Three Things About Money That I Learned from Hallmark Movies

The leaves have fallen, the air is crisp, and the flavors have shifted from pumpkin spice to peppermint mocha. Yes, it’s winter and time for the television programming lineup to be filled with movies that have improbable plot twists and lots of foreign princes. Yet aside from the epically decorated houses, the fake snow, and the cheesy love stories, you can actually learn some money lessons from these holiday flicks.

  1. Always have an emergency fund. It seems like the heroes and heroines in these movies always get into lots of trouble because they don’t have a rainy-day fund in a separate account kept in a financial institution. A big-city architect trapped in a small town due to car trouble, a book store owner out of work because of a corporate takeover, a single parent who can’t afford the plane ticket home for the holidays. All of these folks could save themselves a lot of heartache by automatically setting aside a few dollars from each paycheck.
  2. Experiences are better than things. Baking cookies for Santa, ice skating on a frozen pond, playing board games. These, not a pile of toys and electronic gadgets, are what memories are made of. Psychologists have shown that we are happier living in the moment and anticipating experiences rather than consuming things. So keep this in mind when thinking about gift-giving, and perhaps offer to rake someone’s leaves or wash their car rather than give them a fruit cake.
  3. The best things in life are free. These movies are full of stories where love triumphs over a fat bank account. For example, the rich heiress who thinks everyone is after her for her money ends up finding true love with a poor lawyer at a masked ball. Or the duchess who switches places with a lookalike baker and finds that money isn’t everything.

 From a personal finance point of view, you can find a lot of FREE stuff out there. You can check out books, movies, and games from your local library, get a free pass to the National Parks, or even use a calming meditation app (courtesy of Blue Star Families) and not have to spend a dime.

Want to build wealth and reduce debt? Take the Military Saves Pledge and receive emails and texts with tips, information, and motivation.

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | April 18, 2014

    Don't fall prey to the #payday #loan trap! Read these tips for alternate options http://ow.ly/vTKTh

Saver Stories View all »

Building a Six-Figure Savings While Enjoying Life

Written by Jackie Toops | November 13, 2020

Does the idea of saving up hundreds of thousands of dollars seem impossible? How about doing it while still living an enjoyable lifestyle?

For military spouse Martina and her husband, an E-5 in the Navy, accumulating a six-figure savings has become a reality. One might think that in order to save this much, it would take a great deal of sacrificing and forgoing a certain quality of life, but Martina and her husband would disagree. “Over the past few years (about five), we've managed to save almost $120,000 while mostly living on one income. We've learned so much about easy ways to save money and live a good life,” shares Martina.

Read more...

Making Saving Automatic Leads to Personal Success

Written by Lila Quintiliani | May 27, 2020

Ryan’s savings journey started when he was an active duty airman. Frequent deployments and temporary duty assignments gave him the opportunity to save. By the time he transitioned out of active duty, he had built up a healthy rainy-day fund and had started to aggressively save for retirement.

Read more...

Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

Read more...