How to slay a dragon in 5 steps

Ruth Davies 23 April 2014

This St George’s Day, we’ve got dragons on the brain. According to legend, a real dragon - of the fire breathing variety - hasn’t been seen in the UK for over a thousand years (unless you’ve been watching Game of Thrones), but what about the fearsome beasts lurking in your finances?

According to the legend of St George, there was once a dragon who lived by a lake and terrorised a fictional town called Silene - the real-life location is still up for debate, but is thought to be in or near Libya. To appease the beast, the townspeople fed it two sheep a day, and when this didn’t work, they fed it a child from the town, chosen by a lottery. One day the king’s daughter happened to be chosen, and was sent to the lake in a bridal gown to be fed to the dragon. It happened that St George was riding by, when he came across the lake and the princess in distress. He wounded the dragon with his lance, before asking the princess to throw him her girdle. When he put the girdle around the dragon’s neck, it followed them obediently back to the town. St George then slayed the dragon, to the relief of the townspeople.

Real or imagined, we all have beasts of some description weighing on our minds, and often these dragons lurk in our financial lives. Why not follow in the steps of St George and slay a beast of your own in five considerably less dangerous steps?

1. Accept the quest

This is the first step for any brave knight. Slaying a dragon is a task that will require great courage, so it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the challenge. Think about the benefits for the townspeople (your finances, for the purpose of this analogy) once you have slayed the beast that terrorises them! How will your life be better if you complete this quest? Your financial dragon could be any number of things: a debt you’re struggling to repay, a bill that takes up too much of your income or an investment that isn’t getting the returns you want. It’s a cliche, but admitting there’s a problem could be the first step to putting things right.

2. Seek out the beast

Even the cleverest knight will need a map to locate the dragon’s lair. Your financial world can be a confusing and treacherous place - you may not be able to find your dragon in the midst of the strange creatures you meet and dense forests you must pass through. To aid you on your quest, brave one, MoneyHub helps you visualise your your whole financial universe. With this magical tool, you can see exactly where your money goes each month, as well as planning for the long-term effects of your financial decisions. Why not try it today and see if you’ve got any dragons lurking?

3. Find its weakness

Dragons may be fierce, but they all have a weakness - remember Smaug’s missing scale in The Hobbit? - and it’s your job to find this weakness and use it to your advantage. What action on your part would help you to slay your financial dragon? MoneyHub, your faithful sidekick in any quest, can help you to identify areas of your plan that aren’t working, and map out how things could change in the future. Slaying your dragon could be as simple as reducing your energy bills, or more complicated like changing your mortgage to pursue a better rate. Income not balancing with your outgoings? Analyse your spending, or set up a budget.

4. Use your cunning

As a mere mortal, it would be pointless to try and defeat a dragon using brute force - unless you want to be burnt to a crisp! The only way to slay a dragon is by using your wit. Just like any major financial decision, slaying a dragon can’t be rushed into. It’s important to take the time to consider all your options, weighing up the possible consequences of each.

5. Claim your prize

Congratulations brave knight! After completing a perilous journey and facing many dangers, you have shown true courage and slain your dragon. To show their gratitude, the townspeople have offered you a handsome reward. Depending on the nature of your dragon, your reward could be anything from a bit of spare cash each month to finally clearing a debt, getting a cheaper mortgage or maybe just peace of mind that the dragon won’t rear it’s head and wreak havoc when you least expect it to. Whatever your prize make sure you make the most of it, and continue to check in on your finances regularly to keep any other beasts at bay.

Have you managed to slay a financial dragon? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter @YourWealthUK!