As I mentioned in my previous post, Tim and I went to see Deadpool on Valentine’s Day. It was hilarious. It was so hilarious that it was hi-larious. Definitely not for the faint of heart (or humor) — but I can’t recommend it enough.
Of course, as with any popular movie, you can always extrapolate money lessons from the story. Here are the ones Tim and I found. (Anything with an asterisk was Tim’s idea. Also, thanks to JohnJaneDoe for the post idea.)
Nothing lives up to the hype*
Wade has fatal cancer of the… everything, really. So he signs up for a miracle cure that would also give him super powers.
The good news: He does get powers; he’ll heal from anything. The bad news: He’s horribly disfigured, miserable and can’t die.
By the way, his cancer isn’t actually cured. When they super-duper-sized (the technical term) his healing factor, the cancer hitched a ride. So it’s killing him just as fast as he’s healing.
Just to summarize, this miracle cure left him unable to die, still cancer-ridden and with a face not even a blind mother could love.
The lesson: Marketing sells you on a concept, not reality. People are paid to figure out how to part you from your money. No product will ever be the end-all, be-all that the commercials/salesman/travel agents promise. Think for yourself rather than buying into the slogans.
Also: Remember that corporations — shadowy or otherwise — rarely do anything out of pure altruism. And shadowy ones probably don’t follow FDA guidelines. In case you ever get approached with a vague offer of super powers.
Deadpool is probably best known as a compulsive fourth-wall breaker. Which makes sense once you find out that he actually knows that he’s a comic book character.
So he knows both that he’ll heal from anything and that he’s not real. Meaning that he knows exactly what he can get away with (pretty much everything), and he structures his life accordingly.
Specifically, he does whatever pops into his head. He doesn’t worry (or even avoid) shootings, stabbings, broken bones and other petty nuisances. He knows he doesn’t have to.
The lesson: To get a firm financial footing, you have to be self-aware. You need to be able to play to your strengths and around your weaknesses. That means avoiding spending triggers and knowing the best ways to set and reach your goals. It’ll help you prioritize, have a financial safety net, invest for retirement and actually enjoy your money.
Also: Then you’ll have an emergency fund in case you get shot or stabbed or have broken bones. Or if the car breaks down. Whatever.
Gambling won’t make you rich
Wade gets his jobs through what’s essentially a booking agency, as best I can tell. There’s a running set of bets on what mercenary will bite the dust next. It’s called, of course, the dead pool.
We find out a few minutes into the movie that Wade’s friend, Weasel, bet on him. And of course, Wade ends up becoming unkillable. Weasel is never seeing that money again.
The lesson: Gamble if you want, but you have to be prepared to kiss that money goodbye. No amount of research or care will ensure you win.
Also: Don’t be the d-bag who bets on friends dying. Bad karma, man.
Some things go beyond money
In the first flashback, Wade is doing a job for free. He doesn’t like that a girl was being menaced. (This takes place in the first five minutes; so this isn’t a spoiler.) He does the job, then tells Weasel not to charge her.
The lesson: No matter how important money is, there will always be at least one thing that matters more.
Also: Ryan Reynolds gets less hot when he eats pizza with pineapple and olives. But more hot when he’s being all protective of women. So I guess it evens out.
Get a roommate
Deadpool has a roomie. This also isn’t a spoiler, since it’s in no way integral to the plot.
The lesson: Roommates are a great way to save money if you don’t really need to live alone.
Also: It’s someone who’ll put together Ikea furniture for you. Badly, but still…
Do it yourself
It’s not like Deadpool could call in a tailor. He had to figure out his costume all by himself, through trial and error.
The lesson: Don’t pay someone before at least trying to do it yourself. You can always call in a professional later.
Also: Deadpool, Spiderman, Daredevil… When you get super powers, you apparently also gain the ability to sew.
Fun can be cheap
Wade and his gal’s first date is Skee-ball at an arcade. That’s pretty cheap entertainment. Well, technically he paid around $200 for the date because she’s a hooker. But the date activity itself was cheap, so I’m standing my ground on this one.
And speaking of cheap activities, we mainly just see them talking and having lots of sex. Other than the cost of birth control, that’s a pretty frugal way to pass the time.
The lesson: Fun doesn’t have to be expensive. You can always have a good time if you have the right company.
Also: Lots of condoms. I suggest Costco.
Before you replace, try doing without
On two occasions, Deadpool forgets some pretty integral, firearm-y stuff. He has to get creative, but he does fine without them.
The lesson: We start to rely on the items we use, and we forget that they might not be integral. If something breaks or looks like it might, try to get by without it for a few days. (Within reason. Obviously, no one expects you to do without HVAC, running water, stove or medication.)
Also: If you’re going to make a superhero costume, make one with pockets.
Find someone with your same level of crazy*
Wade finds his match in Vanessa. Both are truly messed up individuals. Any one of us would be backing away while tossing holy water at them. Or at least looking for a good defensive weapon.
But they work as a couple because their crazy matches. They’re both the same kind of insane. It’s probably dangerous and definitely deluded, but it’s also kind of sweet.
The lesson: You just need someone who shares your values and priorities. Because some people think frugality is weird or crazy. So take advice from the Frugalwoods and embrace being a frugal weirdo. Then go find someone who can work with that. Then be weirdos about money together.
Also: Then you and your partner can be smart enough about money to have good insurance and get regular checkups. That way, you’ll find the cancer before it metastasizes. So you can avoid ending up as a horribly disfigured anti-hero. An ounce of prevention, folks!
Have you guys seen Deadpool? Are you going to? What’s a money lesson from the last show or movie you watched?
Image credit: Veno360 on Flickr (modified)