Money Lessons from the Local Movie Theater

A cool economy and hot movie sales went well together last year as Americans found ways to temporarily escape the financial down turn and mounting job losses.  According to a report released by Adams Media Research, Americans spent $9.87 billion going to the movies in 2009. Many of these movies were nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Associate for outstanding achievements in motion pictures.  This year’s Golden Globe nominee’s movie titles can give you some tips on becoming debt free, or staying debt free this year.

Up in the Air (nominee: best picture, drama)
Do you know where your money goes, or is it up in the air?  This year make a concrete resolution that you will get a firm grip on your finances by setting up a budget to track out of control spending. It’s not enough to say “I won’t spend as much on clothes this year.”  Take the time to find a budgeting system that works for you.  Setting a budget will help keep your finances on solid ground.

An Education (nominee: best actress in a drama, Carey Mulligan)
The beginning of the year is a great time to take some financial education classes.  Perhaps you want to learn about online banking, are looking to buy a house, start investing, or simply want to enhance your money knowledge.  There are free and convenient courses available. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation offers a no cost computer based financial education program called Money Smart.   The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers a plethora of free courses to help with budgeting, savings, dealing with debt and other financial education topics. 

The Proposal (nominee: best performance by an actress in a musical or comedy: Sandra Bullock)
Getting married can be one of the most stressful financial times in a person’s life.  Merging two lives, two bank accounts, and two different money attitudes can be an adjustment.  Money problems are one of the leading causes for divorce.  It does not have to be that way.  Before saying I do, make sure you are on the same page financially. 

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers money tips to consider before tying the knot:
• Be honest about where you are financially.
• Acknowledge one may be a saver, one a spender; agree to learn from each other’s tendencies.
• Work to understand each others long held beliefs about money.
• Decide which person will pay monthly bills.
• Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.

Best Performance-Staying out of Debt
Getting out of debt or staying debt free does not have to be dramatic or a comedy of errors.  Practice smart money habits and this could be the year you win the best award of all-a debt free life.   

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