Frugal Lessons from Spider-Man

by Meg Favreau on 18 March 2011 3 comments
Photo: [cipher]

As Marvel Comics' most well-known superhero, web-slinger Spider-Man has served as a role model for all that is good, noble, and spidery since 1962. Spider-Man isn't exactly best known for his financial prowess (the comic would be just a tad different if Peter Parker was a stock trader, not a newspaper photographer), but we can still learn some great financial lessons from Spidey. (See also: 6 Ways to Read Comic Books for Free)

Do It Yourself

A high school kid with meager means when he first developed his powers, Peter Parker designed and sewed his own Spider-Man costume. Remind your kids of that when they want store-bought Halloween costumes next year. Especially store-bought Spider-Man costumes.

Turn Your Hobby Into Your Job

Or, at the very least, make your job relate to something else you enjoy in life. Peter Parker became a photographer at The Daily Bugle by submitting excellent pictures of Spider-Man. And, hopefully, doing a job related to something you love will make you happier and more productive at work...at least as long as your boss doesn't brand your alter-ego a "menace."

Don't Overextend

This one doesn't come from Spider-Man himself, but from Turn Off the Dark, the long-anticipated Spider-Man musical that...well, keeps being anticipated. The acrobatic show featuring music from U2's Bono and The Edge has had its performances repeatedly pushed off as performers are hurt, cast and staff are hired and let go, and problems just seem to fly out into the air like webbing from Peter Parker's wrists. Is the show cursed? Maybe. But more likely, it's simply trying to accomplish too much. The lesson? Aim high, but also know your limits.

Get a Roommate

Spider-Man knows one of the big tenets of frugality: Living with someone else can save a lot of money. Although I don't recommend following the Spider-Man route and living with the son of one of your arch-rivals.

Know When to Ask for Help

Whether it's teaming up with other heroes or Mary Jane and Peter moving back in with his Aunt May to save money, knowing when to accept assistance can help you avoid falling into even deeper ruin.

With Great Power There Must Also Come Great Responsibility (Sigh)

Uncle Ben's advice to Peter is so over-quoted that it makes me cringe to use it. That said, it is good advice. Having money is having power — power to decide where and how you want to live, what you want to eat, what you want to wear, where you want to travel, how you want to save, and so on. Of course, you can spend that money with abandon. But the temptation to become a villain in your own life can be great, digging yourself deeper into debt and stealing money from your future self. Okay, that sounded cheesy, but really — managing your finances is a great responsibility.

Can you think of any other financial lessons Spidey can teach us?

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Guest

Here's one, ride a moped - cheaper then a car, more flexible then the train/bus.

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This was very clever. And true. Way to go, Spidey!

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Andrew

Incredibly clever (and yet informative!) article. Well done!