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Bennie Award for Financial Responsibility

The First Bennie Award: Zootopia

Over the weekend, I watched the newest addition to our family’s Blu-Ray library: Zootopia. How could you go wrong with a movie about having a dream and working hard to achieve that dream, especially when it involves a cute-as-a-button (I know, not PC) bunny and a smooth talking fox thrown together as partners to solve a sinister plot of savagery? If you have not seen it, don’t worry. I’m not going to reveal the plot line.

Here are a few of the reasons why Zootopia deserves a Bennie Award:

  1. Goals: Whether you’re wanting to become the first bunny in the police department or whether you want to improve your financial situation, goals are critical. A goal unwritten remains a wish unfulfilled. So write it down, share it and then report on your progress to someone you trust. Check out this study from Dominican University in Northern California about how to increase the likelihood of achieving your goals.
  2. Frugality: When “Carrots” gets her first apartment in the big city, she revels in the minimalist lifestyle, noisy neighbors and all. Too many young people (myself included decades ago) are too intent on starting at the top. They want the best apartment, the pool, the weight room, the new furniture and more. Unfortunately, the cost becomes burdensome and can lead to financial frustrations and challenges. Kudos to you, Officer Hopps, for your realistic and practical start to your independence!
  3. ResourcesZootopia does a great job of teaching us the importance of maximizing our resources, financial or not. Officer Hopps, left without the support of her superiors, turns to community resources (human resources… so to speak) to find assistance in cracking the case.
  4. Integrity: Did you notice that Office Hopps made sure to play by the same rules by which she expected others to play? To whom did she give parking ticket 201? Too often, we start out by thinking that the “system” does not pertain to us and that we need to find ways around it. Integrity in the face of the system leads to trusting relationships with those around us. We absolutely need trusted friends, coworkers, and colleagues to reach most of our life goals.

There you go! Bennie Award #1. Congratulations, Zootopia and Walt Disney Pictures, for such an enjoyable and financially educational film. It is a lesson in understatement with regards to personal finance, but it remains an effective classroom.


Todd Christensen-Author of Everyday Money for Everyday People, Todd ChristensenTodd Christensen
Everyday Money for Everyday People

Published June 21, 2016

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