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6 Lessons About Money From Movie: Nightmare Alley – Circus life has a few tricks up its sleeve about money

Lesson #1

Don’t let your money sit in a safe or under your mattress; put it to work.

Instead of Stanton depositing his wads of cash in a bank, he put them in a safe (owned by Dr. Ritters - someone he barely knew).

As the story comes to a close, we notice something. When Stanton goes to the safe to retrieve his money, instead of finding his original $100 bills, there are only $1 bills. Obviously, he was gypped by Dr. Ritter, but we do the same thing to ourselves when we don’t put our money to work. Inflation eats away at sitting cash every year like Pac man eats dots.

Lesson #2

Don’t leave your money in the hands of someone you don’t trust.

When you do this ^, something frequently goes awry. Instead, be an active participant with your money, and know what is happening with it at all times. It is not the responsibility of others to handle your money; it is yours. Even when you pay for financial experts, don’t leave all the decisions about your money up to them.

Dr. Ritter didn’t care about Stanton’s wads of cash that he left in her safe, nor did she need it, but she stole it anyway - because she could.

Lesson #3

Build an emergency fund.

Stanton had to restart his at least twice life in the film due to his costly mistakes. Yes, he probably should’ve been in prison for the rest of his life. But what if his mistakes weren’t as detrimental, and he still had to start over? Either way, he didn’t have any savings.

Emergencies, significant expenses, life changes, and other events can take their toll financially. Instead of remaining financially unprepared like most folks, be prepared. Stanton had so much money coming in, yet, he didn’t save and invest his money. Though it was one of his biggest goals to attain money, he never learned to use it properly. Leading to my next point…

Lesson #4

Educate yourself about money before you lose it.

In Mad Men, Betty Draper (someone who came from wealth) told Don Draper (who grew up poor) he doesn’t understand money, though he had it. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But Stanton definitely didn’t know how to handle money, and he also grew up poor. If you don’t come from wealth, you will most likely have to invest in financial education to ensure you make prudent decisions with your money. It’s okay to admit ignorance; it’s not okay to act like you know what to do with your money when you don’t have a clue.

Lesson #5

Watch out for your costly addictions!

Nobody likes to talk about this, but your alcohol, drug, porn, shopping, or whichever addiction you have will often carry over into your finances. Look out for your costly addictions! They will eat you alive. Stanton never drank until he did, which took him out of the game. He had to once again start over with his life - losing everything. Addictions are very destructive not only to yourself, your relationships, and your life and its surroundings but also to your money.

Lesson #6

Don’t sell your soul for money.

For the love of money is the root of all evil, as the great book states. How often do we see people do questionable things, all for the sake of money? How often do we see people give up who and what they love all for the sake of money?

I’ll answer the questions: Frequently.

For what will it profit someone if they gain the whole world and lose their own soul? Matthew, 16:26, MEV

As you can see in this film, Stanton got shut-eye. A phrase Pete coined to define a person who can no longer think or see clearly because they have gone down a destructive and egotistical path; when someone gets shut-eye, they lose themselves, their priorities, and forget about all that genuinely matters.

Money is the universal language, but it doesn’t have to be the only language. Learn to prioritize effectively so you don’t become like so many afflicted by an overzealous lust for the accumulation of money.

As hard we work for our dollars, they can quickly disappear on us. Moreover, it’s not like we can take our money with us to the grave. Remember this.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

Image Credit: Nightmare Alley (Film)

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Non-Fiction, Self-Help