What kind of nerd are you? A spender or a saver? You probably answered saver, but your investment in mint-condition Star Wars snack foods is too high risk to constitute good financial planning. Your mom or wife might throw the food out in a fit of rage, your kids might unseal and eat it, or the franchise might go out of fashion.
We can learn a lot from the galaxy far, far away about financial planning. Use the successes and failures of your favorite Star Wars characters as a guide.
Pay Your Debts
Han Solo was a man on the run from Jabba the Hutt. Owing the robust Jabba a large sum of money almost kept him from the first battle of the Death Star, and it ultimately led to his capture in carbonite. It took the heroics of his friends to free him from the clutches of the Jabba collection agency, and no one left unscathed.
While it is best not to build debt in the first place, sometimes credit cards and loans are necessary to keep us afloat. Be wary of high interest loans and credit cards, especially predatory lending practices like payday loans. Non-payment probably won’t result in getting frozen in carbonite or your girlfriend wearing a gold bikini, but wage garnishment, repossession, and bad credit might.
Pay debts down early and often. If you find yourself in over your head, do not run away at 12 parsecs. Instead consider debt consolidation or transferring all of your existing credit card debt to low interest balance transfer cards. Unfortunately there is no way to transfer a life debt, so wookiees need not apply.
Learn to Live Off the Land
Everyone loves to giggle at the Ewoks, but their self-sufficiency led to the takedown of the Empire. Plant a garden, invest in utility saving practices like rain barrels and LED lightbulbs. Better yet, invest in solar power. Self-sufficiency and eco-friendly practices might seem like foolhardy hard work until the bills have to be paid. Just be wary of storytelling robots.
Plan for Retirement
While he might of enjoyed the power associated with his position, Grand Moff Tarken could have avoided his untimely fate with a little fiscal planning. Good financial planning throughout life allows career flexibility and the freedom to retire early. Knowing when to take social security benefits and when your 401K is vested ensures that you are not subjected to the whims of an overlord. If Gran Moff Tarken had planned more wisely he could have been on a vacation to Endor instead of standing on the deck of an exploding Death Star.
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, profited mightily from his creation. Instead of allowing a creative idea to gather dust, he pushed his investment and branched out into merchandising, sequels, and novels. Find new revenue streams and income sources by branching out into freelance work or consulting. Purchase investment properties and watch your income soar. Make your money and expertise work for your wallet.
You can learn a lot from your Star Wars counterparts – using these strategies, you must!