediately start to save coins in a large jar that they promised to use for their dream travel destination.

If you’ve seen the film, the money did not go to what they initially long to be. Instead, the money was used to build stronger foundations for their home, among many other expenses for emergencies.

Despite only being presented in its first five minutes, Up opens up an insightful lesson about starting to save. Set that goal, and while it may want another direction for you, it’s preparing you for a much better, more fulfilling path. In the end, Carl and Ellie figuratively reached their dream destination—and it’s mostly owed to the house they’ve worked so hard (and managed to save) together.

The Hobbit (2012 – 2014)

What many people are hesitant about saving is that it can entail great risks to what we’re accustomed to.

Take it from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, specifically the journey of its main character Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo, from the get-go, has always been the conservative, by-the-numbers person who values safety over any dangers.

When he received the offer to go on an adventure far from what he positions himself to be, Bilbo learns the value of taking the big leap. This lesson doesn’t necessarily tell us to take the risk to earn great rewards. The most important thing here is how going out of our respective comfort zones is preparing us to take control of ourselves—most definitely, how we control our finances. 

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Taking a big risk can also create great repercussions on our personal lives, which The Pursuit of Happyness excellently explored.

In the movie, Chris Gardner and his wife used up all their savings to invest in portable bone-density scanners solely on the idea that they are the in-demand health equipment at the time. But what they don’t realize is that this risk was latched on reactions than actual thinking.

While it’s important for us to do new things, we must also look at the other factors that can take a toll on our decision. Gardner learned this the hard way, and in saving and budgeting, being strategic and responsible for every step is key to reaching our goals.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

To cap off our list, we go back to the hard-hitting lessons of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Budgeting, especially for breadwinners at home, entails a lot of responsibility. Charlie, the film’s main character, knows to himself that while his upbringing isn’t as lavish or expensive as the other kids, his integrity outshines everything.

Money isn’t everything, integrity is. It’s impossible to reach financial comfort and freedom if we continue to overvalue monetary things other than ourselves, including our family. 

The same rule applies to budgeting. If we continue to prioritize things that are the most important to us, the greatest challenges should be an easy feat.

Agree with our list? What are some movies that have also taught you about finance? Share your reactions in the comments section below!


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