Don't take financial advice from the silver screen

Millions of people watched the Golden Globe awards Sunday night, and it’s tempting to feel envious of the celebrities who walked the red carpet. However, even though the stars’ lives may appear glamorous, it might not be financially smart to think like some of the characters that have been portrayed on the big screen throughout the years.

So in honor of award season, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and MMI reflect on the following famous movie lines in relation to personal finance:

  • Gone with the Wind – “I can’t think about it right now” didn’t work out too well for Scarlett O’Hara, and it won’t work for today’s financially strapped heroine, either. Delaying reaching out for help with your financial situation will only make matters worse.
  • Casablanca – Wanting Sam to play the same song over and over is one thing, but repeating the same financial mistakes month after month is not music to anyone’s ears. If your financial hole is getting deeper, it’s time for a new tune.
  • Wizard of Oz – Dorothy knew that “there’s no place like home,” and the millions of Americans who have been displaced from their homes would agree. A home is typically a person’s largest investment, so don’t risk losing yours. MMI offers a variety of housing resources, including foreclosure prevention counseling and reverse mortgage counseling. Reach out for help at the first signs of trouble so that you and Toto will always have a roof over your heads.
  • Dr. No – James Bond was a convincing secret agent in dozens of films, identifying himself simply as “Bond, James Bond.” Today, even James Bond could have trouble keeping his personal information secure, as thieves have sophisticated methods of stealing identities. Unauthorized charges on existing accounts, new accounts opened in your name, and drained bank accounts are just some of the results of being a victim of identity theft. To keep from needing your own secret agent, educate yourself with identity theft protection tips at ProtectYourIDNow.org.
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Many may think that this movie title describes their financial life. If so, do something about it by facing the financial facts. Take charge of your financial future by tracking spending, creating a payday cash-flow calendar and knowing how much you owe. It’s your money and your financial future. No one cares more about it than you.

If your finances are not award-winning, reach out to a trained and certified counselor at MMI. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Money Management International is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.

Jessica Horton is a former copywriter and community manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.