Your Thrift Habits (1948) – Stuff You Like

This episode: Jack and Ralph, saving, Millennials, dividing people into generations for some reason, and why it may not be such a bad idea to take advice from 40’s instructional films. Sometimes.

About Sursum Ursa

Ursa presents Stuff You Like, where fangirls + analysis + awesome examples of media = good times for all.


  1. EmoTheWonderGirl

    Odd things that people have told me about my finances: A manager was telling me about an investment saying that you could do this thing for a thousand dollars and I told him I had two slices of free bread and a handful of stale cheetos for dinner.

    And, one time I was on a date with this guy and he didn’t understand why I would work five 12hr days when I could work six 10 hr days instead. I tried explaining how scheduling and overtime work to no avail.

  2. I’ve never heard of Coronet films before. Although, this video makes me glad that I somehow don’t have student loans. Then again, I don’t have a job either so… yeah. -_- I kind of wish I was considered Generation Z. *sigh* Yeah, I’m one of those self-hating Millennials, I admit. ^.^

  3. Hah! Shows how much these financial advisors know! My credit rating is awesome! (Excellent) I literally made one credit (store) card purchase, paid it off early and then cancelled the card! I’m sorted for life 😛

  4. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I have no story on what ridiculous things people have said about the millenials finance I’m just commented cause I feel like it 😜

    Well good video and happy literary finance month(a month I didn’t know was an actual thing but it’s cool). Also would you say a 17 year old is a millenial?

    • You’re on the borderline, but if I were devising a test for this it’d only have one question:

      Do you remember dial-up internet?

      Not ‘did your house have it when you were alive’ but do you actually remember using dial-up internet? If yes: Millennial. If no: Centennial.

  5. In the video, did he actually want a camera? As in was he planning to use it for something? Or was he just jealous that his friend had one? If his motivation was the latter then that’s not being thrifty. Add to that how a new and better model of camera will inevitably come out, which his friend will get, making him jealous again, and he won’t appreciate his current camera as much. All he learned was to wasteful with more expensive things.

    • After watching the video in it’s entirety, I think it can be assumed Jack did want the camera. Sure we never see him use it and Ralph seemed to be saving up for a tripod next, (so he may not have had more investment in photography), but seeing as how Jack appeared to be saving up for a watch next he probably wasn’t trying to just keep up with Ralph.

      Oddly, the dilemma you describe is similar to a commonly referred problem during that late 40s-early 60s economic boom time known as “keeping up with the Jones.” It implied over spending by adults who were too preoccupied with what their neighbors were doing, but it’s a safe bet some feared this non-thrifty tendency among teenagers as well.

  6. My parents are Baby Boomers, my younger brother is a Millennial and I’m kind of a borderline Gen Xer/Millennial. I joke that that’s why I’m the only one in my family who likes Rent.

    Interestingly some people place another group called the “Silent Generation” between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. They were the ones who fought in the Korean War, think Don Draper from Mad Men. The young people from this film would probably fit into that category.

    • The tem “Silent Generation” was being used to the focal point of articles in Time and Newsweek around roughly the same period (fall of 1951) to describe the young persons at the time as complacent, but indifferent . In hindsight this is somewhat questionable, since it was the same generation who assured in a lot of radical social changes that would be picked up the first baby boomers. Other writers of the later 1950’s decried a “Shook-Up Generation” suggesting too many youth were crime prone and disorderly. Those were the worrysome ones movies like the one made by Coronet were designed to prevent or correct.

  7. I’m somewhat unusual for a Millennial in that my mother was a Baby Boomer but my father was 25 years her senior. So he was of what we now call the Greatest Generation, even though it doesn’t seem like anyone called them that until Tom Brokow wrote a book by the name in the late 90s. Strange, I now.

    Nice to someone else who gets a kick out of dated education films like the ones from Coronet. I like how you said they can tell you as much about the outlook of creators as they do intended audience (if not more so). It’s funny, I find so many of the commenters make it sound they were precise documentation of something. “Gee, everybody was a boring, bland, and stupid back than!”

    I mean really, if young people at that time were always this polite or accommodating, no one would wanted to make so many of these film in the first place. Adult were worried about were the younger generations was heading, as the numbers were growing and they were gaining more free time and spending power. Power the previous generation didn’t have when “I was your age.” And your right young people probably laughed at them even when they were supposed to be “Current.” Although they made have been more descrite about it than, especially in class.

    Certainly the film makers wanted to create the feeling of everyday life that young people would recognize. By using actors who like people from your hometown or school, cheap bland sets, and easy to follow conversations, they hope to capture life at it’s more monotonously familiar; but it was still a highly idealized vision of life “as it should be.”

  8. If you have Boomer parents, you are Generation X, not millennial (though maybe you could be both, if your parents had you in their late 40s).

    • Millennials are people born from about the early to mid 80s to the mid to late 90s or early 00s (like she said no one can agree on the exact dates). They can definitely have Boomer parents.

    • Generational divide are all approximations as Jill said, but the post-WWII baby boom (at least within the United States) is generally agreed to have ended either in 1960 or 1964. The only year I’ve consistently found sited for the starting date of the Millennial generation is 1982, (which happens to be when I was born). So by this standard most Millennials would have Boomer parents.

  9. Great video: I’ve seen shorts like this only on MST3K: kind of wish you’d talked more about the video itself but I guess it didn’t have that much material

    What you did talk about was really fascinating, puting all this stuff together; especially the fact the next generation will be the first to have the internet their whole lives.

    Cool stuff to analyze 🙂

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