5 Superhero Traits to Apply to Your Finances

by Jessica Sommerfield · 1 comment


Summer is prime time for superhero movies at the theater. After taking in Wonder Woman and Spiderman: Homecoming, I can’t help but think that the qualities these heroes and heroines display can be applied to managing our personal finances. While most of us don’t have the seemingly unlimited financial resources of some superheroes (like Tony Stark, Ironman or Bruce Wayne, Batman), we can model their superhero qualities by managing the money we have in “heroic” ways.

1. Developing Extraordinary Powers (or Skills)

Unlike Superman, whose abilities are inborn, superheroes like our millionaire examples Ironman and Batman are ordinary people whose extraordinary skills can be mostly attributed to intense training and practice. Even a superhero like Spiderman, who wakes up one day mysteriously gifted with abilities, still needs to go through the process of learning how to use them.

It’s the same with developing powerful financial skills.

Sometimes that skill is learning how to control yourself – and your propensity to spend. Even Ironman Tony Stark had the human failing of impulsiveness, especially when it came to his spending. You won’t fix everything overnight, and you’ll undoubtedly fail along the way, but gaining power over your finances can enable you to do the heroic things you’ve been wanting to.

Regardless of whether you have in-born abilities to crunch numbers or choose good stocks, most financial skills take practice and years of experience. Many times, the greatest financial powers come only through education. Just as many superheroes study and learn to use technology, chemistry, and the laws of physics to fight smarter, not harder, pursuing financial education can help you gain the money management powers that are most effective for each situation.

2. An Ability to Face Fears

Superheroes aren’t necessarily fearless – they face their fears and beat them down. Think of Bruce Wayne, who looked his fear of bats in the face — and made his enemies do so, too. Just as having strong phobias can hold you back from living life to the fullest, being afraid or anxious about certain aspects of your finances (such as a spending or debt problem) can hold you back from a financially-free life lifestyle.

3. A Moral Code

One thing that sets most superheroes apart from the villians is their commitment to a moral code. They won’t kill; they won’t cheat; they won’t steal – you get the picture. Ultimately, this is what helps them succeed in the end. Similarly, being committed to a set of personal rules surrounding your finances can help you keep on track in the face of financial temptations.

A financial code usually includes things you avoid, like credit card debt or borrowing from your emergency fund. It also includes things you commit to doing, like setting aside money in savings or modeling good financial habits for your children.

If you really want to hold yourself accountable, consider articulating your code and writing it down somewhere you’ll see and be reminded of it daily.

4. A Sense of Responsibility Driven by a Strong Motive

Many superheroes have tragic events in their pasts — whether family members lost to senseless crime or personal mistakes that cost them dearly. Nearly all of them have a strong sense of responsibility to account for the things they’ve done, protect others from the pain they’ve experienced, or dole out vengeance on the villains that have hurt them. Superpowers certainly help, but without these strong motivations, even the most amazing abilities sit idle and useless.

Shifting to finances, you may have the necessary abilities to tackle your money problems, but lack the motivation to put those abilities into action. The key, then, is to identify your strongest motivations and use them as fuel. Do you want to retire without being destitute or dependent on family, see your children or grandchildren go to college debt-free, or maybe just avoid examples of bad financial management like those you see around you?

5. The Will to Never Give Up

This is the key to success, because not even superheroes can get anything done if they give up easily. Can you imagine if Bruce Wayne gets lazy and decides to ignore the bat-signal when it goes off? I imagine there are instances where he would feel tired when, say, the bat-signal lights up after a particularly strenuous workout. You don’t ever see him give up though, because if he did, things will end badly.

Similarly, there are times when you’ll feel deflated about their finances. Perhaps it’s after making a bad investment, or suddenly realizing that it’ll take a mighty long time to pay off the debt you’ve accumulated. This is the moment of truth. Anyone can bounce back from anything, and scores of people pay off gigantic amounts of debt. Those who triumph don’t give up though. What would you choose to do when times get tough?

Superhero abilities may not be in your portfolio, but you can use these five traits to gain the financial skills you need, face fear, set your own code, and utilize your deepest motivations to improve your personal finances in truly heroic ways.

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