Money Lessons from the Movie Inside Out

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Inside Out is a movie that teaches us about our emotions. I personally love this movie, but then again, I'm also a movie addict and I'm really on a path of loving learning about our emotions lately and how they affect everything in our lives, but more specifically how they affect our money. 

With this post, I'm going to dive into the main things I've noticed in the movie and how they relate to our money. 

There are 5 core emotions: joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger. The movie shows us how memories are made and how they affect who we are as a person. These emotions help us form our personality and make us who we really are. 

As you can see in the core emotions, only one of them is really positive - joy. The other 4 emotions aren't exactly positive, but they help to form our experiences and teach us important lessons in this lifetime. 

Lesson 1: Overreacting is a natural human tendency.

In the beginning of the movie, Riley and her family movie across the country. They uproot their entire life and move to a new city, new home and completely new experiences. As humans, we tend to not like change. This causes stress and sadness in our bodies when changes happen. 

Joy tries over and over to try and cheer up Sadness, but what Joy can't understand is that Sadness doesn't have the ability to feel anything other than sadness. So when something happens in our life that we don't know what to expect or how to handle it, stress and sadness tends to set in, this is just our normal human reaction. 

And in the end, this stress and sadness also affects our money. They create the reaction of stress and sadness in our bodies. And many of us, myself included, have learned to use money to help us change this stress and sadness to something happier by buying something. In the moment of our purchase, this changes our emotions from sadness to one of joy and happiness. 

This is where the saying "Money buys happiness," comes from. 

You can also look at overreacting as receiving bills or something that you weren't expecting and then not knowing how you are going to pay for it. When this happens, you run all of the possibilities (99 of them are negative and the world is plotting against you) through your head. 

And this is when we tend to think that nothing will ever change and there is nothing that you can do to turn this around. But there is always a way, there are always good possibilities and overreacting really doesn't help us. 

It's really easy to think the worst of everything is going to happen to you, but in reality this is just our fears kicking in, and causing our rational mind to go haywire. 

Lesson 2: It really is okay for things to change

In the movie, they show how we form our core memories as a child. But the emotions don't realize that it's okay for our core memories to change. 

Every day we create new experiences that make our lives even better for us. It really okay to allow this change to happen. 

Just think when our money situation is going to change, we don't always want it to happen. We were enjoying where we were and now change is happening. 

Most of the time, we just aren't okay with this change happening because are humans and don't like change. 

But every day things are changing, and as a result of this change, our lives continue to get better and better. So we have to learn to accept these changes happening in our lives, so they can continue to bring in more money and change our financial situation. 

At the end of the day, change is always a good thing, and we need to learn to accept the change as it happens.

Lesson 3: Shortcuts aren't always shortcuts.

In the movie, the make believe elephant unicorn says there is a shortcut to help Joy and Sadness get back to Headquarters. But this shortcut ends up being more of a long way around because the unexpected continually happens on this "shortcut."

And this is exactly what happens in our lives. Of course, there are many times when those shortcuts do work for us when it comes to our money, but then there are just as many times that those shortcuts don't work and end up taking us longer than the normal way should have taken. 

When was the last time that you tried to take a shortcut that didn't end up actually being a shortcut? 

Maybe you've tried something new to pay off debt? Maybe you've tried a new way to make money? Maybe you've tried something new to save money? 

These areas of our money are all ways that there really is no shortcut available. It takes time and learning some new things to be able to handle our money like the expert that we want to be. 

Allow yourself to do things the right way, and you won't need the shortcuts anyway. 

Lesson 4: The plan we have in our head doesn't always happen

Joy wants Riley to always be happy and the joyful toddler that she was. But unfortunately Riley is going to grow up and change and become a different person than she was as a toddler. This is also a learning experience for the emotions. 

Everyday we continue to grow and evolve. We learn new things. We make changes. Our experiences make us who we are every day. We can make a plan for tomorrow, but when tomorrow actually arrives that plan rarely ever happens, right? 

So let's learn to make a plan for our money, but at the same time, allow for the extra things we didn't plan or calculate for to happen as well. 

Everywhere you look there are things that affect our money - both good and bad. But you can accept changes and allow the unexpected to happen. The more you resist changes and fear the unexpected, the worse your financial life will be in the end.

You can't always plan for everything that is going to happen. Things are going to happen as they happen, no matter how much you create a plan for them. 

Emotions tend to be a very complicated topic to talk about. And this is simply because our emotions are so complex and we try to control every little thing. 

When you allow yourself to feel your emotions, those emotions don't affect your money anywhere near as much as it does when you allow the emotions to speak for you. I go into this much deeper in The Emotions of Money. 

So tell me, how much do you let your emotions lead your money decisions? And what are you going to do to stop letting your emotions run your money?