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9 Personal Finance Lessons from Legend of Zelda

by My Journey to Millions

As I was going through this Week’s Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Free Money Finance (hell yeah my article on Verifying your Beneficiaries was chosen by FMF) I found a GREAT blog post that I had to rip off.

Let me be clear, I am completely ripping off Pimp Your Finances’ post – his article, titled “What Would Mario Do – 9 Money Lessons from Super Mario Brothers”  it is a MUST read if you are into personal finance (and I hope you are since you are reading my blog) and are or ever were into video games.   As the title indicates it is 9 lessons learned from Super Mario Brothers…I won’t list them out here because he deserves a visit!

Well, as I am reading…all I could think is “Yeah, Super Mario Brothers was a great game…but Legend of Zelda was probably 1000 times better!” So what can Link teach us:


  1. You need Heart to Win – In Legend of Zelda your health was measured by hearts..well same with life and personal finance.
  2. You don’t have to but in personal finances you should tackle boards in order – In Legend of Zelda, and unlike wussy Mario, you had the option if you were bad ass enough to go out of order.  You want to take on level 3 before level 1 go for it…but it isn’t wise.  In personal finance you can start investing before you get rid of your debt, but is it smart? No
  3. Sometimes you have to dress the part – In Zelda you could get the red or blue ring which changed your outfit and lessened your damage.  Well in life and finances you shouldn’t be wearing a t-shirt and hat to a job interview!
  4. Sometimes you need to know some Secrets to Win! All over the game there were hidden items for you to grab!  Well consider this blog and the thousands like it your guide to finding the hidden items in personal finance!
  5. Only gamble if you know what you are doing! In the game you can actually gamble for gems…but KNOW HOW TO WIN BEFORE YOU DO IT…want a piss poor gambling story for yours truly? Check out my ridiculous red ball blog postgambling
  6. Have a Plan! You are let loose in this game but without a plan you are sure to die.  Same with life!  HAVE A PLAN
  7. Listen to your Elders – In Legend of Zelda there was some old guy who randomly gave you hints.  Some of the best advice you can grab is from your elders…do not ignore them!  Relish them, life is short and their stories are timeless
  8. Know what tools you need – In legend of Zelda some levels couldn’t be beaten without certain tools (come on I can’t be the only one out there thinking about the raft, silver arrow, etc) SAME WITH LIFE! Whether it is an excel spreadsheet, a magazine, MY BLOG, know what tools you need to get through
  9. Gold is key! Legend of Zelda’s “badassness” was highlighted by the gold cartridge and box

I want to apologize for my older readers who can’t even begin to get what I am talking about…but this has to be a little bit more entertaining than me talking about a different tax code

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My Journey 03/03/2009 - 12:47 am

Woah I just put up my post…..Google Ads gave me the option of playing online. Guess I am not getting any work done hahaha

brainy 03/03/2009 - 8:47 pm

I think it’s funny that you apologize to your “older” readers — I’ve found that, for the most part, when I reference something from the 1980’s and it goes over a reader’s head, it’s usually because they’re too young… ;0)

Anyway, I think you left one thing off of your list:
“Work long and hard.”

I’m pretty sure that it was two screens to the left of the “start” screen where you could use the candle to burn the bush.

That screen frequently had the tektites that would drop the blue rupees, you know, the big bucks.

I’d spend hour after hour going back-and-forth to-and-from that screen hunting the loot dropping tektites amassing a huge sum of money.

And really, for me, it was just plain old hard work that created my wealth — in Hyrule and in the real world.

My Journey 03/03/2009 - 10:16 pm


1) I feel like I am a 90’s kid (was 9 when we hit 1990!) but nintendo was in my house at age 7. A couple months ago I was watching TV with a younger cousin when Wayne’s World came on…she goes, “what is this movie?” I almost went ape sh!t!

2) oooo a great one! I appreciate the addition…2 screens to the right were those little grasshopper bastards that you had to hit the boomerang on (awww memories)

The David 03/10/2009 - 10:07 pm

I really like this article!

And I agree with Brainy that chances are that the younger people don’t get it.

As a Zelda fan, I have to ask – what is your favorite Zelda game? Mine was a Link to the Past.

I’m a fan of the old school stuff. I have to admit that the 3D gameplay gets in the way for me sometimes.

My Journey 03/10/2009 - 10:21 pm


Couldn’t agree more. I got the game for Wii and HATED it. For me, it was the original (and yes I downloaded it on the virtual consol).

Link to the Past was bad ass, but that first game, was just ridiculous. As I wrote this Article I played it, and it scared the hell out of me that I knew where the secret stuff was. Who says video games rots the brain


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