Despite growing up in a Muggle home, Harry Potter was a skilled wizard. It wasn’t just his wizardry acumen that made Harry smart, though. One of the best decisions he ever made had to do with money. Yup, Harry decided against a major purchase and saved his money instead.
Let me explain. Before his third year at school, Harry spent a few weeks at the Leaky Cauldron after accidentally blowing up his aunt like a balloon. During his time exploring Diagon Alley, he came across an advertisement for the Firebolt, the fastest broom in the world:
“Harry didn’t like to think how much gold the Firebolt would cost. He had never wanted anything as much in his whole life — but he had never lost a Quidditch match on his Nimbus Two Thousand, and what was the point in emptying his Gringotts vault for the Firebolt, when he had a very good broom already?”
Harry Potter fanatics know that Harry ended up getting a Firebolt as a gift from his godfather Sirius Black. But if Harry had emptied his Gringotts vault for the broom, the future of the wizarding world might have taken a turn for the worse.
Let’s take a closer look at the positive effects of Harry’s wise money move.
Harry Potter and the joke shop
Just one school year later, Harry won the Triwizard Tournament purse worth 1,000 Galleons. But after watching the co-winner Cedric Diggory die and barely escape death himself, Harry didn’t want it.
Instead of keeping it, he gave it to Fred and George Weasley to open a joke shop. When they initially refused his generous offer, he insisted, saying, “Listen, if you don’t take it, I’m throwing it down the drain. I don’t want it and I don’t need it. But I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to need them more than usual before long.”
The Weasleys opened their shop shortly before all hell broke loose in the wizarding world. As the Death Eaters seized control of the Ministry of Magic, Fred and George cheered up the wizarding community with products like “U-No-Poo” and “Umbridge on Unicycle.”
Later, the twins expanded their product mix to include Defense Against the Dark Arts lines. Shield hats, gloves, and cloaks were indispensable for Ministry employees who couldn’t conjure a decent Shield Charm to protect themselves. In other words, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes made a big difference during a difficult time. Just think – had Harry spent all his money on the Firebolt a year earlier, he may not have been able to give the twins his gold.
Building and maintaining a position of strength
Harry Potter’s money was passed down to him by his parents, and he understood that squandering it was out of the question.
Sure, he dropped 30 Galleons on Omnioculars for himself, Ron, and Hermione at the Quidditch World Cup. He also bought an entire cart worth of treats during his first trip on the Hogwarts Express. At the same time, he wasn’t going to sell his inheritance for a broom, no matter how badly he wanted it.
Because of that decision, Harry wasn’t desperate for gold during his fourth year at school. He didn’t need the Triwizard Tournament winnings and had the freedom to choose to give it away. He was in a position of strength.
Although it would be nice to have generational wealth like Harry, it’s not in the cards for most of us. With that said, we can all take a page from Harry’s book and learn a valuable money lesson. And that is: It’s important to have savings goals while also taking advantage of unexpected chances to invest, give to those in need, or do something you’ve always wanted to do.
If you’re looking to make and save more money, use these 3 tips to build and maintain financial strength.
1. Stick to your budget. Creating a budget is the easy part. Sticking to it month after month is what makes budgeting hard. The Chime Spending Account makes the process easier by letting you view your transactions and analyze your spending on the go.
Here’s another tip: When it comes to large purchases, avoid making emotional decisions. Give yourself time to think things over before you buy. Ask yourself how a purchase fits in with your financial goals and whether you actually need it. Indeed, look to Harry for financial sense here: When it came to the Firebolt, he already had a solid broom and decided he didn’t need a new one.
2. Make savings a priority. According to a study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the biggest financial worry people have is not having enough savings.
To help you start saving money right now, treat your savings like another bill with an automatic transfer coming out of your checking account at the beginning of the month. To get going, Chime has an Automatic Savings program that helps you save throughout the month. Just use your Chime Visa Debit card for all your purchases and Chime will round up each transaction and automatically transfer the round-up from your Spending Account to your Chime Savings Account.
As you get into the habit of saving all the time, you’ll have more freedom to do what you want with your money.
3. Build strength in other areas. Focusing solely on money isn’t the only way to establish and maintain financial strength. For example, keeping yourself physically healthy can prevent major medical costs.
Developing new skills is also essential. For example, learning how to fix your own car means you don’t have to take your car to a repair shop every time it breaks down. Another tip: Developing a hobby into a side business can increase your income.
As you can see, every day you have the power to decide how to spend, save and increase your income. Are you ready to boost your financial strength so that you have the freedom to answer the door when opportunity knocks?