The Game of Thrones Guide to Personal Finance

The Game of Thrones series was something I tried to avoid for a while as an HBO-hyped soft-core way to steal an hour of an audience’s life every week.

Pedicab in the form of the Iron Throne from th...

Then I read the first book.   Within minutes of finishing it, I downloaded the second, followed by the rest.

I haven’t seen the show, but I have read all of the books.   If you are into court intrigue and gratuitous sex and violence, you’ll enjoy the series.

If you aren’t into those things, you can still pick up some good financial lessons from the series.

 Everything you care about will die.

You may not have to worry about your son shooting you in the stomach with a crossbow, or your foster-son burning your castle down while you’re away, but bad things happen.    Your company will close or your car will break down or your refrigerator will die.   Allow me to repeat myself:  Bad things happen.   Prepare for them now.

What will you do if one of your appliances break, or your kid needs braces?   After the emergency is the wrong time to start thinking about it.

 Money solves a lot of problems.

If you’ve got some money set aside, whether it’s a repair fund, and emergency fund, or just a mayonnaise jar full of cash buried in the backyard, it’s going to help you survive life’s little upsets.   You don’t need enough to buy an opposing army’s loyalty, just enough to get you through whatever financial emergency is currently rocking your world.

 You can’t buy loyalty.

Even if you sell your sister to the barbarians in exchange for their fighting prowess, you can’t rely on that.   Don’t think that buying a car for your kid is a good replacement for spending time with her, or that a fancy vacation can take the place of regular, meaningful conversations with your wife.   Money solves a lot of things, but it can’t take the place of actually being there for your loved ones.   Your presence means more than your presents.

It all boils down to this:

 Bad things happen, but you can protect yourself with a combination of money and meaningful relationships.

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  • 5 comments

    Comments

    1. I haven’t read the books, but intend to after I try to watch the show. I prefer my gratuitous violence in text form where I can skim over it 😉

      Great personal-finance related points though!

    2. Yes, bad things most definitely happen. Thing is, by law of averages, most of us will have to deal with at least a few of them at one point or another. Yet, many simply are unprepared for any disaster. Best to plan on having something go wrong at some point, and diversify risk.

    3. I love game of thrones. New series starting next week!!! Quite enjoyed your analogy though, very original!!

    4. I haven’t read the books, but enjoyed the the first season on HBO and look forward to the second.

      Great analogy too, prepare for the worst, hope for the best!

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