2 Money lessons from holiday movies

By Kim Galeta
December 22, 2019

Last year, you may have enjoyed our round-up of top financial takeaways from holiday classics. So, we decided to put together a 2019 edition! 

These holiday classic movies touch on the importance of having a dedicated bank account for emergencies to working on your money mindset – and more. 

Keep reading to learn 2 top money lessons from your favorite holiday movies. 

It’s a Wonderful Life

Money Lesson: Build an emergency fund. 


It was hard to choose just one money lesson from this classic film, but this is a pretty good one.

While George Bailey had a reputation for being thrifty, having a rainy day fund for his personal finances (and business for that matter) would have likely prevented his financial demise. 

The good news is that with a bit of planning, it’s entirely possible for you to start, grow and maintain an emergency fund that will provide a financial cushion whenever life throws something unexpected your way.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Money Lesson: Don’t spend what you don’t have.


In the movie, Clark Griswold makes big plans for his holiday bonus. Yet, he doesn’t realize that it won’t be in the form of cash but rather a “Jelly of the Month” membership. Even though Cousin Eddie remarks that this is the “gift that will keep on giving,” Clark is understandably crushed. 

The biggest takeaway here is that you should never count your chickens before they hatch. In essence, avoid making major purchases (like Clark’s downpayment on a swimming pool) until the check clears.

Final Thoughts

As you snuggle up to enjoy your favorite holiday movies this season, remember there are hidden money lessons to be found if you just take the time to look. Happy Holidays from the Chime family!

Kim Galeta has been a professional writer since 2009 focusing primarily on personal finance but also dabbling in tech, health & wellness and small business. She holds an MBA in finance and corporate strategy from the University of Florida.

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