Did you know that you can get frugal lessons from books like The Hunger Games? Everything in life is like a novel that can give you a lot of life lessons. You just have to really understand the story line plus the conflict and solutions that the characters are facing.
Books in general hold a lot of influence in society. We are not just talking about academic books. There are various literary works inspired future generations to think of new ideas. An article in BusinessInsider.com published an article that cited some science fiction novels that brought about some of the best ideas.
The article explained that geeks love to read. And no matter how they are bullied back in high school, they are mostly responsible for the technological advancements that we have today. The minds of these geeks are stimulated every time they read – even if it is only about science fiction. The Business Insider article mentioned how the likes of The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke inspired the Kickstarter project of a space elevator research. Not only that, NASA is also thinking about the space elevator concept and could probably implement it soon enough. Even Hyperion by Dan Simmons inspired geeks to think about space travel, AI, and connectivity across galaxies etc. These are all developed and are constantly being improved by the geek reading all these science fiction novels.
Another article in Chalcedon.com supports the same idea. The article mentioned how books are oftentimes viewed to be a form of entertainment. While this is true, the ideas presented in the literary work, no matter how much of a fiction it is, can still influence the mind of the reader. When you read, you tend to focus on the material. This is one of the things that you cannot multitask. That concentration means you are more inclined to absorb the ideas written within.
Given this thought, we would like to tackle one of the most popular books in our time today. It is such a success that it had been made into a movie franchise – which in itself, is also very successful. With this popularity comes the opportunity to drive in some important realizations – specifically when it comes to finances. We have found that this collection of books actually teach us the core principles that can get you started on frugal lessons.
We are talking about the best selling novel written by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games. It tells us a fictional story about a girl named Katniss Everdeen and her adventures in the nation of Panem.
Frugality lessons from the story of The Hunger Games
This is a great way for you to drive home the lesson into your kids. If they are fascinated by the movie and the book, it can be a great source of financial lessons for children. The Hunger Games holds a lot of frugal lessons. In essence, the story holds a lot of realizations about society itself. But to make this article as short and meaningful, let us focus on what it teaches us about frugality.
Here are some of the frugality concepts that we found in the book.
Have restraint. Living in a consumerist society has its ups and downs. For your finances, it is usually the latter. It teaches us to have everything in excess and that is a direct contradiction to what you need to learn in your frugal lessons. Just like Katniss is taught to not go straight to the Cornucopia as it raises the chances of her getting killed, that is also a lesson for all of us. We want to have everything at once but you have to consider what it will cost you. This is just like purchasing through credit cards. It allows you to have everything but it puts you in so much debt.
Sometimes, less is more. Still in the Cornucopia scene, the tributes all fight to the death to get as much as they can from this source of supply. However, a lot of them ended up meeting their demise. Katniss got one bag and it proved to be quite helpful. It had some useful thermal material to keep her warm at night, a water bottle and a rope. All of these helped her survive even if it was not a lot. The same is true for you. If you concentrate on the value of the bare necessities, you will realize that you can live without a lot of the things that you thought you needed. If you plan how you will get the excesses in life, you can still enjoy them but not at the expense of being under so much credit obligation.
Understand your strengths and the tools that will enhance it. Katniss is great at using a bow. She concentrated on getting this rather than the more lethal weapons like a sword or a spear. One of the important frugal lessons you need to learn is to know how to play to your strengths. You want to maximize what you are good at so you can make do without the excesses.
It is important to remember that frugality is actually a deviation of what most of us were used to. We spent a lot and we worked very hard to get the things that society deemed to be important. While there is nothing wrong about that, you need to stop trying to be like everyone else. Focus on what you really need and anything in excess must be planned. That is how you practice the frugal lessons that will keep you from being in a financial crisis.
Just like Katniss was not afraid to defy the rules of killing all tributes by saving Peeta, you need to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. Even if others are doing it, that does not mean you should too. With that practice, you can influence the people around you to implement the same frugal lessons that can save them from financial problems. Just like how Katniss sparked the start of the revolution.
Other bestselling novels that provide personal finance lessons
Apart from the frugal lessons that you will get from The Hunger Games, there are also other books that provide relevant financial concepts that will help you manage your money smartly. These books can turn you into a wizard at money management.
Harry Potter is an orphan that lived the first 11 years of his life in misery. Although his Aunt took him in, he was deprived of a lot of things. But when he reached the age of 11 and he got accepted at Hogwarts, he discovered that he owned a small fortune in the bank of the Wizard world. If you think that he spent all of that at once, having been deprived all his life – that where you are wrong. In fact, he managed that money wisely so it will last him for the next 7 years of his studies.
We can definitely learn a lot from him. If you remember the stories about people who won the lottery, you will read about stories of money mismanagement and loss. Most of them ended up being in a worse situation before winning the lottery.
The Hobbit does not really give frugal lessons but what it does teach us something about taking risk and growing your money. Hobbits are known to eat a lot and enjoy comfort. The protagonist in the story, Bilbo Baggins, is no exemption. But while he was in his comfort zone, he was bound to have only what he had at the moment. But when he grabbed the chance to venture out on an adventure with dwarves that he barely knew, he found riches that he never knew he could find.
Although a lot of us are intimidated by the concept of investing, this is something that you need to learn. There is a certain amount of risk involved but you may want to get over that fear. You will win and lose here but once you understand how to implement investing strategies, you can maximize the moments when you gain profit. The important thing is to just start investing. You will never know your potential to grow your money if you refuse to try it.
Using books to teach your children about money and even frugal lessons is one of the best ways to make them understand financial concepts. You may be surprised at how the simple books on your shelf hold valuable financial lessons. Here is a video from CNN that discusses how two economists raise their kids to have money smarts through ordinary children’s books.