Your Thrift Habits — Budgeting tips from 1948

Long-time readers know that I love old instructional films — the kind of thing we older folks used to watch in high school. (“Play it backwards!”)

Because the previous owners of Get Rich Slowly “unpublished” all of the old films I once shared, I get the joy of sharing them again with a new audience. Today, we start with a gem: “Your Thrift Habits“, a film designed to teach teenagers how to budget.

Produced in 1948 by Coronet Instructional Films, this 10-minute short is filled with great advice — and it's 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-breaker.
  • “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's been nearly a decade since I first watched this film. I still love it.

If you spot other short films (or cartoons) on similar topics, please drop me a line so that I can share them with everybody!

More about...Budgeting

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