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Use the Force: What Star Wars can teach us about money

The first Star Wars movie was released 40 years ago today (well in America at least, we had to wait seven months longer in the UK!). We love the films (maybe not The Phantom Menace) so we wanted to share four lessons about cash we can all learn from Luke, Leia, Han and co.

 

1. A drink can cost you an arm (though not a leg)

In Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi (a Jedi) takes Luke to a bar. Some of the locals aren’t too keen on their presence and start a fight with the young Skywalker. A couple of light sabre flashes later and one of them is missing a limb.

In the real world, we’re more likely to spend more than we can afford on social nights out due to peer pressure. We won’t literally lose an arm, but our research found a third of adults spend more than they planned on a night out because they were worried they looked stingy.

2. Planning for the future is important

When we first meet aging Jedis Obi Wan and Yoda, one lives in a cave, the other in a swamp.

We appreciate they’re keeping a low profile - plus any Jedi pension fund probably got appropriated by the Emperor and his Sith Lords to fund black cloaks - but you get the impression they could have planned their retirement much better.

You don’t have to live like a (Jedi) monk when you get old if you plan ahead now. If you’re working but not saving into a pension already – no matter how old you are – find out ASAP what you can do.

 

3. Debts catch up to you

Han Solo is always trying to repay the money he owes slug-like gangster Jabba the Hut, but something constantly gets in the way (that’s the problem with rebellions). Eventually he pays a much higher price – he’s frozen into a fetching wall ornament.

If you have debts, the longer you avoid them, the bigger they will get. Interest will keep them growing, and penalties will be added. Fortunately you don’t need an elaborate rescue plan involving metal bikinis and man vs monster cage fighting.

Free, independent advice is available all over the country to get you back on your feet.

4. Unexpected repairs can cause big problems

There must be half a dozen instances when something not working on the Millennium Falcon nearly gets the gang captured, destroyed or eaten by a giant space slug. You’d think they’d be better prepared for when this happens, but Chewie (the big hairy Wookie) or R2D2 always manage to fix it in the nick of time.

You might think, like Han, that all will be ok, but if you face some emergency repairs and don’t have any savings, you probably won’t have a Wookie or droid to rescue you. If you can save just £3 a day, you’ll build up a fund of £1,095 in a year to help cushion the cost of damage to a car or your home.

 

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  • Sue / 6 May 2015

    Helpful. Stuff lots of us learn through experience but great for people starting out without much guidance from elsewhere. And there is always something to learn.