Master Yoda once said, “What you have learned, always pass on.” Or something like that.
Like Yoda, The Child (aka Baby Yoda or Grogu) in “The Mandalorian” already knows how to use the Force. Let him become your teacher — and learn, too, from the title character, the armored bounty hunter Din Djarin, and the other characters in the show. Teach you, they shall, about many things.
You can even discover hidden gems that help you manage your finances. You just need to know where to look.
1. Know What You’re Getting Into
“This is more than I signed up for,” Cara Dune said when the Mandalorian found an imperial walker’s footprint in Chapter 4 of the first season.
You can’t avoid every surprise, but knowing the score ahead of time gives you an advantage. And nowhere does this apply more than when you enter into financial agreements. Work with companies that give you all the details upfront, whether it involves buying a car, renting an apartment, or taking out a loan.
Go into any business transaction armed with research, facts, and knowledge of the other party’s capabilities. Prepare for your retirement with the tools you’ll need to maintain your standard of living, whether you decide on an IRA, 401(k), annuity, or other savings tool. Know what your options entail before you decide.
If you’re in business, provide as much information as you can. Doing so will earn you a reputation as an honest broker and grow your business with integrity.
2. Make the Best Deal
Din Djarin has dished out some sweet advice in “The Mandalorian,” but fellow bounty hunter Fennec Shand did the same. Ming-Na Wen, the original voice of Mulan, plays the elite mercenary who offered this nugget: “You want to be a bounty hunter? Make the best deal for yourself and survive.”
The same goes for you in your financial affairs. Know how to bargain, especially as you negotiate real estate deals. Make the best deal for yourself by leveraging your position. If you hire someone to make property upgrades, negotiate with the contractor to score the best deal possible. Never settle for less than the value you provide.
In working for someone, withhold the final piece of the project until you’ve received payment. Both sides need to act in good faith and demonstrate that good faith.
Financial survival is the name of the game.
3. Run the Numbers Before Committing
The Mandalorian knows the value of currency. He rejected payment in imperial credits and accepted half as much in Calamari flan because he knew he could count on its stability.
Most of us can’t convert currency off the top of our heads, but we can find tools that will simplify complex transactions. Before buying a rental property, run the numbers with a rental income calculator. Compare the best cities for real estate investing using cap rates or gross rent multiplier when hunting for new markets.
Other online calculators help you determine the full cost of mortgages or auto loans, debt-to-income ratios, financial independence/retire early FIRE calculators; you name it!
4. Stand Up for Yourself
In any financial deal, stand your ground — even when others try to intimidate you. When armed stormtroopers confronted the Mandalorian and warned him they outnumbered him 4-1, he responded, “I like those odds.”
Know your abilities and secure your position. If someone warns that you risk losing a deal if you walk away from the table, consider doing just that. If someone tries to rush you into signing a real estate or lease contract without reading the fine print, don’t.
Din Djarin knew his skills, armor, and training gave him the advantage, even though the stormtroopers tried to intimidate him. You have your own advantages, including the money in your pocket and the signature in your pen. Don’t give away either without an excellent reason.
5. Protect & Improve Your Credit
Speaking of finances, don’t ignore your credit score. Mandalorians operate using a code of honor: “This is the way.” They don’t deviate from it. Your creditors expect the same from you. Once you sign a contract, pay your bills on time.
As a real estate investor, you rely on loans from others to help fund your property portfolio. Which means you need strong credit more than most.
Once your creditors trust you, they can boost your access to funds so you can make major purchases such as a car or home in the future. You may even be able to invest in rental properties and become a landlord. If, however, you fail to honor your agreements, you may not have access to the funds you need when the time comes to take out an investment property mortgage.
6. Don’t Go It Alone
Even Mandalorians need help on occasion. After scavengers damaged and looted his ship, the Razor Crest, Mando had to accept help from a vapor farmer named Kuiil in repairing it.
You don’t have to go solo as a lone ranger, either. Identify trustworthy allies and accept help from them when they offer it. Even those who may seem like adversaries may work with you.
In hard times, don’t fear approaching the government about tax or student loan deferments. Ask landlords to renegotiate the terms of your rent and creditors to extend or defer payments. Creditors and others may provide help more readily than you think.
7. Protect Yourself
Mandalorians wear beskar armor to protect themselves against all manner of weapons and attackers. Likewise, you should protect yourself against unexpected expenses.
Insurance acts like your financial armor, shielding you from big bills that can come out of the blue, whether from property damage, unpaid rents, health care costs, or automobile accidents. As a landlord, start with rental property insurance, and consider buying rent default insurance as well. If your tenant defaults, the insurance kicks in and pays the rent until you find a replacement tenant.
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8. Protect Your Friends
“Take care of this little one,” Cara Dune told Din Djarin, referring to “The Child” — aka Baby Yoda. “…Or maybe it’ll take care of you,” Greef Karga added.
Friends have each other’s backs: even very young friends who ride around in spherical, hovering baby carriers. Greef Karga’s words proved prescient when the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda encounter an enraged wooly-rhinoceros-type beast called a mudhorn that charges at the bounty hunter. (The mudhorn was trying to protect her egg from the pair.)
Baby Yoda responded by calling on the Force to subdue the enraged beast. The Mandalorian had looked after him, and he returned the favor. The moral of the story: Identify your friends and trusted business allies. Look after them, and they’ll look after you.
9. Protect Your Home
The Mandalorians built a dome around their capital city to shield it from the harsh desert environment on New Mandalore. Perhaps you can’t build a dome around your home to protect it from the elements (although a sturdy roof is always a good idea), but you can shield yourself from the costs of structural repairs by purchasing homeowner’s insurance.
But don’t stop there. Also consider protecting your home’s interior. It can cost a lot to repair or replace a home system or built-in appliance. When you think about it, you can probably count up quite a few: your electrical system, plumbing, heater, air conditioner, garbage disposal, stove, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and on it goes.
A home warranty can protect you against the cost of repairing or replacing these essential systems and appliances.
10. Value Substance over Style
Mandalorians shroud themselves in an air of mystery. They wear their helmets at all times, obscuring their faces. The practice gives them an advantage and reminds them of their identity as Mandalorians, which supersedes all else. You don’t have to wear a mask at all times, but focus on the substance of your character and the agreements you consider.
And don’t let appearances divert your attention from the task at hand. It’s natural to want the latest sportscar in your garage, the biggest stereo in your entertainment room, or the latest fashion to stay in step with the rest of the crowd.
If you want to reach financial independence young or retire by 40, you need to funnel money into income-producing investments rather than sports cars or clothes.
“The Mandalorian” hit the small screen as the most popular streaming show on television, picking up right where the blockbuster movie series left off. Full of metaphor, allegory, and “universal” wisdom, it supplies us with a wealth of information about ourselves and our situations.
Whether we’re considering a major purchase, selling a product or service, or entering into a partnership, we can look to Din Djarin, Baby Yoda, and the plot of “The Mandalorian” for plenty of hints and wisdom about how to proceed. Just click your remote control, and feel the Force.♦
What financial lessons have you learned from pop culture recently? No source is too nerdy, as we’ve proven above!
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About the Author
Jessica Larson is a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur who creates online courses and has founded several other businesses through the years. Her goals are to support her family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for her two daughters, and to share what she’s learned through The Solopreneur Journal.