Money Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life

money lessons c and c

In the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey, who’s considering committing suicide, is visited by an angel who shows him what the world would be like without him.

Not only is It’s a Wonderful Life a great movie about the difference 1 person’s life can make, it also teaches us some very valuable lessons about money! Here are a few of them.

How a bank really works.

When the stock market crashes, a mob rushes to the Building and Loan. When someone wants to withdraw their money, George says they are thinking of the Building and Loan all wrong, as if he has the money out back in a safe. He explains that their money is in the houses other people took out a loan to build.

A bank works the same way. They don’t simply store the money you deposit, and pay you interest for letting them store it. They loan out the money you deposit, and charge a higher interest rate on the loans than they pay you. In other words, they make money off of your money, and pay you a little of what they made off of it. Not only that, but they actually loan out many times more than what is deposited with them. They keep a certain amount of money on hand, but not enough to give everyone back their money if they all demanded it at once. That’s why banks get in trouble if too many people try to withdraw their money at the same time.

Buy in a down market.

When the stock market crashes, Potter offers to pay the Bank and Loan shareholders 50 cents on the dollar for their shares. George responded by telling them that Potter was buying, not selling, and that he was picking up bargains. Potter was trying to take over the bank and loan by purchasing all the shares 50% off. The people were willing to sell this low because things weren’t going well.

To succeed financially, buy when everyone else is trying to sell. You can score some pretty big bargains on investments in an economy that has taken a turn for the worse. Then when the economy recovers, you’ll have a bunch of assets waiting to make you tons of money!

When you panic, you lose money.

George told the frantic crowd that Potter was buying, not selling, because they were panicked and he wasn’t. Think about it – the people were willing to receive half of what their shares were worth, because they figured it was better than nothing. Making a snap decision out of panic would have cost them half of their money!.

Never make a financial decision in a state of panic. Let yourself calm down, and think things through rationally so you don’t make a choice you will later regret.

 

Time Travel Acheived! – Reliving the 60s

time travel

Have you ever wished that you could time travel? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the past? Well, now you can! As a matter of fact, right at this very moment, you are reliving the decade that took place about 50 years ago – the 60s!

One day, I was watching a show on tv where they were trying to depict the scene of a coffee shop in the 60s. While watching it, something looked familiar. Then I remembered – I had seen almost the exact same thing at a shop that I stopped at to grab coffee a few weeks earlier! After taking some time to research the 60s online, I found that there are many striking similarities between today and back then.

Why should this be a surprise? Ecclesiastes 1:9 specifically tells us that what has been will be again, and that what has been done will once again be done, for there is nothing new under the sun.

History really does repeat itself! Here are a few of the similarities between where we are today, and what was taking place during the 60s –

  • Many were against the Vietnam war, just as there are many today who think that we shouldn’t have gone to war w/Iraq, and who oppose very heavy American military involvement in the Middle East.
  • The civil rights movement was taking place, and today we’re dealing with things like the situation in Baltimore that took place earlier this year, and other similar events.
  • In the 60s, the younger generation began to rebel against more conservative views, and take on the mindset that you should be able to do whatever you want, and people should just accept you. Isn’t that the perspective many young people today have?
  • In the 60s, the feminist movement was big, and it’s an issue we’re hearing a lot about today.
  • In the 60s, the gay rights movement began to pick up, and just recently, the US passed a law allowing same-sex marriage.
  • Starting in the late 60s, the Jesus Movement took place when hippie culture and Christianity collided. Today, we are seeing within the church a resurgence of the kind of thinking that was popular during the Jesus Movement as believers try to remain relevant to the world around them. (The way many are doing this is by trying to be as much like the world as possible so that people will be drawn to Christianity as something cool and trendy. The danger is that we may water down Christianity so much in an attempt to get people to accept it, that even the most basic, essential Christian beliefs become completely eroded.)

Romans 15:4 says that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. That’s the main reason for studying history – so that we can learn from it, copying what previous generations did right, and hopefully avoiding some of the mistakes that they made. If we’re really reliving the 60s, what can we learn from what happened then that we can apply to our lives today?