Financial Lesson from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Stop worrying about being rude and go with your gut.

I stumbled across the best advice while watching Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Actor Stellan Skarsgård, playing Martin Vanger, has just caught his prey, Daniel Craig, outside of his home and he invites him in for a drink. Daniel Craig knows that Stellan Skarsgård is a killer. He knows that he shouldn’t enter. He knows that he’s making a dangerous choice … but he does it anyway because he doesn’t want to appear to be rude. The killer, Stellan Skarsgård, even says to Daniel Craig that most of his victims have come into his clutch willingly because he offered them a drink and they don’t want to be rude by saying, “No”.

I don’t have to check

This is a pretty common theme in personal finance. I have to get a mortgage/car loan/etc. from the same financial institution that I’ve been using because the person I deal with is really nice. I was going to ask around to see if I was getting the best price/interest rate/etc. but the person I always use offered a great rate. Ummm … how do you know it was a “great rate” if you didn’t check what others were offering? Why are we so concerned with hurting the feelings of others at the expense of our financial well being?

It’s not friendness it’s business

I don’t know about you, but I am a much better friend when I’m not upset that my “friends” have screwed me over monetarily. You are the only person responsible for advocating for yourself.  Making sure that you’re getting the best rate/price/etc.that you can is your job. Stop worrying about being nice and start worrying about your net worth, retirement planning, and spending plan.

Not sure what you don’t know? Check out my book “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” for a basic understanding of personal finance (it’s not just for kids) and “Money Matters: The Get It  Done in 1 Minute Workbook” for suggestions and worksheets to help you get back on track.

You have the right and the responsibility to not walk into the killer’s house of your own volition. Stop worrying about looking “rude” and stand up for yourself.


Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on,, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit


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