Hero’s Journey: Money Edition

Can you recall a lesson, lecture, class, course or seminar you attended that struck you to the core? I was always searching for such profound moments through my educational years, and can recollect many times a teacher/professor ignited my thought processes. The type that makes your brain work full speed ahead on all cylinders. One particular course I took entitled Myth in Film did just the trick. It just so happened I got to sit on on my professor’s last lecture before he embarked on his journey in retirement…


This course was created & centralized around Joseph Campbell’s: The Hero’s Journey (also referred to as The Mythic Journey, or Monomyth). We would watch films such as Shawshank Redemption, The Game, and Full Metal Jacket. Throughout the film (or in a mad dash after), you would have to take a quiz featuring extensive questions requiring answers that cross-compared the film to that of Hero’s Journey. This was definitely not just a course you could snooze through the movie and expect to ace (which was actually quite tough since it was a 3 hour evening lecture…definitely heard a few snores from time to time). The professor’s expectations required deep, thought provoking analogies & detailed examples for the outcome of a decent grade. The argument was that every (or close to every) film we have been exposed to (even outside of the U.S. film industry) contains the Hero’s Journey in some shape, or form. That society refers to the framework of Hero’s Journey to comprehend, analyze, create & potentially dictate their lives – just as main protagonists do in a film (for pictured/storyboard examples of this, click here).

Whether this is true about The Hero’s Journey, or not is up to interpretation (and the study of Joseph Campbell’s work). But I do know one thing that most people can relate to: personal finances can be tedious, challenging & off-putting. Without groundwork, it can be difficult to understand where to even begin. Despite hardship, with a little education, mentorship & practice – you will be able to take on your finances with complete confidence. So here is my summarized account of The Hero’s Journey: Money Edition. Some of us may just be starting (The Call to Adventure – welcome first time readers, glad you came!), others of us might be reaping Rewards (my net worth is off the charts!)- but this is the key takeaway after reading this post:

Regardless of where you are during Hero’s Journey: Money Edition, recognize you are not alone. 

(Also, the fact that you’re here is pretty dang cool – thanks for allowing Generation YRA to be a part of your journey)!

 

So check it out, my take on Hero’s Journey: Money Edition…


THE ORDINARY WORLD

Heck yeah, this can be defined in various ways of how we’re living our daily lives. My ordinary world consists of working for an awesome family owned company, spending time with loved ones, running & dancing to stay fit, and enjoying ice cold pints of cold brew coffee, craft beer, or kombucha – preferably accompanied by a book (in print because I like to feel the pages). Day to day lifestyle choices require dollars & cash money to be prepared for emergencies, prep for retirement, and occasionally treat myself. What’s your ordinary world looking like?

THE CALL TO ADVENTURE

Alright, so either A) you just accepted a full time, real-world job, B) you just graduated from college, or even C) insert situation here. Things are starting to get real. I can’t quite juggle all that the real world is throwing at me (insurance, 401(k), raises, charitable donations, mortgages, medical bills, student loans, life events…). In order to not get into a situation I do not want to be in, my mind is calling me to take action on getting my personal finances in order. It’s time to get serious (no more splurging, binging, or pretending like bills are only a temporary thing).

REFUSAL

But….YOLO??* I’m shaking my dang head. I want to live in the moment. I don’t want to think about the real world because I’m still young. If I’ve got the money, might as well spend it am I right?!

*(I’ve never actually used that term before, so that felt pretty weird).

MENTOR/HELPER

Insert voice of reason at just the right time. This person can be a part of your family, a friend, confidant, blogger, financial advisor, colleague…you name it. This person will guide you along your Hero’s Journey: Money Edition. They’ve got what it takes to show you how you can accomplish your financial goals. They will provide with the right insight, tools, and knowledge to make you financially fierce (*rawr*).

CROSSING THE THRESHOLD

In order to get to that financially fit point that you want, there’s no turning back now (mu-ha-ha?!). I mean, of course you can turn back…but quite honestly, once you start strengthening your financial game plan it’s pretty inspiring. You just want to develop more great habits, it’s a ripple effect. How can I invest more, how can I save more, how can I ensure the financial security freedom of myself and my loved ones, what are ways to build wealth?

TEST/ALLIES/ENEMIES

Ahhh yes, well it just wouldn’t quite be a journey without these folks right? So here’s a few examples of some of these people: the haters & nay-sayers (shake em’ off), the cheerleaders (just upped your IRA contribution, right on!!), and potentially the skeptics that just ask so many questions that make you feel like a rock in a hard place (why can’t you go out, why can’t you go on this trip, why the heck are you putting away money that you can’t touch till you’re 60?!). Along your Hero’s Journey: Money Edition you will encounter these people. Choose wisely who to surround yourself with. If it is uncontrollable who appears during your journey, at least know how to handle each one.

APPROACH

With all your knock-your-socks off financial literacy & knowledge you’ve grown through this journey, you are gearing up for anything that could potentially be a financial “challenge.” Even with objection, with your preparation – what typically may seem like a money challenge to most will not even phase you!

ORDEAL

What in the?! Dangitttttt……..

(Insert financial situation here that is definitely not friendly to your bank account i.e.: unexpected veterinarian bills, car breakdowns, graduations/weddings/baby showers/life events requiring travel costs all in one month, house appliance needs replacement…you get the drill). 

REWARD

But you my friend, you’re coming out on top! On this Hero’s Journey: Money Edition, you’ve learned to plan ahead and set aside money for an emergency fund (safety net fund, silly me fund, whatever you may call it). No need to withdraw from retirement savings, no way you need to drain your checking account, no sense in taking away from your short term savings goals…you’ve got a money making machine of a system in place that when life creates financial tests, you actually reap rewards of financial security through smart money management.

ROAD BACK

Okay, so you were feeling confident. Yet sometimes even certain financial hardships can give a bit of a shake-up, even if you are prepared for them in every which way. Turn to your allies – they may have been through it before, or they have observed you overcome such obstacles. The road back on this journey isn’t always just like following the yellow brick road to Emerald City…

ATONEMENT

But you’ve come back and you’re ready to continue on this journey. You’ve got that reward of feeling fulfilled and financially secure. You’re feeling prepared to share your wealth of knowledge to those around you whether it’s through conversation, writing, teaching, etc.

RETURN

And now, you’re just kickin’ it. Feeling financially groovy. All money systems in place, automatic deposits are set, and you keep saving for all your financial goals. The journey continues, but you continue to grow along the way. And so does your net worth & bank accounts!

 

What stage are you at during Hero’s Journey: Money Edition? What would you add to each stage of this journey? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

All my best,

Alyssa

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2 thoughts on “Hero’s Journey: Money Edition

  1. I’m actually a little embarrassed of some of the classes I took in college just to get the credits to graduate. Like bowling. So much opportunity to learn about whatever I wanted. I wished I would’ve taken a history or meteorology class or something like that instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David,

    No need to be embarrassed! It’s tough to make those decisions so early on sometimes. Those would have been interesting, but it’s great because you can still learn about them today without being in college!

    Like

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