How to survive the credit crunch according to the movies

Hollywood has excellent bad financial advice...

One minute we’re deciding what DVDs to buy in the 4 for £20 sale, the next we’re knee deep in a global recession. So, as we do during every crisis, we’ve turned to the movies for guidance.  And on this occasion we really wished we hadn’t. Here’s what they think you should do when money starts to get a bit tight. Don’t follow their advice.

7. Kill Yourself. (It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946)

Don’t worry, you won’t actually die – an angel will come along, show you how rubbish the world would be without you, then send you back to your pals who’ll club together to save you from bankruptcy.

Seriously, we have no clue why everyone’s making such a fuss about the credit crunch when the solution’s so simple.

6. Drink. (Leaving Las Vegas, 1995)

You’ve lost your wife, you’ve lost your job, you’re about to lose your home. So why not head to the nearest supermarket and fill up a trolley with booze, then head for Las Vegas (or Blackpool, depending on whichever’s closest) to drink yourself to death.

After all, it worked for Nic Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. Not only did he meet Elizabeth Shue as a result of being booze-soaked, he – spoiler alert – died the way we all want to go; on the job.

5. Turn to prostitution. (Pretty Woman, 1990)

If you’ve lost everything, maybe it’s time to cash-in your heart of gold and sleep with strangers for money.

Prostitutes are always glamorous and they only usually have to sleep with a few people before true love appears in the form of a reluctant trick.

Hell, Alabama from True Romance didn’t have to sleep with anyone before she met Clarence, and Vivian from Pretty Woman met a millionaire!

4. Wait for a couple of eccentric millionaires to make a bet. (Trading Places, 1983)

If you’re on minimum wage, why don’t you go ahead and quit so you can become a con artist. Go on, we’ll wait. Done that? Good. Because you’re just a few scams away from being noticed by a couple of eccentric millionaires who will allow you to swop places with a businessman for a whimsical bet. You’ll end up rich. Ain’t life grand?

3. Change your name, move to a desert planet. (Star Wars, 1977)

When Obi Wan Kenobi lost everything, he didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself, he moved to an inhospitable land and felt sorry for himself there instead.

Oh, and he changed his first name to ‘Old Ben’, but didn’t bother to alter his surname, which is the first thing a Stormtrooper would look for in the phone book. Remember: advice isn’t always logical.

2. Spend all your money, you’ll get ten times the amount back. (Brewster’s Millions, 1985)

Brewster’s Millions revolves around the premise that Montgomery Brewster inherits $30 million, but if he spends it all frivolously in 30 days, he gets $300 million.

When we pitched that idea to our bank manager, he attempted to feed our face into a cash machine. So, maybe the movies don’t have all the answers...

1. Grift. (The Grifters, 1990)

We loved that bit in Grifters where John Cusack goes to a bar, holds up a high note for a drink, then hands over a low note and counts the change.

But when we tried it at our local Dog & Duck, we got punched full in the face.  Perhaps it’s because we tried to convince the landlord that our 50 pence piece was a £20 note. We’re not sure. Budgeting is fun!

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