Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite movies of all time. I watch it several times in December as Christmas approaches. In my latest viewing I uncovered 5 poverty lessons from one of my favorite characters, Cousin Eddie. I thought I’d share them with you:
- Cousin Eddie, like many poor people, believed he was poor because of bad luck. As I found in my research of the rich and poor, poor people create their own bad luck. It’s called Detrimental Bad Luck. Detrimental Bad Luck is the byproduct of having bad habits, poverty thinking, bad behavior and making poor choices in life. Eating in excess can result in obesity and cause all sorts of health issues including various types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Not saving means you will have to rely on Social Security and the financial assistance of family and friends, in your retirement years. If you don’t engage in daily learning to improve your skills on the job, you will be among the first to be let go by your employer. If you live beyond your means and spend more than you make you will accumulate debt that will eventually overwhelm you.
- Cousin Eddie gave away all of their money to some preacher. Wealthy people understand that in order to become wealthy you must not only work hard to accumulate wealth, you must work hard to keep it.
- Cousin Eddie’s kids talked slang, had poor table manners and had overall poor etiquette. Parents of successful children teach them etiquette so that when they enter the workforce their good etiquette will help them succeed in life.
- Cousin Eddie was always waiting for the perfect job opportunity to come along. Opportunities don’t work like that in life. Life requires that you work hard, be persistent and engage in daily self improvement. Only then will opportunities open up for you. Opportunities favor those who are prepared to receive them.
- Cousin Eddie made spontaneous financial decisions. He traded his house for an RV without giving it a second thought. Wealthy people are very careful with their financial decisions. When they make a big financial decision, it is a well-thought out one. They do not put themselves between a rock and a hard place that requires desperate measures, like trading your house for an RV.