the hobbit

Finance Lessons from The Hobbit



I can find a reference to finance in almost everything I see. For example, I once did a post about the MTV show, I Used to be Fat. I thought it was pretty similar to someone working their way out of debt.I’m getting pretty excited because The Hobbit is going to be released as a two part series in 2012 and 2013.

I remember reading the book in high school and after seeing how well the Lord of the Rings series was made, I am very excited to see both parts of The Hobbit. I started thinking about finance lessons from The Hobbit.

There were three points in the story that could really be a lesson to those looking to save better or get out of debt.

Bilbo Baggins Lives a Quiet Peaceful Life

He probably had a weekly budget and made a point to save 10% of his income. Bilbo Baggins is the kind of person who fears adventure and enjoys knowing what is going to come next. Living a quiet life is a great way to save money. Trust me, when you go out often, i.e. each weekend., you will spend a lot of money. I made a point to eliminate many unnecessary expenses, including multiple weekend outings. If you don’t want to save money from extracurricular activities, take a look at your budget and try to cut out anything that you won’t miss or that you think you could go with out, like the top of the line smartphone minutes package or speeding tickets.

Bilbo Meets Gollum and Finds a Ring

When Bilbo is persuaded by the wizard Gandalf to set out on an adventure he resists being shaken from his peaceful life, but he eventually agrees. Because he made the decision to escape his comfort zone, he was rewarded with a fortuitous find. Bilbo meets Gollum and, subsequently, the ring.
I think this is similar to entrepreneurs stepping out to start a business. Especially the young entrepreneurs that we’ve been profiling. It takes courage to embark on a new venture and if you use your intelligence, like Bilbo when he outsmarted Gollum, you will be rewarded.

Bilbo Slays the Spider

If you watched, or read, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, then you know that Frodo almost died when he became trapped in a spiders web. Funnily enough, the same thing happened to Bilbo. Bilbo was able to escape using his sword and magic ring.
When you are trying to get out of debt or save for a large purchase like a new house, you need to have the appropriate tools. I like using spreadsheets to plan my budget and automatic transfers to build a nest egg. For you it might be the envelope method of budgeting or some other budgeting tool that helps you reach your goals. Whatever it is, keep the courage of Bilbo to meet your goals!

Reacquaint yourself with this classic before the 2012 release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the 2013 release of The Hobbit: There and Back Again!

the hobbit an unexpected journey

The Hobbit: 70th Anniversary Edition

J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)


  1. says

    I love to read and love to watch movies, but for whatever reason, neither the books nor the movies of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit could hold my interest. Still, this is interesting because it just goes to show that there are money lessons to be learned anywhere. You just have to keep your eyes open (and realize that sometimes the lessons are on what *not* to do!)

    • says

      I liked the books because of the fantasy world aspect. JR Tolkien really created a whole entire universe with the books and it required lots of imagination while reading. I was very happy when the movies came very close to capturing what I had imagined. You can definitely learn about money from numerous movies… hmmm, maybe that should be a series?

  2. says

    One of my favourite books of all time. We have a hobbit post planned too, but will likely wait a bit until closer to the movie release. One of my fondest childhood memories is reading this book w/ my Dad.

  3. Dion Lynk says

    Nice! I like the Hobbit reference. Living a quiet life is a huge key to holding down more of your money each month. For it is at home where you can create all of these online money making ideas. Good read.

  4. Brilliant Finances says

    Like you, I tend to find a reference for personal finance in anything. I guess that’s what comes with being passionate about something.

  5. says

    I LOVED The Hobbit and LOTR when I was a kid, but I can’t handle the movies. Nothing looks the way I envisioned it in my head and it made it impossible for me to watch. That said, love the ties to PF and I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the movie when it’s released. I may have to break down and go see it since The Hobbit was my favorite part of the series.

    • says

      I never got a chance to read LOTR when in high school but I loved the Hobbit. And I really liked the LOTR dvd series as well. So I’m interested to see how this one turns out.

  6. says

    I didn’t get into this series, much to the chagrin of my dad. He wanted me to love them like he did as a kid, and I just couldn’t. But you’re right, there are ties to saving money and living frugally everywhere.

  7. says

    OMGosh I love it! I was so into the movie series. I read the book and was actually disappointed. They did a great job with the movie adaptation. They really only left a few parts out. And then there was so much prose in the book. Beautiful prose. but prose nonetheless. It was a great but slow read. Can’t wait to see The Hobbit!

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