What can Scrooge teach us about money?

Vintage illustration of Dickens 'A Christmas Carol'

Sarah Austin, Independent Financial Adviser from Martin-Redman Partners comments: We’re well into the festive season, and I am reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’, especially so as the BBC aired the first of a new three-part series on the skinflint last night.

Of course; Scrooge was generally a miserable and unlikeable character (and I am not sure he would have made a great Independent Financial Adviser/IFA); but there are some valuable financial planning lessons that we can learn from and Scrooge himself.

The visits from the three Ghosts gave him an opportunity to view his life - the past, present and future. In essence this is how I work with my clients when providing financial advice and building a financial plan for them. So, what can we learn from A Christmas Carol and managing money?

The Ghost of Christmas Past

The first Ghost of Christmas came from the Past which showed Scrooge some blunders he had made previously - to highlight the necessity of changing his ways.

In essence; the Ghost of Christmas Past was encouraging Scrooge to take stock – reflect on previous financial decisions to see what has worked well, and what hasn’t.

For us and the modern day; could we saved money on our mortgage, paid more into pensions or sought advice on building a financial plan to help us invest money for a future goal? Could we have donated more to charity or good causes and would this have made us feel better about ourselves?

 The Ghost of Christmas Present

The second spirit encouraged Scrooge to think in the ‘now’; by showing Scrooge how some much less fortunate people were spending Christmas.

Perspective is a great gift (all year round, not just at Christmas). To build a true picture of your financial picture now, we recommend clients review what they have saved in current accounts, investments, pensions and other assets; along with any debts like mortgages to provide a clear picture of their present day ‘net worth’. Seeing it all on paper (rather than holding it in your head) is a great starting point to building a financial plan for the future – be that sending your children to private school, managing to pay off your mortgage 10 years sooner or retiring at 55.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

This was the last ghost, and most alarming of all for Scrooge. It showed him how he would end up if he didn’t change his ways – dying lonely and unmissed by those he leaves behind.

Relating this back to financial advice; having a clear idea of how you want your future to look is a vital part of your financial planning. We help clients think through how they want their major life-milestones to look, and then help you save and invest for the future to achieve them.

Plan early, save regularly into savings accounts and other investments; and review your pension plans to ensure they continue to suit your circumstances and are achieving the growth they should be.

As the film ends, we learn Scrooge was finally shaken out of his miserly life by the visions of the past, present and future. However, Scrooge’s journey reminds us of the important things – enjoying life, looking after each other, and providing for our families now and after we have gone. These are solid aims at all times of year, not just at Christmas.


An Independent Financial Adviser (like us at Martin-Redman Partners) can help you take stock of where you are, build you financial plan, and provide independent financial advice both in the present day and into the future to help you achieve a happy future.

To sign off for 2019; we’d like to thank all our clients for their business this year, and wish them (and our future clients) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Arrange a meeting with us to discuss your financial planning in 2020

Please get in touch with Sarah Austin at sja@martin-redmanpartners.co.uk or call on 01223 792 196 to arrange an introductory meeting, at no cost to yourself.

About Martin-Redman Partners 

We are a team of experienced Financial Advisers who can advise on your personal or business financial arrangements. We have been building trusted relationships with clients for many years by articulating clear and tailored recommendations in areas ranging from investments to retirement planning, to complex estate planning advice.  

We offer fixed fee independent financial advice throughout Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Suffolk, East Anglia and the South East.  Many of our clients are within, or are in the surrounding areas of Cambridge, Grantham, Stamford, Bury St Edmunds, Frinton on Sea, Ely, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Cambourne, Newmarket, Soham and Oundle.

The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.


We provide independent financial advice on investments, pensions, inheritance tax planning and protection. We work with private individuals, businesses and professional introducers, such as accountants and solicitors, to ensure our clients financial advice needs are met.

Martin-Redman Partners