The 7 Kingdoms of Westeros is a fictitious world in constant turmoil. “Winter is coming” is not heeded by all of the Kingdoms and the results could be disastrous. Each House of the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros has its way of managing its society, culture, army, resources and money, and there is something to learn from each one even if it is a lesson in what not to do. Here are 10 money lessons we can learn from Game of Thrones.
Always pay your debts
“A Lannister always pays his debts”. Wise words from a powerful family. The Lannister mantra goes a long way in Game of Thrones. Of course, in many cases the debts are not financial but often they are. The Lannisters did have some difficulties paying back the money they owed, but they did what they had to do to get it paid to keep their credit in good shape.
No one wants to have debt. If you do, you need to make all effort to pay it off as quickly as possible. This is the only way to have good credit. Debt can add up fast. Make sure you have the resources at hand to repay any debt you take.
Taking out a loan means you will have to repay it. Do not take out a loan if you do not have to. The Lannisters got into a lot of trouble with the loans they took from the Bank of Bravos. The Bank was not willing to let any of the debt slide.
The money lesson learned from the Lannisters debts is twofold. Do not take out loans you will not be able to pay back. If you do take out a loan, be willing and able to pay it back as quickly as possible so you do not destroy your credit.
Credit takes time
Daenerys Targaryen is the perfect example of carefully building credit. Daenerys started with nothing but her name. She was sold by her brother for an army which did not quite work out. Instead of being defeated, Daenerys took her time to build her army and the money to fight. She had to concur some major cities before she could get enough resources to fight for her true calling and her Kingdom.
The money lesson to be learned from Daenerys is take your time and build up your credit. Do not rashly spend your money to get what you want. Build up your credit, so you get what you need and your future will be financially stable.
Do not let your emotions control your finances
A good financial lesson can be learned from the difference between Tywin Lannister and Robb Stark. Tywin never let his emotions get in the way of controlling the Kingdom. He calculated and plotted to make sure his family got the power. He did not let his emotions with his children or the past get in the way of his political and financial decisions. On the other hand, Robb Stark made a terrible mistake when he let his emotions override the greater good for the Kingdom.
He broke a pact to marry into the Frey family creating a powerful alliance against the Lannisters. He married for love in the spur of the moment and the result was angering the Freys and the murderous “Red Wedding”.
It is easy to let emotions take over when dealing with money. Money can truly be the “root of all evil”. Make your financial decisions wisely. Research and seek professional advice. Do not make major financial decisions based on emotions.
Plan your estate
King Robert Baratheon lived his life to the fullest. He truly enjoyed wine, women and song but did not care much for the work and responsibilities that come with being King of Westeros. Robert did not heed his advisors advise. He did not feel he was invincible. He failed to plan for the future of the Kingdoms after his death, and this set Westeros in major turmoil and war. Robert was killed in a hunting “accident” when gored by a wild boar.
As he lay dying he tried to get his wishes in writing, but it was much too late. The result, his young, inexperienced and possibly psychotic son became the next King. The 7 Kingdoms were immediately thrown into war with each House fighting for its own interests. King Joffrey, wife Cersei and father-in-law Tywin Lannister took complete control over the Crown.
The lesson to be learned from Robert Beratheon’s mistakes: Plan your estate. Realize that when you die, your wishes should be well in order and in writing or the results could be family squabbles, Probate and loss due to taxes. Draw up your Will and seek advice from a qualified probate attorney on how to plan your estate.
Use your resources
The House of Tyrell has the most valuable resources that the people of Westeros need. The southern land owned by the Tyrells is filled with natural resources that are valuable to the Kingdoms. The Tyrell family wisely uses the resources to leverage their power. The family unites with the Lannister family, funding them, because of the advantages it will have for the Tyrells. The Tyrells use the wealth their natural resources have created to build up their military power.
The Tyrells have taught us that if you have natural resources and skills, you can use them to build your finances. You can convert those assets into money. The Tyrells are perhaps the wisest of business people in the 7 Kingdoms.
Several characters in Game of Thrones rely on advisors. If they do not have the knowledge or skills needed to fight a war, they need to have trusted and knowledgeable people managing their actions. Daenerys is a good example of heeding her advisors. She is a young girl with an incredible amount of power and realizes her limitations.
She relies on Jorah Mormont and Barriston Selmy to advise her on matters of money, alliances and war. Understand your limitations. There are professionals who are able to manage money and investments better than you. Trust them.
Tyrian Lannister is the underdog in Game of Thrones. However, what he lacks in physical skill, he makes up for with his vigilance, patience and knowledge. Tyrian surrounds himself with people who will have his back even if he cannot fully trust them. Therefore, he always has to be vigilant to protect himself and his interests.
Watch your money. Be aware of your investments. Even if you trust your advisors, it is your duty to be vigilant and make sure your investments are sound.
Remember the greater good
Jon Snow has to form some pretty difficult alliances to protect the Kingdoms of Westeros. He has to accept the help of the Wildings and Stannis Baratheon to protect the Kingdom from the White Walkers. Jon knows the White Walkers will ultimately destroy Westeros and faster than the squabbles and wars between the 7 Houses of Westeros. Jon recognizes that a symbiotic relationship is sometimes crucial to the common good.
In money matters, companies can benefit from turning accounts receivables into capital to work with. It may seem like a waste, but to build a company’s business, and even your personal finances, you may need to move some things around. It may hurt in the beginning, but if it helps in the long run, it is worth
Let your past guide you
Bran Stark is a good example of letting the past be your guide. Granted he has special powers to see the past, even when it happens before he existed. Bran’s experiences can teach us to use our past to not make the same mistakes.
The money lesson we can learn from Game of Thrones is learn from our past mistakes. We may have made some bad financial decisions in the past, but move on. Learn from those mistakes and manage your money better in the future.