MILWAUKEE -- Struggle to manage your money this time of year? Certified financial planner Tony Drake from Drake and Associates joins Real Milwaukee with financial lessons we can learn from our favorite holiday films.
Elf - A Positive Attitude
Buddy maintains a positive attitude throughout the movie. There are studies suggesting a positive mindset can lead to increased productivity. Our mindset can also impact our health, both positively and negatively. If you aren't as positive as Buddy, the great thing about our mindset is that it can be changed! When it comes to our finances keeping a positive attitude while we're paying down debt, building an emergency fund or saving for retirement can help improve our motivation.
Christmas Vacation - Don't Spend Money You Don't Have
There are actually quite a few lessons we can learn from Clark Griswold. But the biggest mistake he makes is spending money he doesn't have. He put a down payment on a pool before receiving his bonus check. And as most of us know, he never receives that check. Too many of us have the same mentality because credit card debt is at an all-time high. The median credit card debt per household is $2,300. The solution is to create and stick to a budget. Write down exactly how much money you earn each month, how much you are spending and how much you are saving.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Holiday Spirit
How the Grinch Stole Christmas captures the true holiday spirit. The Grinch learns Christmas is a feeling that comes from the heart. A recent study showed that people who spend money on experiences, rather than things, were happier and felt like their money was better spent. Instead of individual gifts, consider a once-in-a-lifetime experience or a weekend getaway for the entire family. You may feel like your money was better spent, and you might even save a little money by not splurging on individual gifts!
A Christmas Carol- Share the Wealth
There are a few financial concepts we can take away from this famous story. We're going to focus on sharing the wealth. We all know Scrooge is greedy and selfish, but after visits from the three ghosts, he realizes generosity not only enriches his life but everyone around him. Consider sharing the wealth by donating to charity this giving season. Remember, your donation to charity doesn't have to be monetary. You can give back by volunteering your time or talents this holiday season. It's also a great way to teach children about giving back.