For this final day of Thrift Week 2009, Get Rich Slowly revisits a short thrift film that I first featured in May 2007.

Over the past few years, I’ve shared a number of old cartoons and educational films about sound money management. I love these old videos. My favorite of the bunch is probably this little honey: “Your Thrift Habits”. Produced in 1948 by Coronet Instructional Films, it’s filled with great advice, and is fun to watch, too.

“Your Thrift Habits” highlights some important aspects of budgeting and thrift:

  • “If you can do without extravagances, you can save regularly.”
  • Be aware of your budget-breakers and try to avoid them. In the film, Jack’s budget-breakers are movies, candy, and peach super-delights. Yours might be Starbucks or iTunes. In the past, comic books were my budget-breakers.
  • “Buying cheap, unsatisfactory products is never thrifty.” When you can afford it, purchase quality.
  • Sometimes you’ll have to make choices. In “Your Thrift Habits”, Jack chooses to attend a football game, which delays his savings plan by one week. The key is that he chooses this course of action and accepts the consequences.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind. Jack falls behind once or twice, but he doesn’t give up. He keeps saving.
  • “When you save for a specific goal or purpose, it’s easier if you have a visual reminder.” Tracking your progress can spur success.
  • Money management gets easier with time. After you’ve kept a budget for a month or two, or after you’ve saved for one big item, it’s easier to repeat the process.

It has been nearly two years since I first watched this film. In that time, I’ve paid off my debt, built my savings, and still managed to enjoy life. How? By putting these lessons into practice. I try to forego extravagances and budget-breakers. I set goals. I buy quality. In essence, I have developed the thrift habits this film espouses.

I love old instructional films like this. If you spot other short films (or cartoons) on similar topics, please drop me a line so that I can share them with everyone.

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