There are plenty of financial gurus we turn to for making the most out of our money, like the Dave Ramseys, Robert Kiyosakis and Suze Ormans of the world. Even Gandhi and Jesus Christ have been known to offer up a sage piece of wisdom now and again that we can apply to managing our dollars well.
Sometimes, the best money advice isn’t actually money advice at all, from the unlikeliest of personal financial experts. It’s how we interpret those sage tidbits that makes understanding our bank accounts more clear.
Take Yoda, for example.
The diminutive Jedi Master never taught Luke Skywalker or Ben Kenobi about investing money into a CD or IRA. He also lived a pretty frugal, hermit lifestyle and didn’t appear to have any sort of nest egg tucked away after living for 900 years. But Yoda was a wise man and dispensed parables and riddles on doubt, fear, courage, humility and motivation: Everything you need to know when it comes to saving money.
So, in honor of Star Wars Day 2013, here are five pieces of Jedi Zen to consider if you’re looking to turn away from the Dark Side of being broke. May the Fourth be With You!
Save Money You Will With Yoda Advice
1. “Try not. Do … or do not. There is no try.”
It got Luke Skywalker to stop making excuses about his inability to levitate objects using his mind. When we make excuses to save money, we put it off for months, even years — in a decade, we realize that we’re late to the savings game, and worse yet, we’ll end up retiring with no financial reserves (if we’re able to retire at all).
Never too late it is to start saving. Jason Price of Christian Personal Finance says it’s about accepting responsibility. Start small by creating a budget, see how much you can afford to put aside each month, open a deposit account and progress from there. In time, you’ll see that ending excuses produces results.
2. “Control, control, you must learn control!”
Said the Master to Luke Skywalker, who hadn’t yet mastered the art of balance when an attempt to levitate himself, some rocks and R2-D2 with his mind sent them all crashing to the ground. And the same goes for our personal finances. If we spend all our cash, we have none left over to save. Worse yet, wasteful spending and a lack of financial discipline can lead us to debt, bankruptcy … and the Dark Side.
3. “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny … consume you it will.”
Greedy you must be not, warns Yoda. Like learning control, going to one extreme with money isn’t part of the financially balanced path we should be on. And it’s not just about emptying our bank accounts, either. “Excessive saving, or hoarding can be all consuming for some,” says Price of Christian PF.
4. “Size Matters Not.”
Not the size of your lightsaber … or even the size of your checking account or salary. We can learn a lot from Yoda on how to attain moderation with money — sometimes, it’s not the amount of cash we have, but what we do with it and how we budget and manage our finances. It’s also not about keeping up with the Joneses and spending beyond our means for a house or car we can’t afford. After all, Yoda should know: swampy Planet Dagobah, home for him it is.
5. “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Bad financial habits are for people named Jar Jar Binks — not money-wise people like you or me. Yoda says in his Buddha moment that lesson past serve you well not. Translated: what we’ve been taught in the past about handling our finances may not necessarily be the best for our financial well-being. We need to unlearn — but most important, re-learn – new money practices if we want to get ahead, build credit, develop a savings and be well-prepared for the future.
So, young Padawan, by taking some Yoda advice and using the Financial Force, you’ll end up less like a penniless band of desert-roaming scavenger Jawas, and more like uber-billionaire George Lucas. This Star Wars Day, channel your inner Jedi, look forward to Episodes VII, VIII and IX, and tell your friendly bank or credit union teller, “Bank account, open one I must, yes.” May the Fourth be With You: 2014, and a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …