Money Lessons from The Grinch

by Robert DeVries

It is hard to believe, but we are quite near to the holiday season. In my house, my wife has already started watching Hallmark Holiday movies (did she ever really stop?). We will also watch or read The Grinch a few times each December, and a couple of my favorite quotes from it got me to thinking that the Grinch might have a few good money lessons to share.

Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store!

Oh how easy it is to get caught up in the hubbub and excitement of Christmas, especially when it comes to shopping for presents. But celebrating the season shouldn’t come with an expensive price tag and January headache, when the credit card bills come due! Here are three tips to keeping your spending down:

  1. Make a budget before you make your gift list and check it again before you go shopping. If Christmas gifts are an important expenditure, make sure they are an expense planned for in your financial plan.
  2. It’s not on sale if you don’t need it. Ignore the discount; did you walk into the store planning on buying it? If it doesn’t check off an item on your gift list and fit your budget, leave it behind.
  3. Limit self-gifting. Yes, you are awesome and you totally deserve that new tennis racquet, outfit, pair of shoes etc…Remember, others are out shopping for you and some of your wants might be under the tree. Also, expenditures on you should be part of your annual budget and financial plan. Finally, avoid those little treats while out shopping. It may seem small at the time, but lattes, snacks, eating out while shopping can add up over a month.

Timeline for The Grinch

1957 ~ The Grinch is created by Theodor Geisel, better known by the nom de plume Dr. Seuss, in the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
1966 ~ A cartoon featurette of the same name appears on television, with the iconic song “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. Famous portrayer of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff, is the narrator and voice of the Grinch.
2000 ~ A live action movie is made starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard.
2018 ~ Computer animated version to be released with Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch giving voice to the Grinch.

I can’t stand the noisE noiSE noISE NOISE !

I, for one, love the noise of the Holidays. The music, the sounds of friends and family over to the house, maybe even the crackle of the fireplace should the weather turn cooler in Florida.

The noise I can’t stand is the market noise. Take the last 10 months: The market fell in the first quarter amid worries of rising interest rates, trade tariffs; then rose in the second quarter despite those concerns, then rallied in the third on strong corporate profits, only to give it back in October. Laura Chiesman, President of FirstWave, wrote about this in her last blog. You can read more in Laura’s blog here.

It is impossible for someone to predict each of those changes, which occurred only over 10 months. So why ‘listen’ to the market experts on TV, in the newspaper, or magazine, who wrongly predict the next market twist or super investment. Instead, follow the advice from Laura’s blog and focus on the long term and what you can control. Use that time saved to spend it this holiday with family & friends. Read a book by the fireplace. Watch a good movie. May I suggest The Grinch?

You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this publication serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from FirstWave Financial. A copy of the FirstWave’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.