The holiday season brings us a lot of things — family, friends, shopping, food and of course… Hallmark Christmas movies. While Hallmark Christmas movies are ostensibly centered around holiday cheer and love, there are many money lessons that can be learned from every hour and a half of a Candace Cameron Bure holiday story. Before you say “bah humbug,” let’s dive into the three money lessons I learned from Hallmark Christmas movies.
Having an emergency fund is critical. In Hallmark movies there might be a picturesque winter storm, forcing the main character to stay in a small town over the holidays and ask the charming, local mechanic for help with their car stuck in the snow. In real life, when unexpected things happen, it’s not as quaint — and it’s best to be prepared. While, unfortunately, nearly 40% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover $400 in unexpected expenses, an emergency fund is something everyone should strive to have. Aim to save 3-6 months expenses as an emergency fund for a rainy (or snowy) day.
Hallmark Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season and have made lucrative careers for a few lucky folks. Did Lacey Chabert or Holly Robinson Peete think they would be holiday regulars on our TV sets when they started their careers? It all starts with taking a first step. Make that first payment to bring down your debt or start that house fund Goal today — doing so could be your Moonlight and Mistletoe (Hallmark deep cut — that’s the movie that got Candace Cameron Bure started, post Full House, of course).
The Hallmark Christmas movie factory loves to repeatedly show us the benefits of slowing down from all that hustle and bustle of the big city and enjoying the simple things like gingerbread cookies at the Kringle Cafe with that guy from high school who never left home but absolutely is THE ONE (you just don’t realize it yet!). Talk about your money goals and what you want to achieve with your partner (i.e., have a Money Date). While we all know that everyday life isn’t a stroll around the local town holiday fair, it is important to take stock of your goals, communicate openly, set your plan and be flexible.
There are a lot of things that can be learned from Hallmark movies (always expect a flour fight if you are making cookies with family) but I hope these three money lessons serve you well during the holidays and throughout the year. Now grab a glass of nog, sit down by the fireplace and have a holiday money date. There’s no time like the present.
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