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Pay Your Bills, You Must: Money Skills We Learned from Star Wars

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Happy Star Wars Day (May 4th) to all who celebrate. Today is the closest thing Star Wars fans have to a national holiday and it’s all based on a clever pun: “May the 4th be with you”. On this day, we celebrate the wisdom, artistry, and cultural phenomenon that is Star Wars. To commemorate the day, we’ve compiled a list of financial lessons we’ve learned from George Lucas’s ubiquitous empire of books, films, and TV shows.

#1. Always Pay Off Your Debts.

These days it’s nearly impossible to avoid accumulating at least some debt—and that’s okay. Debt can be a good thing. As we know, a healthy amount of debt helps build a good credit history. But take it from Han Solo and pay those debts off. The last thing you want is to end up frozen in carbonite.

#2. Buy Used

If you are in the market for a new car, don’t overlook the value of a used vehicle. Remember, despite her humble origins and shabby appearance, the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Know why? She had a succession of resourceful owners who cared for her through some serious scrapes. After all, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.”

#3. Big Risks Sometimes Pay Off

Any bounty hunter worth their salt knows risky jobs often come with big paydays. So, it’s occasionally worthwhile to take that big leap. Whether it’s launching a new business or refinancing your home, don’t be afraid to sacrifice in pursuit of a big payoff. But before you make a move, be sure to educate yourself and seek advice from an expert.

#4. Don’t Gamble with Your Future.

That said, be wise about the risks you take. Be wary of the “next sure investment”. After all, the only guarantee in life is that there are no guarantees at all. And, as Qui Gon so aptly put it, “Whenever you gamble my friend, eventually you lose.” No matter how wise (or lucky) you are, you will eventually lose. Just make sure the loss won’t devastate you.

#5. Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

This classic quote from Master Yoda is an obvious inclusion for our list. It’s also sound advice for anyone who wishes to pay down debt or cut spending. To gain control of your finances, you don’t need special hacks and TikTok trends. You need to do the work. Don’t go in with a half-hearted, “I’ll give it a try” mindset. Set specific, achievable goals and stick to them.

#6. Be Patient.

Luke is impatient during his Jedi training—and we get it. He’s emotional. He’s arrogant. He wants to take action (even if he’s not ready). But consider the Jedi Code.

There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is the Force.

If you are impatient about saving money or paying down debt, think like a Jedi. Patience is a peaceful and mindful act. It isn’t easy, but with practice, it gets easier. Stay mindful. Practice awareness. Don’t give into your emotions—and, of course, don’t dwell on the Dark Side.

#7. Be Wary of Scams.

Speaking of the Dark Side, it’s wise to keep your wits about you. Everywhere you look, scammers are poised to perform Jedi mind tricks on us. They hope to swindle us out of money or personal information—and modern technology has made it easier than ever. Don’t be like Admiral Akbar. When he uttered his famous line, “It’s a trap” he realized too late that the rebel forces were heading directly into a snare set by the Galactic Empire.

To protect yourself, keep your personal information private. Use strong passwords. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and text messages. And, above all else, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

#8. It’s Okay to Fail.

Failure is a part of life and it’s rarely the end of the world. In fact, occasional failures are crucial to one’s growth as a person. In The Last Jedi, Yoda tells Luke, “The greatest teacher, failure is.” So, learn from your mistakes. Seek more knowledge. Channel your inner force to conquer your challenges.

#9. It’s Never Too Late to Turn Things Around.

Redemption is a common theme in the Star Wars Universe. After all, balance was restored to The Force through the redemptive power of forgiveness, compassion, and discipline (not to mention a little mayhem). So, strive for the best, but if you slip up, don’t fret. You can always redeem yourself.

#10. If You Have “a Bad Feeling About This”, You’re Probably Right.

The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” is a common theme in Star Wars. The line is uttered in almost every movie when one of our heroes senses something is off. The lesson here is to trust your instincts. If something seems suspicious—whether it’s an investment or online purchase—steer clear.

#11. “Fear not for the Future, Weep Not for the Past”.

Season two, episode 13 of The Clone Wars (“Voyage of Temptation”) begins with these words from poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It’s a useful quote to remind us that the present is all that exists. The past is gone and the future hasn’t happened yet. So, plan for your future and learn from your past, but don’t get stuck in either. What does that mean for finances? If you are building a budget, make sure to include funds for present adventures—however big or small. Staying grounded in the present will help you stay motivated. 

Good luck! Happy Star Wars Day! And may the financial Force be with you!

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