Everyone should be familiar with the Griswold vacation series. If you’re not familiar with the Griswolds, than you must either live under a rock or on a deserted island. I don’t know not one person who hasn’t seen and loved the Griswold movies. The Griswolds are like the greatest American family depicted on a movie screen ever. Ok… maybe I’m exaggerating but I love their movies. I can always find time to watch them when they come on television.
The stories are mainly centered around Clark Griswold, a loving father, husband, and world class screw up. The series follows Clark Griswold and the rest of the family through numerous adventures. Clark Griswold tries his best to show his family a great time but always ends up creating some kind of disaster that hinders his plans. The series is filled with outrageous laughs and disastrous situations, one after another. There’s four installments of the series.
- National Lampoon’s Vacation
- National Lampoon’s European Vacation
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation
Have you ever noticed that the plot of all of these movies have something to do with some kind of financial mishap or disaster. In each movies Clark makes some silly financial decision that creates a downward spiral for the Griswolds. This Friday I’m focusing on National Lampoon’s Chistmas Vacation. This is my favorite installment of the series and I definitely think there is an important financial lesson that you can learn.
In this hilarious installment of the Griswold series, Clark is looking forward to a great Christmas. He’s determined to have an old fashioned, Christmas despite major mishaps that occur. He’s looking forward to a huge bonus from work. Clark is depending on the bonus to fund the construction of a pool before the summer comes. He makes promises to his family members to fly them into town after the holiday and he promises cousin Eddie that he will give his kids a good Christmas. In the story, the large bonus that Clark was hoping for turns out to be a year’s membership to the Jelly Club. This sends Clark over the edge. I won’t give away too much but the next couple of scenes involve an electric saw, a squirrel, a burning christmas tree, and a kidnapped boss.
What’s the financial lesson in this movie?
Never Be Too Dependent On Money That You Don’t Physically Have Yet
The biggest mistake Clark Griswold made in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was that he was so anxious for that Christmas bonus that it drove him crazy. It’s easy for us to plot and be anxious for money that’s coming are way. Sometimes we spend the money before it even gets here. Whether it be a bonus, raise, school or tax refund check, you never know what could happen to halt that money from coming your way. When planning your finances, only plan using income that you are hundred percent sure you will be receiving.
I made a similar mistake to Clark Griswold a few months ago. I was a hundred percent sure a few months ago that I was going to get a new job. This job was a good job. The salary was a lot more than what I was making at the time. Since I was so sure that I would have a boost in my income soon, I decided that I would use one of my credit cards to go on a little shopping spree.
My plan was to pay off the payments once I got my new job and a fat check. Well, want to know what happened? I ended up not getting the job for whatever reason. Soon I had no interest in finding another job and decided that I wanted to persue entrepreneurship online. Therefore I added on to my credit card debt all because I had hoped for this new job.That had to be the most dumbest financial decision I have made in my life.
Moral of the story is unless the money is physically in your hand, don’t over think or act on your plans for it. The last thing you want to do is end up disappointed.
Have you ever been dependent on money that you thought was coming and it never came? Did you feel disappointed? What did you do? Share in the comments.