Custom Navbar

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jake's Take: Die Hard - If It Works On Terrorists...

Deriving financial insights from today's blockbusters and yesteryear's classics.

Die Hard - Penny Pinching Prose
It was Bruce Willis’ claim to fame and it’s one of my all-time favorite movies: Die Hard. Sure it’s loaded with blood splatterings, gunfire, explosions, and profanity, but Die Hard is a classic example of the action flick at its best.

And Die Hard has some great lessons to teach us about the mind set that we need to have when we approach budgeting. Trust me it does. It has to. I’m writing a blog about money management and I love Die Hard, so I’ll squeeze a metaphor out of it if it kills me.

The hero of the story is John McClane, an under-appreciated, down on his luck, New York City cop who flies out to California to reconnect with his wife and hopefully save his marriage. While attending a Christmas party at her office building, McClane and all the company employs get trapped on the 40th floor when a group of terrorists seize control of the building with hopes of acquiring the $640 million stored in the company vault. Slipping away from the baddies, McClane becomes everyone's best hope for survival. But he’s a fish out of water. He’s got no phone, no technological know-how, and no shoes.

McClane’s biggest asset is his method to approaching to conflict—simplify. He’s not good with computers (in fact he’s utterly baffled by a touch screen monitor). He doesn’t understand electronics, and he’s not motivated by greed or ambition or money. He's good at being simple because John McClane is a simple guy, and throughout the movie he’s continually breaking down his challenges to the simplest fundamentals.

Too many bad guys in the ways? Use bullets.

Bad guys shooting up police officers? Drop a bomb on their heads.

Roof about to explode? Jump off…. but first tie yourself to a fire hose.

Granted, his ideas aren’t always the greatest, but it is his ability to simplify that saves his life again, and again, and again.

Like John McClane, we need to take a more simplistic approach to money management. It’s not all facts and figures and calculators and spreadsheets and computers. Sometimes it’s just good old fashioned discipline and common sense. Maybe you don’t need a budget with 40 categories. Maybe 20 will do just fine. Maybe if your spouse can’t understand the colorful spread sheets you’ve set up in the computer, maybe it’s time to just write it down on paper. Whatever the case may be. Simpler is better. If it works on terrorists it'll work on your bank account.

Keep pinchin' :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment