Star Wars might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about money management. Yet, the popular franchise is more than just an epic space opera — it has some valuable personal finance lessons that can help us become Jedi Masters in our financial lives.
From Luke Skywalker’s resourcefulness to Princess Leia’s courage, and Master Yoda’s sage advice, there are lessons to be learned about how to save, budget and manage our money.
This May the Fourth, let’s take a journey through the Star Wars universe. We’ll explore how we can use the power of the Force to improve our financial management skills.
1. Do or do not, there is no try.
In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Yoda famously tells young Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker, “Do or do not… there is no try” when referring to his attempt to lift a spaceship out of the swamp.
This philosophy can be applied to our finances as well. If you want to save money and make smart financial decisions, you need to commit to taking specific actions.
Whether saving for a down payment on a house, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund — set clear goals for yourself and make a plan to achieve them. Persistence and determination are the keys to achieving long-term financial stability.
2. Use the Force (of compound interest).
In Star Wars, the Force is the energy that binds the universe. By tapping into this energy source, and learning from its wisdom, the Jedi gain extraordinary abilities like moving objects with their minds, seeing into the future, and influencing the thinking of others.
Just as the Jedi can use the Force to achieve amazing feats, you can use the financial force of compound interest to build wealth over time. Saving and investing early, as well as keeping your money in the market for the long run, allows you to take advantage of compounding interest that sees your savings grow exponentially.
If you’re planning for retirement, the power of compounding interest is especially useful. By setting aside a portion of your paycheck each month and investing it in a retirement fund, you will be build a nest egg that grows larger and larger with each passing year. Use Vancity’s retirement calculator to see how much you can accumulate by investing consistently over time.
But remember, the Force isn’t only used by the Jedi. The evil Sith also wield the Force to manipulate its power for their own interests. Similarly, compounding interest can work against you when paying off debt. Be wary of this Force’s dark side and be sure to pay off high-interest debt first, before tackling smaller ones.
3. See advice from a Jedi Master (or a financial professional).
The key to the Jedi order is the master and apprentice relationship. Jedi apprentices are called Padawans, and they learn from their Jedi Masters how to use the Force for good.
In the same way, those seeking financial mastery must train their minds, wallets, and habits under the guidance of a financial master. Financial Padawans should seek advice from financial planners when creating a budget, building up savings, and strategizing debt repayments.
Always respect your Jedi Masters. Listen to their advice, ask questions when needed, and you’ll soon be on your way to mastering the force of your finances.
4. Practice mindful spending.
The Star Wars franchise often emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and living in the present moment. Even when Luke teaches Rey how to use the Force in The Rise of Skywalker, his strongest advice to her is, “Just breathe.”
Although we may not be Jedi ourselves, taking a mindful break to thoroughly focus and think through our decisions is a smart way to approach spending.
Before making a purchase, consider if it aligns with your financial goals and values. If you’re saving for a summer trip, a new handbag might not be the best place to spend your hard-earned money. Practicing mindfulness can help you make better decisions and prevent impulse purchases.
5. Invest wisely, you must.
A Jedi master knows that to survive in the galaxy, they must invest in their alliances, tools, and preparation. Similarly, a wise investor understands the value of making smart investments with smart investment partners.
Before jumping into a large financial decision, do your research and learn which investment options best suit your financial goals. Ask professionals for advice on how and where to invest your money. Remember that wise investing means long-term growth, so patience is a crucial virtue.
Learn more about investing with Vancity today.
6. Stay committed to the light (AKA the path of financial success).
In Star Wars, the Jedi stay committed to the path of the light side, even in the face of temptation and adversity.
“Your focus determines your reality,” said Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. Staying disciplined and following the financial plan that you’ve set forth is critical to achieving success. Develop good financial habits and stick to them. Track your expenses regularly and seek opportunities to save whenever possible.
Become a Force for financial change.
There are many lessons to learn from the Jedi Code and the power of the Force. Armed with this knowledge, you can become a financial warrior in your own right. Developing good financial habits, staying disciplined, being patient, and embracing change are all valuable lessons in achieving financial success.
Put your trust in yourself, stay true to your path, and remember: “The Force will be with you.”
Ready to Jedi mind-trick your finances? Learn more about how Vancity can help you reach your financial goals and become a force for good in your community.
Be part of the force, be part of Vancity!