Financial Planning Lessons from Mary Poppins

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published by Kate Moss

My favorite movie as a kid (and maybe still today 😉 ) was ‘Mary Poppins’. I absolutely wanted to slide down a banister, have a tea party in the air because you were laughing non-stop, and jump into a sidewalk chalk drawing for an exhilarating adventure. But I also related to Michael’s story of learning to save his tuppence at his father’s bank. Which likely was the first stepping stone to my career in financial planning.Then, beyond my imagination, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ came to theaters in 2019! I couldn’t wait to find out what practical knowledge Mary Poppins would teach us all this time around. I wasn’t disappointed!

Let’s look at the types of ‘sugar’ she gives us to be better stewards of our finances.


Spit spot!

This is what she said when she wanted the children to pay attention and be prepared for what is next. Granted, there will always be circumstances out of our control that make life interesting, if you know what I mean. However, many times if we just look ahead, we can see what may be coming next.

For example, you can anticipate needing a new car, a vacation of lifetime or roof for your home. That means you will have time to set aside monies to cover some, most or even the full cost of that expense. Then for the unexpected, like a broken appliance or expensive dental work insurance doesn’t cover, establishing and maintaining an emergency fund through financial planning can help reduce the stress and excitement of those events.

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way!

In the story, as a child, Michael Banks saved a little money at the bank where his father worked. As an adult, he and his family experienced hardships with his wife passing away young and getting behind financially due to the circumstances. He remembers what he saved as a child and that it had likely grown to an amount to pay off his debts. Whew…but the problem was he couldn’t find the proof of his stock ownership.

This is a really important lesson that Michael experienced the hard way. Always keep track of your bank accounts, financial accounts, insurance policies and other financial instruments. You can’t always anticipate when you will need to access them. And many times when the spouse who takes care of the finances passes away, the surviving spouse doesn’t know what they have and where to locate the information. This just makes a difficult situation even more stressful. With financial planning, we always suggest that both spouses have at least the basic knowledge of their finances and create a cheat sheet of information in regards to their accounts and who to contact.

Head up and feet beneath you!

We don’t know about the financial planning relationship and communication Michael had with his wife but Michael certainly didn’t have a handle on his situation and he was not organized. At the very last moment, Michael found that his stock certificate was used by his son to repair a kite; he raced to the bank to pay off the loan so his house was not repossessed at midnight. I bet he was saying Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


The moral to any Mary Poppins calamity is to have a financial plan while enjoying the adventures of life. And financially that means…

  • Establishing and maintaining an emergency fund
  • Saving for specific larger purchases you plan to make
  • Setting aside funds for long-term and retirement time frames
  • Organizing your financial documents


The advisors at EWM stand behind these same principals. Being prepared with a financial plan can certainly help defuse a stressful situation. If you can relate to Michael Banks, don’t hesitate in contacting our office and setting a meeting then together we can help put you on the path toward financial success.  Learn more on how to get started with financial planning, download our Back to Basics free guide now!

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