A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …
There was a mystical knightly order thoroughly trained to guard justice and peace in the universe. They called themselves Jedi.
Today, I’m going to inform you on how to master your finances — like a Jedi. Worry do not, smart you are. Prevail you will. So hop on your eopie – or tauntaun if you prefer – and prepare yourself for the long journey ahead. May the (financial) Force be with you.
1. Tap Into the Light Side of the Force
Honesty is one of the virtues aligned with the light side of the Force. In order for you to master your finances, you must be honest with yourself. What’s your current financial situation? Are you living paycheck to paycheck or are you hoarding wealth and living in luxury like Bohhuah Mutdah? Neither extreme is good for a Jedi — you must find balance.
That’s not an easy thing to do when you’re assessing your own financial situation. That’s why I recommend talking with a friend, like Child of Winds. Find someone, like a friend, family member, money expert, or trained professional who can assist you.
2. Use the Jedi Mind Trick … on Yourself
A thoroughly trained Jedi can use the Force to implant a suggestion or idea into others’ minds to accomplish their missions. In order to master your finances, you must learn the Jedi mind trick — but trick yourself instead.
For example, let’s say you have a spending problem. When you set out to save some money instead of spending it all, you’re probably not going to want to do it. You’re more likely to want to spend, just like you always have. You’re going to have to trick yourself into spending less. There are several ways to do this.
You could, for instance, hitch a ride to an abandoned Sith world where there’s really nothing to do or spend your money on. You could avoid marketplaces that are full of droids and the like. You could also use your droid or other technology to track your spending and stay on budget.
But when it comes down to it, you’re going to have to be the one to trick yourself out of emotional impulsiveness. Feel the Force and let it be your guide.
3. Don’t Become Darth Vader (Give, Don’t Take)
We all know the tragic story of Anakin Skywalker. This Force-sensitive human was once a very heroic Jedi Knight who later in life became seduced by the dark side of the Force.
It pains me to even talk about this. Anakin slipped into the role imposed on him by Darth Sidious and enforced his master’s will as Darth Vader — a man aiming to destroy the Rebel Alliance. Money and power can surely corrupt. Don’t let this happen to you.
When you start to accumulate wealth, don’t let it get the better of you. Just because you have access to the Force doesn’t mean that you have to be influenced by the dark side. Instead, you could use your wealth for good and give to causes worthy of support. You should first take care of yourself and your family. You may want to make sure you have an emergency fund, are saving for retirement and are funding your children’s college education.
4. Don’t Buy an Imperial Star Destroyer (It’s Too Expensive)
Listen, you don’t need all those bells and whistles. What do you need laser cannons and tractor beams for anyway? Instead, buy a vehicle you can afford. Think podracer.
Sure, Anakin eventually went over to the dark side, but you have to hand it to his younger self — he built his vehicle from spare parts. Who wants to be paying interest on a vehicle loan for the next 15 million years? Not a Jedi, that’s for sure. Jedi live within their means and seek to be as efficient as possible with their credits.
Heck, I drove my grandmother’s 1998 Chevy Luminafor for several years and survived! That saved me a bundle that I used to invest more money.
5. Train Constantly and Don’t Give Up
Change is bound to happen. Sticking to your financial plan over the long-term is perhaps one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do. Think about it. When you see your investments fall by 10% or 20%, are you going to freak out and sell them or are you going to stay the course until retirement?
What about when financial hardship comes your way? If you were to lose your job repairing tutor droids, would you have what it takes to recover and find a new job? Would you have enough galactic credits saved up to ensure you could get by while looking for a new position?
Jedi train constantly to ensure they are aligning themselves with the light side of the Force. As an apprentice, you may want to review your budget each week to make sure you are on course or monitor your credit so you have a better idea of how credit reports and credit scores work. (You can get a free credit report card on Credit.com.)
And, if you truly master the trade, you could consider formally becoming a Jedi Master (or, in this case, a certified financial planner) yourself.
Grab Your Lightsaber
Like handling a lightsaber, handling your finances requires a great deal of care and skill. You can be a cut above the ordinary. Start by taking control of your finances. It’s time for battle. Are you ready?
May the Force be with you, Jedi.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.