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5 Financial Lessons You Can Learn From Ghostbusters

Chris Gottschalk

Chris Gottschalk About The Author

Oct 13, 2020 6:45:00 AM

While most people are familiar with the movie Ghostbusters, far fewer people are aware of the financial lessons embedded in the film. You might roll your eyes at that statement, but it’s true—the Ghostbusters take out loans, buy real estate, set up a small business and even have to deal with bureaucracy at its worst before they get to world-saving. As a result, they’re forced to deal with several financial issues that are still relevant today.

Once you understand these financial lessons in Ghostbusters, you’ll be saying “I ain’t afraid of no finances!” Okay, maybe not, but you will have learned something.

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The Ghostbusters finance their venture by taking out not one, not two, but three mortgages on Ray Stantz’s family home at 19% interest. While we’re not sure of all the numbers, Egon informs Ray that he’ll end up paying $95,000 in the first five years on the interest alone—or $19,000 each year.

The lesson to be learned here is that if you’re going to take out a loan, hold out for the lowest rate. Do your research about what kind of interest rates you can reasonably expect to get based on the type of loan you want to take out and your credit score, then spend time shopping around until you know you’ve got the best possible rate.

Spend Money on Quality Products

Everyone knows the iconic Ghostbusters Ectomobile. What many people don’t remember is that when Ray first bought the car, it needed almost everything replaced—and he paid $4,800 for it.

Ghostbusters logo | First Alliance Credit UnionThat’s not a decision you should emulate. Instead, when you’re buying an item, especially something as expensive as a car, spend your money on a quality product. Do some research beforehand to see what the best products are on the market, and once you’ve made your choice wait until the product you’ve selected goes on sale in order to get the best price.

Know What You’re Looking For

Of course, Ray is also responsible for the team buying their headquarters, an old firehouse that Ray falls in love with because it has a fireman’s pole.

You could easily read this as the Ghostbusters making another questionable purchase, especially since Egon doesn’t think the building is adequate for their needs. However, there’s another point that gets overlooked—Ray knows what he likes.

Woman shopping | First Alliance Credit Union There’s a lot of value in knowing what you’re looking for, especially when you’re buying big ticket items like appliances, vehicles or houses. For instance, if you really like driving a car with a stick shift, you might want to consider spending a bit more time searching for a car that has a manual transmission instead of a car with an automatic. By the same token, if you’re buying a computer because you want to play the latest video games on it, you shouldn’t settle for a budget computer that might not be able to handle those games.

Knowing what you want in a product also helps you figure out what you’re not looking for, so you know not to pay for features and options that you don’t really need.

When Someone Asks You if You’re a God, Say “Yes.”

It’s just common sense.

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While the Ghostbusters may not exactly be financial role models, taking a look at the choices they make as they’re setting up their business can help you figure out how to make good financial decisions—and how to stay away from bad ones.

If you want some help making good financial decisions, become a member of First Alliance Credit Union today. You can contact our Real Estate Lending team to get a mortgage with a fantastic interest rate, or you can talk to our lending advisors about getting an auto loan that is just the right fit for your budget. You might even want to reach out to one of our dedicated business banking team members if you're interested in starting, buying or even expanding a business.

Want more information about how you can achieve financial success without worrying about supernatural threats? Check out episode 25 of our Good Money Moves podcast where we talk about how to set financial goals. Listen Now