Fight Club is arguably one of the most influential movies of its time. Starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, the movie is filled with memorable quotes that are still being frequently quoted till this day.
Interestingly, the movie, which is about fighting and discovering one self, does contain its fair share of relatable finance quotes. Below is a list of 4 of our favorite financial quotes from the movie.
# 1 “Advertising Has Us Chasing Cars And Clothes, Working Jobs We Hate So We Can Buy S*#T We Don’t Need”
Despite owning practically nothing, Tyler Durden was a man with remarkable influence, impressing upon many other testosterones filled men to participate in meaningless street fight, and to somehow find meaning from it.
Tyler Durden took a contrarian view to life. He refuses to subscribe to how society (or rather, advertisers) claims we should live.
All too often, we find ourselves spending money to buy stuff we don’t really need. As the spending habit builds up, we start spending more each month just to keep up with appearance. Before we know it, we become loyal to our job not because we love it, but because we need it to upkeep our lavish spending.
# 2 “The Things You Own End Up Owning You”
Tyler Durden embraces the minimalist lifestyle. He barely owns anything in the movie.
The absence of any material possessions meant Tyler was free from financial commitments. He did not need to hold down regular jobs because he had no home mortgage to pay for, or car loan to repay.
Being a wandering nomad isn’t practical for most of us living in the modern world. At the same time, we can still heed Tyler Durden advice in making sure we don’t overspend and end up in debt, and become slaves to the things we own.
# 3 “What Kind Of Dining Set Defines Me As A Person”
It’s hard to get away from the ideology that the things we own define us as a person. They don’t.
Some of us drive muscle cars (i.e. Nissan GTR) to express ourselves. Others wear clothes or carry designer bags that best express their mood for the day, or obsess over what furniture to buy that best describes the lifestyle they live. We spend hard earned money on things just to define ourselves. But do we really need to?
To answer that question, we bring another movie quote from Batman Begin. “It’s what you do that defines you”.
# 4 “This Is The Last Sofa Set I Will Ever Need, No Matter What Else Happens, I Got The Sofa Issue Handled”
Whenever we buy something expensive, we like to convince ourselves that we are spending the money today so that we don’t ever need to spend again on the same item in the future.
We buy an expensive television set for our new home, thinking that this is the one and only time we will ever spend on it. We think the $4,000 we splurge on the TAG Heuer watch is the last watch we would ever need. We spend $160,000 on the BMW, expecting that would satisfy our hunger for a ride.
More often than not, that BMW you bought is the first, rather than the last, BMW you will ever buy. That TAG Heuer you bought is likely to be the start of a much bigger (and expensive) watch collection. That television set which you expect to satisfy your entertainment need will quickly become obsolete in a few years time.
Your Possessions Do Not Define You
The biggest financial theme we can takeaway from Fight Club is that our material possessions are not what defines us. So let’s stop spending money unnecessarily on things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.