Finance advice from Mary Poppins

I love the movie Mary Poppins, but I haven't watched it in a while. Get Rich Slowly put a couple songs from the movie in an entirely new perspective.

"Feed the Birds" on giving to the less fortunate

"Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" on the value of compounding interest and investing

And these two songs next to each other remind us... there is an opportunity cost related to every financial decision. We can save and invest for the future, and undeniably good decision, or we can give to the needy, also a good decision. It's always hard to choose between two good things, and we hope we'll have enough tuppences to do both.


Matt said...

Ah, but is investing in the future an "undeniably good thing"? Money is neither good nor bad, but a man with money could have any number of intentions when investing. Check out the first verse of the Mary Poppins song:
If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound,
Soon that tuppence, safely invested in the bank, will compound.
And you’ll achieve that sense of conquest as your affluence expands
In the hands of the directors who invest as propriety demands.

There are a few words here that immediately threw up flags for me: "safe and sound" and "as your affluence expands".

It could be that the song is simply tongue-in-cheek, but the tendency of a man with money to be tempted to feel safe because of his money, or tempted to elevate himself to a higher lifestyle with the money, is very real. And that's not a good thing.

While we have money in our possession, it is definitely our duty to be responsible with it. And as the song points out, letting investors use our money "as propriety demands" is a good thing. But none of it will be going with us... it is God's design that all money in our possession will pass into another's possession one way or another by the time we're dead. So when it comes to "feeding the birds", the question that we struggle with as stewards is "when and how much". We have to be cautious that we are always seeking God's voice to know when and how he wants our money distributed, and checking ourselves to make sure we're not taking more for ourselves than he intends.

Joanna said...

You have a good point. There's the dichotomy of 'burying the talent' vs. 'building up storehouses'. We're supposed to be good stewards and invest what we have, but not with the attitude that when we are rich, we won't need God or what he provides.


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