How Living Like Lord Voldemort Can Save You Money

No need to be a wizard or famous villain to save some serious cash. Just be inspired by one.

Let’s start with a disclaimer — I’m not telling you to murder anyone or become a villainous snake wizard. I’m going to help you save some money while taking inspiration from the most infamous villain of our youth and (no shame) adulthood. If Lord Voldemort was real and, you know, not busy trying to destroy Harry Potter, he would’ve probably been great at managing money.

A lot of Lord Voldemort’s core characteristics and common practices deserve a second look and, if they’re applied properly to your financial habits, they could make you more successful than he ever was. Here’s how living like Lord Voldemort can save you money.

Be Resourceful

Between crafting plans and tricking others, Lord Voldemort is one of the most resourceful characters in the “Harry Potter” series. Being resourceful helped him move closer to his goals and it can help you do the same. This is especially seen when he creates potions using items around him like unicorn blood, human flesh and snake venom. One of the potions he created literally helped him regenerate a body. If that’s not resourcefulness I don’t know what is. Resourcefulness can seriously pay off, whether it be fixing your sink without paying for a plumber or testing new ways to save at grocery stores.

Have Dedication

Lord Voldemort didn’t build an army in a day and your savings account won’t be magically filled in a day either. Lord Voldemort had persistent, unfaltering dedication to his goal to find and destroy Harry Potter. He stayed dedicated to his mission for eight movies and seven books until he died. If you divert a fraction of that amount of dedication to saving money, you’re sure to find money success.

Be Ruthless With Yourself

Remember when Voldemort killed Harry Potter’s mom in front of him and then tried to murder infant Harry Potter? You’ve got to be pretty ruthless to do that. While Lord Voldemort was ruthless towards others, one money saving strategy is to be a little bit ruthless to yourself. Saving money can require a lot of self-control to wage the internal battle between spending temptations and your desire to save. Being harsh to your inner spender can pay off.

While you should never be too harsh on yourself, if you’re stuck in a spending rut be open to trying stricter money saving methods like going a week without spending or even making it your mission to stop ordering lunch every day. It’s possible to save without feeling deprived but it takes a bit of self-control. 

Wear a Uniform

The whole idea of not wearing the same outfit twice is very Hollywood, but not so much Hogwarts. Our pal Voldemort essentially wore the same black cloak every day. While wearing a black cloak on the daily isn’t necessary, creating a go-to outfit formula or even downsizing your wardrobe saves money and time. 

Share Your Mission

It’s safe to say the entire world knew Lord Voldemort wanted to find and kill Harry Potter. Like Voldemort, be vocal with your goals. Tell your friends and family about your mission to save. When those around you know about your money saving mission, they have the opportunity to be more accommodating and understanding. This is especially handy when you suggest a tighter budget for holiday gift giving or opt for more affordable restaurants when eating out with friends.

You might also want to create a blog or Twitter account where you can share your money-related fails and triumphs. Sharing can certainly increase accountability. When others know your goal they might hold you to it and you may feel more motivated to stick to it.

Focus on Actually Understanding

Voldemort’s ultimate demise resulted from his lack of understanding about a certain curse — I won’t spoil too much. Learn from his mistake and make a point to actually understand your finances. Make sure you know your credit score (you can check two of your scores for free on Credit.com). It can help you understand your financial situation and improve it. It’s also important to read up about your student loans and other debt instead of pretending they don’t exist and learn about all of the benefits and rewards your credit cards and employers offer that you might not be taking advantage of.

Keep a Diary

When he was still Tom Riddle, Voldemort had a diary used for manipulation. He really made the most of the diary by also using it as a Horcrux. While your diary won’t be quite as nefarious, it will help you paint a clear picture of how and where you’re spending your money. Create a spending diary where you keep track of purchases. Seeing all of your expenses can help you visualize which types of spending you want to cut back on and exactly where your money is going.

Know Your History

Voldemort had a slight obsession with his heritage. He spent a lot of time tracking down his own history while he was still at Hogwarts and through his history he learned a lot of important details about himself. Including the fact that he was half-blood, which served as a catalyst to his becoming Lord Voldemort in the first place. Knowing your own credit history is crucial when it comes to building credit. Your credit report can give you an insight into how long you’ve had your accounts and help identify any factors dragging your finances down.

Start Young

Voldemort created his first Horcruxes at the age of 17. As he built Horcruxes, you can build your credit. Even 17 isn’t too young to start thinking about your financial future. You can start building credit as a teen.

Find Motivation That Works For You

Voldemort’s actions were motivated by a true hatred and hunger to rid the world of muggles. While that probably isn’t your goal, one of the keys to saving money is to find your motivation. Perhaps you’re paying off student loans, saving for a summer trip or trying to start an emergency fund. When you pin down your money saving motivation, unlike Voldemort, you’ll be unstoppable.

Image: izusek

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Why Daniel Radcliffe Is Our Patronus

Daniel-Radcliffe-saving

Call him The Boy Who Saved.

Daniel Radcliffe has made an estimated £74 million (equal to about $94 million, based on the current exchange rate) since taking on the eponymous role in the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise. That probably doesn’t come as a surprise, given the eight movies in that series alone have raked in close to $8 billion worldwide.

But you may be surprised to learn that the 27-year-old British actor has, well, been hoarding his money in Gringott’s.

“I don’t really do anything with my money,” Radcliffe told the Belfast Telegraph in late September. He went on to put forth a compelling argument for why he decided to save it.

“I’m very grateful for it, because having money means you don’t have to worry about it, which is a very lovely freedom to have,” Radcliffe said. “It also gives me immense freedom, career-wise … For all the people who’ve followed my career, I want to give them something to be interested in, rather than them just watch me make loads of money on crap films for the rest of my life.”

Radcliffe may be talking specifically about movie projects, but, no matter what your role in life, he’s right that having some money socked away can afford you a certain amount of freedom and security. People with money in the bank can sleep a little easier at night knowing they could weather an unexpected financial setback (like job loss or major car repair), afford more home and pursue new job opportunities if their boss turns out to be a real He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

But, despite these clear advantages, many people — and Americans, in particular — just aren’t saving enough. Survey after survey shows that we’re woefully underfunded for retirement, are ill-equipped to handle even a small financial emergency and carry more debt than is ideal.

Ways Mere Muggles Can Save

Of course, there are plenty of socio-economic reasons for that: Many folks are still recovering from the Great Recession, wage growth has been pretty stagnant and high levels of student loan debt are weighing down many Americans’ finances. (We don’t all have £74 million in the bank, you know?)

But even people who are on a tight budget can consider Radcliffe their financial Patronus (we do) and find some new ways to save. Here’s how you might be able to get some more Galleons in your vault. Accio, savings!

1. Automate Your Savings

You shouldn’t spend more than what you have. If this is a challenge for you, consider setting up an automatic transfer so at least some of your extra funds (after paying your bills) make it into your savings account. You can apply a similar strategy to your investments and up the money from each paycheck that’s going into your 401K.

2. Improve Your Credit

A good credit score can help you save on everything from mortgage rates to insurance policies, so if your credit is looking a little lackluster, it might behoove you to put in a little work. You can improve your scores by paying down high credit card balances, disputing errors on your credit report and identifying specific areas where you need to improve. (You can find out what these areas are and monitor your progress toward building great credit by viewing your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)

3. Find Ways to Generate More Income

The gig economy is real, and, in many respects, thriving, so if you and your family aren’t saving because of lack of income, consider a side hustle. You might be able to make some extra dough selling your stuff online, blogging, running errands for others on the weekend or sharing your ride, among other things.

4.  Scrutinize Your Budget

Even if you’ve already cut back, there may be ways you can still reduce your expenses. Spending too much on coffee? Brew your own at home. Blowing your food budget? Switch from brand name to generic products at the grocery store. Paying too much for cable or other subscription services? Ask your provider if they can lower your rate. You can find 47 more ways to stay out of debt — and, as a result, save more — here.

Image: YouTube

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