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Lord of the Rings and Personal Finance

April 30th, 2008 at 01:32 pm

Lord of the Rings and personal finance may not seem like they have a lot in common at first. You might be wondering, "What analogy could this guy possibly draw?" Is the Ring of Power similar to debt (something that you may want to use for good but is ultimately corrupting)? Are Orcs similar to the barbarians and pirates that assail people who do not use Capital One credit cards? Maybe, but it's not quite as exciting as all of that.

When I think of Lord of the Rings, one thing sticks out in my mind above all else: Frodo and Sam endlessly plodding toward Mordor. This long leg of the journey that Frodo and Sam take has many themes intertwined: friendship, bravery, cowardice, and many others. In terms of personal finance, however, I think of the dogged progress that they ever so slowly make.

2008 has been a year of plodding progress for me. I faithfully shovel money in my 401k and Roth IRA. I throw 20% of my income in my savings account. Furthermore, I budget and keep track of my money.

I am happy with the progress that I am making, but it is odd at times to think of the huge amount of time it takes pay down debts and save up money. That's what makes me think of Sam and Frodo's journey.

I think J.R.R. Tolkien was telling us something by having the little Hobbits from the Shire actually take the Ring to the heart of Mount Doom. He could have cooked up some hero or another, but he choose Sam and Frodo. I think that all of us have a corrupting Ring to destroy. For some of us, it's debt. For others, addiction to drugs, violence, or whatever else.

Like Sam and Frodo, we all need help along the way. We need the help and joy that comes from being in community with other people on the same path. I think that Saving Advice helps a bit with the community aspect. However, I hope all of you have several Sams in your lives to help you out along the way.

Safe Travels...

2 Responses to “Lord of the Rings and Personal Finance”

  1. scfr Says:

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." - Gandalf

  2. Broken Arrow Says:


    Well, no, I've cast that burdensome ring long ago in my pit lava pit. Big Grin Just couldn't quoting Gollum.

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