Everyone is talking about the new James Bond film – No Time to Die. I’m seeing it this week and I can’t wait! This may seem irrelevant to a personal finance blog but bear with me. Can James Bond teach you anything about personal finance?
I think everyone’s favourite secret agent can. Giving your finances the James Bond treatment could be just what you need. Some of the links may be slightly tenuous, but the overall message is clear.
The money lessons we can learn from James Bond are as follows:
- Know what you want
- Use technology to your advantage
- Embrace your confidence
- Be suspicious
- Don’t replicate all of James Bond’s actions though…
Know what you want
Whether it’s a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, or a particular women, (my feminist self wants to be annoyed…) James Bond knows what he wants. He usually gets it too.
It’s hard to keep your personal finances in order if you don’t know what your goals are. Budgeting is near impossible if you don’t know what you want – and need – to spend.
Knowing what you want will also help with your savings. Having a clear goal – whether it’s buying a home, going on holiday, buying a car, or something else entirely – can help keep you motivated when you are tempted to splurge all your cash on a night out or another clothes order.
I like to write my goals down and put them somewhere where I see them every day. This helps me stay motivated and holds me accountable. I do this for all aspects of my life, not just my financial goals! It really helps when you don’t want to get up for work in the mornings, to remember what you’re working towards.
Use technology to your advantage
James Bond always has the latest gadgets – except in No Time to Die, where he’s given a Nokia as a phone. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a mobile that’s not a smart phone!
In general, whether it’s pens with poison darts, cars with lasers, or watches with multiple functions, James Bond always has a bit of help from technology.
Your personal finances should too.
Life is busy. Between work, exercise, family commitments, and socialising, there never seems to be enough time. Your finances don’t need to add excessively to this burden.
There are plenty of apps that can help you keep control of your finances without spending hours pouring over spreadsheets and bank statements.
From budgeting to investing, there’s apps for most aspects of finance. This technology can make managing your money much easier.
You can keep all your information in one place and take action from anywhere in the world. It makes it much easier to avoid getting behind or missing payments.
Just be careful with your passwords and personal information. But, more of that later…
Embrace your confidence
One of James Bond’s most notable personality traits is his confidence. He can talk his way into – or out of – any situation and never doubts himself.
We should all try and embrace this attitude in our lives. Like many people, I often suffer from imposter syndrome, which leaves you questioning if you deserve to be doing something.
I think a lot of us are wary of appearing confident as it often gets misconstrued as arrogance. There is nothing wrong with believing in yourself and being confident in your abilities.
This gives you the belief to put yourself up for a promotion or ask for a pay rise – all things that you should go for. The worst that can happen is they say no!
Walk into any room like you deserve to be there – because you do.
Don’t shy away from opportunities because you’re scared or not sure you can manage it. Start saying yes. You’ll be amazed at what you achieve.
What would a James Bond film be without a villain? 007 is famously suspicious of practically everyone you meet, usually because they end up trying to kill him!
It’s unlikely the villains in your life might try to kill you. But, there are plenty of villains trying to scam you.
In the past year, more than £2.3 billion was lost to scams. Which? says 413,553 instances of fraud were reported to Action Fraud in year to April, up 33% on previous year.
This is a huge sum, impacting thousands of people. Everyone is vulnerable to scams, but you can take steps to protect yourself.
When it comes to money, don’t trust anyone with your passwords or account details.
If you are speaking to bank staff, make sure it is them you are speaking with and not imposters. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, making it harder to tell the difference. If you have any doubts, hang up the phone and call back from another line. Or phone your bank’s fraud hotline to double check.
You should also be suspicious of emails, texts and phone calls. Phishing messages are everywhere – I seem to get at least two or three a day right now.
Don’t replicate all of James Bond’s actions though…
While Casino Royale is a great film, losing millions in a poker game is not to be recommended. The Twenty Percent never supports gambling – too often it’s a slippery slope and ruins far too many lives.
James Bond is also known to be reckless and impulsive. This makes for a great storyline but is best to avoid in real life. Impulsive spending can lead to large credit card bills and even debt.
It may seem boring, but planning is key to managing your money. Finance should not be exciting. It’s about making everyday habits that keep you on track to reach your goals.
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If you enjoyed this post about giving your finances the James Bond treatment, please like it and share it on social media or with your friends. Do you think there are any money lessons we can learn from James Bond? Which of these changes would you like to make?