Friday, July 18, 2014

Financial Lessons from Dick and Jane

Millions of people enjoy watching movies. Over 20 million consumers pay the largest cable providers to watch cable.  I don’t watch television shows but love watching movies. I love watching the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane” starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni.  This movie shows the determination, sacrifice, humility, courage and perseverance a married couples displays to turn their life around after a citywide economic disaster. Movies impact most of our lives. You can learn some great life lessons from watching movies.  Here are 14 financial lessons you can learn from watching the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane”.

  1. Rise to the challenge.  Don’t get depressed or continually focus on the problem. Focus on solutions. You are smart, use your brain and challenge yourself to find ways to get over your hurdle.
  2. Don’t complain. Don’t constantly complain about your situation. Complaining doesn’t change your situation, taking action does.
  3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In the movie, Dick and Jane put all their money in the company stock which is always a bad choice because you can’t control and don’t know if a company will be a success or failure. Always have a backup plan. Try to have a plan A, B, C and D to prepare for unexpected events such as a job layoff or illness.  Develop what-if scenarios and develop possible solutions for each scenario.
  4. Tap your relationships. Due to their good relationship with their nanny, Dick was able to get a job lead.
  5. Pay attention. Pay attention to your surroundings. Dick lost his wallet which caused all kinds of problems. Keep items such as your wallet in a safe place and know where it is at all times.
  6. Prepare for the unexpected. Life happens. Nothing last forever.  The ones who survive are those who plan for the worst and those who don’t give up. Develop a plan to deal with unexpected events.
  7. Scale back your lifestyle.  Let go of your ego and pride. Face reality and scale back your lifestyle. Forget what anyone thinks. You should only be concerned about what you think. Do the best you can until you can do better. If you believe you can do something then do it. Don’t doubt yourself.
  8. Use teamwork. Seek help from family, friends, your church, social service organizations, non-profit agencies, etc. that offer help to those who are in need of assistance.
  9. Get advice from your social network. Reach out to your social network to get advice about whatever issue you need help with such as: employment, financial resources, financial aid, etc.
  10. Be flexible. Don’t focus on getting the same type of job you had.  Expand your search.  Dick waited in line all day for a job. Continue your search. Never give up. If you give up on yourself everyone else will give up on you too.
  11. Look for non-traditional jobs. There are several non-traditional jobs such as food service delivery, cooks, drivers, street vendors, babysitters, cashiers, bartenders, etc. that can provide income until you are able to get the job you desire.
  12. Learn from others. Their neighbors were not financially ruined because they didn’t put all their eggs in one basket and had financial reserves.  They were able to maintain their lifestyle even though the job market tanked.
  13. Stay calm. Dick got excited and emotional during various times in the movie which prevented him from making rational decisions. Don’t make decisions when you are emotional. Wait until you calm down to make decisions.
  14. Be supportive. Even though Dick’s ideas sounded outrageous, his wife Jane supported him in all of his crazy efforts to generate income and Dick supported Jane in her efforts to get a job.

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