“The Dude Abides”

Financial Advice Derived from ‘The Big Lebowski’

Film buffs may recognize this line from the 1998 cult classic “The Big Lewbowski.” In it, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is an unemployed slacker who loves bowling and becomes involved in a mix-up with a wealthy older man who shares his name. Played to perfection by Jeff Bridges, The Dude is plunged into a chaotic adventure after some unscrupulous types mistake him for his namesake, then take the rug in his living room and rough him up. The rest of the movie is about The Dude’s quest to get his rug back and his peace.


“The Big Lebowski” is filled with memorable lines that fans of the movie love to quote. Surprisingly, some of these quotes have relevance to personal finance.


“The rug really tied the room together.”

The Dude’s world revolved around how his rug tied his living room and world together, bringing peace and harmony. The equivalent in the financial world is a well-crafted financial plan that reflects your unique values and aspirations. This plan should be the centerpiece of your financial life, ensuring the different pieces are working together. A lot of dudes love to talk investments but don’t give much thought to a comprehensive plan of which investments are just one component. Applying the same focus to your financial plan as The Dude did in reclaiming his stolen rug will serve you very well.


“Just take it easy, man.”

Responsible men, unlike The Dude, often stress about providing for their families. These stressors can range from adequately funding retirement to paying for college and caring for elderly parents. The exercise of creating and implementing a values-based financial plan can greatly relieve this stress. It can answer that nagging question: Are we going to be okay? You’ll then have the confidence to say, “Take it easy, man. We’re going to be fine.” A very Dude-like statement.


“The Dude abides.”

Life isn’t easy. Just when you think things are rolling along smoothly, life happens. Be it the loss of a job, unexpected medical bills or major home repairs not covered by insurance, the unexpected can introduce financial stress and uncertainty. A properly constructed financial plan should have already taken into consideration these unexpected events, not specifically by name but through the use of conservative assumptions and shock absorbers built into the plan itself. Knowing this will enable you to face the unexpected with The Dude’s Zen-like demeanor. “Whatever, man, The Dude abides.”


The foundation of a well-ordered financial life is a properly constructed plan. It is the centerpiece that ties everything together. Operating without one results in needless stress and uncertainty. If you don’t have one, start building that foundation today by contacting a local certified financial planner professional who has a values-based approach to planning. The result will be peace and harmony in your financial life. A very Dude-like existence!