Fight Club for Your Personal Finances

9 Things Fight Club can Teach you About Personal Finances       

For those of you that don’t know I am a pop culture junkie.  It is my guilty pleasure and I am not afraid to admit it.  It actually felt good to type that.

So who is Tyler Durden?  He is the main character in the book and movie Fight Club.  For the ladies reading this he is played by Brad Pitt.

Now I know what you are thinking. What can a testosterone filled cult movie like Fight Club teach me about personal finances?  This post will not be about any of the fighting inside the Fight Club because as Brad Pitt says 1st Rule of Fight Club You Do Not Talk about Fight Club. 2nd Rule: You Do Not Talk about Fight Club.

So what are we gonna talk about then?  Tyler Durden had many pearls of wisdom throughout the movie and I will share 9 of them that can be directly related to your finances.

  1. Your Financial Status Does Not Define Who You Are.“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your f@$*ing khakis.”

    Far too many people determine their success or failure in life by how much money they have in the bank or how successful they are at their job.  I know I have been lured into that trap before.  How much money you have does not make you a good or bad person.  It is important to balance the value of money and the value of life.  Don’t let money control you.

  2. Consumerism is very powerful.“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”

    My wife is much better than I am when it comes this.  I like to have the newest gadgets and would love to have a fancy new car but she reminds me 1. It’s not in the budget and 2. You only want it because it looks cool.  Marketers are very skilled at separating your money from your true financial goals.

  3. Don’t Pursue Material Desires.“The things you own end up owning you.”

    How many of you have way more stuff than you need or could ever want.  I know I do.  I feel like I have been over whelmed by stuff.  That is why we are working to declutter and then downsize.  We don’t need the 3,000 square foot house.  All the stuff has over run us and we feel like we have lost control.  This does not have to be the case.  You too can take control of your financial lives.

  4. Life and financial discipline are hard work“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

    I wish there was a magic switch I could flip and have all of mine and my clients financial challenges disappear but there isn’t.  The secret is that the sooner you realize it and take ownership of it the sooner you can begin working to make your financial and life dreams become a reality.

  5. How do you master your finances“To make soap, first we render fat.”

    It starts by mastering the basics.  Learning to spend less than you make, saving the difference, limiting debt, and building an emergency fund.  You can’t understand more advanced investing theories if you don’t have a handle on the basics, just like you can’t make soap without rendering the fat.

  6. Have the courage to take control of your financial life“People do it everyday, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.”

    Everyone wishes they could buy a new home, nicer car, get their dream job but the only people who do are the ones that have the courage to do what is necessary.  You can’t run a marathon without taking the first step.  It takes courage to begin the process necessary to accomplish your goals in your finances and your life.  Tyler Durden understood this.

  7. Always learn, grow and change“I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”

    This is one of my favorite lessons.  It reminds us that personal finance, like the other areas of our lives, is about the journey rather than the destination.  There’s nothing wrong with saving for retirement, but your life shouldn’t be one big climb up to the edge of a cliff.  Make it a journey.  It’ll be mostly uphill, but take the scenic, winding route and you should enjoy the view along the way.

  8. Financial Disasters Are Not the End“Only after disaster can we be resurrected.”

    There is nothing so grim that you cannot come back from it.  There are countless stories of successful people failing several times financially before they came out on top.  Sometimes you need to hit “rock bottom” before you can climb to the top.  Don’t let a financial set back derail you from your goals.  Stop making excuses and start creating your personal resurrection story.

  9. You have to reap before you can sow“You wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs.”

    Personal financial success rarely comes quick.  Of the times that it does, it’s usually gone within a couple years.  Just ask the average lottery winner.  To create lasting change you’ve got to sacrifice up front.  You’ve got to take care of the basics every day.  The ones that aren’t as sexy or appealing as many alternatives.  In the end, though, you’ll be the one enjoying the omelet.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.