The Finance Awakens

Having trouble getting excited about your finances? Try pretending that it’s long, long ago, in galaxy far, far away…

It’s that time of year, folks. The time when little kids, and even a lot of adults, are checking their calendars and marking the days. The time when you lie awake at night, so excited that you can’t sleep, wondering what magical things lie in store. The time when even the most cynical among us can’t help but give a smile and a wink, swept up in the sheer wonder of it all.

That’s right. It’s Star Wars time.

The Force Awakens opens on Friday and the excitement level has reached benign mass hysteria. It’s like Christmas and everyone’s birthday had a baby and then that baby made a movie with Han Solo in it.

What would it look like if people got as excited about their personal finances as they did about Star Wars? Heck, maybe the key to getting excited about your personal finances is to pretend they are Star Wars. That might be a crazy thought, but is it any crazier than the fact that everyone in Star Wars seems to understand what R2-D2 is saying all the time? It’s just beeping!

The Debt Side of The Force

Think about The Force for a second. Obi-Wan Kenobi describes The Force as, “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” This isn’t so different from your finances: your savings, debts, income, expenses and credit score. Just as The Force is created by all living things, your finances are created by every fiscal decision that you’ve ever made.

There’s even a light side and a dark side. Star Wars has Jedi knights, who practice rigorous self-control in their relationship to The Force, and Sith Lords, who act rashly, without thinking through the consequences of their actions. Likewise, there are people who spend according to their needs (Jedi) and there are people who spend according to their desires (Sith).

Which one are you? Read the following sentence: The Jedi use their lightsabers only as a last resort while the Sith use their lightsabers all the time. Now replace ‘lightsabers’ with ‘credit cards’ and read it again. Are you a Jedi or are you a Sith?

If you answered ‘Jedi’ and are faced with the temptation to buy that new TV or that Hulu Plus subscription or that Brazilian blowout, just remind yourself that you’re a freaking Jedi. You have sworn to defend the light side of The Financial Force. If it helps, you can stand in front of the mirror wielding a toothbrush and whispering, “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” No judgement here.

If you answered ‘Sith’, then go ahead and reenact the Darth Vader redemption scene from Return of the Jedi. Only instead of dramatically tossing The Emperor down a reactor shaft, you’re dramatically cutting up your credit cards and throwing them in the trash. (Disclaimer: blue Force lightning sold separately.)

Play the Star Wars Soundtrack

The music that John William composed for Star Wars is iconic for a reason. It’s rousing, it’s inspiring and it is the perfect underscore for an epic adventure. So use it to your advantage! Blare the theme music when you’re filling out a spreadsheet. Search for coupons while listening to “Binary Sunset. Whenever a new bill arrives, play “The Imperial March.” When you pay that bill off, play “The Throne Room/End Title.” Williams’ music is so synonymous with the Star Wars films that it’s almost impossible to hear it and not picture yourself helming The Millennium Falcon.

Use Star Wars Quotes

Are you trying to get all your Christmas shopping done for under $100 or are you trying to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? It’s a lot more fun to imagine yourself as an interstellar spice smuggler than as thrifty bargain hunter, right? Star Wars is so filled with iconic lines that the possibilities are endless. Have you fully paid off a credit card? “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” Are you staring through a store window at a dress you can’t afford? “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Did your credit score go up since the last time you checked it? “I know.”

Prequels as punishment

Sometimes negative reinforcement can help. So, when you exceed your monthly food budget, you get punished with 2 hours of Jar-Jar Binks, trade negotiations and cartoon robots. When you need some extra motivation to keep researching debt consolidation, you can remember lines like “they killed younglings” and “from my point of view the Jedi are evil.” Tempted to spend money you don’t have on something you don’t need? Here are five words for you: Samuel L. Jackson’s purple lightsaber.

Enjoy The Force Awakens, everyone. And may The Finances be with you.

Having trouble getting excited about your finances? Try pretending that it’s long, long ago, in galaxy far, far away…

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