The latest Marvel movie opened up last Friday, showcasing one of the most powerful superheroes to-date - Doctor Stephen Strange. The sorcerer has a plethora of abilities that allow him to do a number of incredible feats, including time manipulation and instant dimensional travel.
When most people think of superheroes and their powers, they think of all the fantastical abilities and how they can be used to defeat evil. However, when the Avengers aren't fighting to save planet Earth, they must certainly deal with more mundane everyday villains- like balancing a checkbook.
Here's a list of five ways Stephen Strange's finances could be made better through the use of the mystical arts, and how you can replace them with not-so-strange alternatives.
The Eye of Agamotto. The eye, through the help of the Time Stone within it, possess the ability to reverse time and space - fixing broken things, and returning them to a previous state. With the Eye of Agamotto, Strange is likely never late on a credit card bill payment. This could drastically improve his credit score.
How to replace it: You can't change the past, but you can learn from it. Don't ignore your bank statements and your credit card bills. Look them over and try to see if you can take any actions to improve your financial standing in the future. This can be something as simple as making sure you stick to a budget.
Astral Projection. News outlets reported of a San Francisco Bay Area janitor who made $162,050 in overtime pay last year. Liang Zhao Zhang, who works for the Rapid Transit system, worked 3,900 hours last year- compared to the 1,700 worked by the average American. While Zhang doesn't have any superpowers (to our knowledge), Strange's astral projection is the best way we can think of to put in those extra hours without missing out on your beauty sleep. This power allows your physical body to sleep, while your spirit (and mind) continues to fill out spreadsheets.
How to replace it: Read (or listen) to books on your commute to work. While you can't read while you sleep, we do have the power to better utilize our time getting to and from work. If you drive, audiobooks can be your best friend.
Sling Ring. The average cost of a 4 night domestic trip will set you back roughly $581, between transportation lodging and entertainment. An international trip could cost as much as $271 per day. A Sling Ring allows Strange to travel anywhere in this dimension within seconds - whether it's the summit of Mt. Everest or Greenwich Village. Added bonus: portals let you skip TSA lines.
How to replace it: Take advantage of travel credit card bonuses, and services like TSA Pre Check. Together they can cut the cost of your vacations, and help you breeze through the airport at superhero-like speeds.
Self-control & patience. While not a superpower to some, those without it certainly consider it to be one. When asked how he became a doctor, Strange explains it took him years of study and practice. If a person were to apply the same discipline to their finances, the benefits would begin to roll-in almost immediately. Impulse buys and not sticking to a budget are some of the most common pitfalls to a person's finances. They are what often gets the ball rolling on other types of financial mistakes, such as the aforementioned late credit card payments.
How to replace it: Give yourself a financial grade at the end of every month (or better yet, let someone you trust do it). The feedback may give you the motivation and incentive you need to improve your performance next month.
Cloak of Levitation. If you don't have self-control, you can supplement it with a Cloak of Levitation. Other than allowing him to fly, the cloak has the ability to guide (or force) Strange to do or not do certain things. The next time you reach for your wallet to buy something you shouldn't, a Cloak of Levitation could just grab your hand and drag you out of the store.
How to replace it: Don't save your payment information at online retailers, like Amazon. The convenience of not having to enter your card information is what often drives people to make impulse buys. If you don't want to buy something because it will take an extra minute to enter your personal information, it's not something you should have been trying to buy in the first place.