Money According To Clark Griswold
Money According To Clark Griswold
No doubt National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will be on TV at some stage over Christmas. It’s a classic that most people have seen numerous times.
I was thinking about poor Clark Griswold and how many of his problems seem to relate to money.
Clark is a devoted family man who works hard to earn an income for his family and dreams of ways to spend that income on things that will make his family happy. Sounds a lot like most people I know.
It’s just a fact of life that money makes the world go around and the more of it we have, the more options we will have in life.
Unfortunately for Clark, in wanting to give his family everything, he’d paid a deposit on a pool on the assumption he’d be getting a similar bonus to years gone by. The lesson… don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
In the movie, Clark’s cousin, Eddy, kidnaps Clark’s boss and in the end the boss agrees to a 20% bonus payment. However, kidnapping someone to extort money out of them is unlikely to be a financial plan that will work for any of us in real life.
While the movie is a great laugh, it does highlight why it’s so important to have a financial plan going forward. If you have dreams and goals for you and your family then there needs to be thought and effort put into making them a reality. Hope is not a plan.
The crux of the issue is that like so many of us, Clark was spending money he didn’t have. Whether it’s through making unrealistic assumptions about a bonus payment or borrowing money to spend on things that immediately go down in value (which will have to be paid back later with interest), spending money we don’t have is simply robbing our future selves of that money (and then some, via the wealth that isn’t created with that money).
Now, if Clark Griswold spent Christmas Vacation making sensible money decisions, it would be the most boring movie ever made. It’s the fact that he and his relatives make ridiculous decisions the whole way through that makes it so funny. We don’t want our financial lives to resemble a joke though. We want opportunities and choices for us and our families. That’s why making smart financial decisions NOW pays off so handsomely down the track.
Make every Christmas from now on better, and far less stressful, by being someone who is living their financial life on purpose. That is, having a plan.
Making a plan, reviewing it each year and making changes where necessary will put you on the path to so many more options being available to you in the future… and so much of it can be done without having to give up anything now. In many cases, it’s just about getting the money which you do have to work harder for you.
Thanks for reading my words throughout the year. It’s been great to hear from so many people that enjoy reading this each week and to have had so many come and seek advice. Helping people live a better life through making smarter financial decisions is what I’m committed to!
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and get the opportunity to enjoy Clark Griswold at his finest.
See you in 2019!
If you’d like to find out more about how INDEPENDENT financial advice could help you manage cash flow, pay off the mortgage faster, get the most out of super and invest wisely, then get in touch on 0411 484 464 or head to wealthtrain.com.au.
Daniel McGregor is the man behind Wealth Train and is a member of the Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia. This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice which does not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. All strategies and information provided are general advice only.
Daniel McGregor and Wealth Train are authorised representatives of Independent Financial Advisers Australia AFSL 464629