This text is the newest a part of the FT’s Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign
College could also be out for many, however for those who’re settling down to observe a movie with the household this Christmas, listed here are some straightforward methods to complement their display time with some covert monetary schooling.
It’s been a very grim 12 months for our private funds and it’s prone to get even harder in 2023. The necessity to train our kids and grandchildren good cash habits has by no means been extra essential, however discovering methods of engaging them generally is a problem.
Films present priceless reference factors for youngsters to get their heads round what’s occurring on the planet round them. So I requested my social media followers to advocate movies that might spark significant conversations about cash with kids (and adults) of all ages.
As you’ll see from the choice beneath, not all of them are festive. Some are very previous — you would possibly bear in mind them from your personal childhood. However all of them comprise priceless classes about our cash, and our lives.
What higher place to begin than the Christmas basic It’s a Great Life? (U)? Positively one to observe when the grandparents come spherical, it’s a helpful primer about how banks work — and what occurs when individuals can’t pay again what they’ve borrowed. Older kids could possibly be inspired to narrate scenes of economic panic to current runs on crypto exchanges.
Buying and selling Locations (15) is a Christmas comedy with a critical cash message. Starring Eddie Murphy as a wily road con artist, as the results of an elaborate wager, he swaps locations with rich dealer Dan Aykroyd. Watching this might spark questions on monetary privilege (“The easiest way you harm wealthy individuals is by turning them into poor individuals”) in addition to the blurry line between moneymaking schemes and outright scams.
There are many films that discover the ethical dilemma of how cash corrupts, Wall Avenue (15) being the plain choose. Regardless of what Gordon Gekko says, is greed actually so good? In case your youngster was in Bud Fox’s place, would they’ve finished something otherwise?
Leaping forward to the 2008 monetary disaster, The Large Brief (15) reveals what occurred when the banks acquired too grasping. Quick-paced sufficient to get anybody considering economics, as home costs teeter and mortgage charges soar, there are many methods to narrate this to at the moment’s information agenda.
With monetary fraud at file ranges, exploiting individuals’s desires of changing into wealthy with the intention to make off with their cash is an everlasting theme.
Boiler Room (15) was made in 2000, but the psychology of why we fall for scams has not modified a lot — simply the strategies by which money is extracted. When the credit roll, ask your child what they find out about on-line funding scams, quantity spoofing and cash muling.
Whereas it predates social media, Catch Me if You Can (12) starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a teenage con artist pretending to be somebody he’s not might spark conversations about influencers not being all that they appear. If solely the dogged FBI agent performed by Tom Hanks might clear up the web.
For older youngsters, DiCaprio’s Oscar-worthy efficiency in The Wolf of Wall Avenue (18) takes the get-rich-quick hustle to a extra excessive, grownup stage. There’s heaps to speak about right here, but when Jordan Belfort had been a younger dealer at the moment, I really feel positive crypto could be his asset of alternative — there are simply so many synergies.
It’s too early for a film about Sam Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX (although I count on Hollywood administrators are drooling on the prospect). Not a film, but when your youngsters are interested by crypto, the wonderful Defined docu-series on Netflix has an incredible episode on this — and don’t overlook Skandal! (the story of how FT colleagues introduced down Wirecard, the German funds firm).
For Dolly Parton followers, 9 to five (rated 15) is the final word film to get kids speaking concerning the gender pay hole, plus what workplaces had been like earlier than computer systems, and has a cracking soundtrack. The plain query is, how a lot has actually modified for ladies for the reason that Eighties?
One other huge Hollywood theme is whether or not cash should buy you happiness — one thing that actually resonates in occasions of rising wealth inequality.
Richie Wealthy (PG) stars Macaulay Culkin because the richest child on the planet who has all the pieces — besides buddies. Would having your personal rollercoaster and McDonald’s actually be enjoyable for those who had no one to share it with?
Received Disney+? The 1974 animated model of Robin Hood (U) is a riot, and can get even babies enthusiastic about the distribution of wealth in society. In addition to exploring the ethical dilemma of whether or not stealing can ever be justified, you can query whether or not rich individuals ought to pay extra taxes (that ought to spark a Christmas argument with the kin.)
For older kids, Ken Loach’s pulverising 2016 movie I, Daniel Blake (15) explores the gaping holes within the UK advantages system. A troublesome watch, however the price of residing disaster has made this much more related.
When your tears have dried, this might immediate conversations about politics and the very important position that charities and meals banks play in society (they could even need to donate a few of their Christmas cash or undesirable toys). Digital exclusion is one other rising downside. What number of on a regular basis issues is it now unimaginable, or very tough, to do with no smartphone?
Whereas not a film, the Channel 5 actuality collection Wealthy Home, Poor Home sees households of various revenue ranges commerce houses, budgets and existence (“In six weeks, they spend what you do in a 12 months.”) This affords a barely much less bleak glimpse into the category divide — and is certain to impress loads of sensible questions.
For older teenagers, the hit Korean movie Parasite (15) seems at this by a a lot darker prism, as a struggling household seizes the chance to deceive and exploit a wealthy household. Whose aspect are you on?
That’s sufficient films to see you thru to the brand new 12 months, however I’ll chuck in yet one more for good measure. Mates With Cash (15) affords a extra light-hearted tackle differing revenue ranges. Jennifer Aniston stars as Olivia, who quits a profitable job solely to learn the way awkward issues can get when your mates all have rather more cash than you do.
In case your youngsters love Mates, get them to observe “The One with 5 Steaks and an Eggplant” which tackles the perennial downside of splitting restaurant payments. What is the fairest manner of doing it?
Do add your personal ideas within the feedback beneath. And earlier than you agree down with the popcorn, as a ultimate lesson, get your youngsters to search out which streaming companies will allow you to look ahead to the bottom price, or free.
Claer Barrett is the FT’s client editor and the author of “What They Don’t Train You About Cash”. firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter and Instagram: @Claerb