It’s summer movie blockbuster season! Will you be watching aliens taking over the world? Or taking in a comedy or romance?
The ’80s are known for some of the coolest – or worst, depending on your viewpoint – movies ever made. And while the decade also has a reputation for the free-spending lifestyle that led to the recession of the early ’90s, we can still take away some smart financial lessons from those films.
Here are a few of our favorites, and the financial lessons they taught us:
The Film: “Say Anything,” 1989
The Lesson: Never give up.
John Cusack’s well-meaning slacker Lloyd Dobbler falls for the over-achieving valedictorian and goes to great lengths to win (and keep) her heart. Lloyd paid his dues and soldiered on until he achieved his goal. Managing your money is like that – you need to pay what you owe and keep working toward your financial goals.
The Film: “Labyrinth,” 1986
The Lesson: – You have the power over your money.
Long before she won an Oscar, Jennifer Connelly was running around a fantasy maze trying to get her baby brother back from the evil Goblin King David Bowie (rocking a Tina Turner ‘do that actually worked for him). Realizing she’s in control, not the goblin, is what gives Sarah the power to win. Your relationship with money should be like that. You need to control your money, not allow it to control you.
The Film: “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” 1981
The Lesson: How to deal with an emergency.
From a huge boulder rolling toward him to a pit of snakes, hundreds of evil Nazis and an ancient battery on meltdown, Indiana Jones faced more than one emergency in this film. He overcame each one with a combination of preparation (he always had his trusty whip), level thinking (why engage in a sword fight when you have a gun) and creativity (when all else fails, throw a punch and hold on). Dealing with financial crisis can be like that. You need to be prepared with an emergency fund, keep a level head and be creative with your solutions.
The Film: “Ghostbusters,” 1984
The Lesson: Entrepreneurship can pay off.
A team of lovable misfits, led by Bill Murray, finds a unique way to make money, using their singular skill sets. With unemployment still high, now may be the time to follow their lead and become an entrepreneur. Working for yourself doing something you enjoy and that you’re good at can be personally and financially rewarding. Just make sure you go into the endeavor with a plan, otherwise you could get slimed!
The Film: “Cocoon,” 1985
The Lesson: Have a plan for your retirement.
A group of Florida pensioners get a new lease on life when they encounter beneficent aliens. We can only assume these retirees were in the right place at the right time because they set aside money to fund a pretty decent retirement lifestyle in Florida. Fail to plan for your own retirement, and it’s unlikely you’ll be rescued from financial struggles by kindly aliens.