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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

What TV Shows Tells Us About Money

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

This is an article “What TV Shows Tells Us About Money” by Marc Primo.

With the treasure trove of television content available nowadays, getting some useful information about everything is just a remote button away. When it comes to money matters, some of the best programs that aired or are still on air can give us valuable insights on how we can achieve monetary wellness with a financial 101.

We hate to break it to those aspiring con men out there, but we’ll only be focusing on the positive lessons and tips we can learn from watching our favorite shows rather than do a step-by-step on how to launder money, execute the perfect bank heist, or deep web stuff that will only land you in jail. Here, we list down three shows worth binge-watching on your favorite streaming provider as you take notes on their many financial lessons.

Arrested Development

So what can we learn about a comedy show that centers on a wealthy mini mansion-building family who finds their patriarch arrested for defrauding investors and spending company money for his own expense? For season one, number one would definitely be not to dupe your investors, and number two is not to use money that’s not yours. However, a close third is to put your money in a legitimate savings account instead of hiding it in the walls of your banana stand.

When crooked George Sr. goes behind bars and fails to divulge the hidden $250,000 to his family prior to his grandson lighting the banana stand on fire for being guilty about embezzling bananas, financial problems begin to haunt the once rich clan. In real life, putting your legal money in a high-yield savings account can give you proper security, insurance, and higher rates in interest as compared to a traditional savings account.

Watching all five seasons of this award-winning comedy can teach us more financial lessons which we can apply in real life, including keeping an emergency fund (for when a family member gets arrested for example), make a budget and watch your spending (unlike Lucille Bluth), and don’t always assume that there’s money in a banana stand (especially when the business goes out in flames).

The Office

Resident weirdo Dwight Schrute may be the butt of all jokes in The Office, but this man is a jack of all trades who can teach us a thing or two about doing some side hustles. Besides holding a desk job, Dwight also runs a Bed and Breakfast beet farm that promises staycations you’ll never forget. This type of resourcefulness assures Dwight money in his pocket each time he needs it so he never has to rely on borrowing from others. Looking for a side gig to increase your profit can make it easier for you to pay off debt and increase your savings.

Of course, there’s also Dunder-Mifflin boss Michael Scott who can also teach us to maintain a work-life balance and always keep things fun at work without jeopardizing your deliverables. Well, that’s not so Michael Scott really, but if there’s a lesson to be learned from Michael, it’s that we should always try to do something when the workplace seems dismal just to keep us motivated.

Honorable mentions from The Office are health is wealth, wedding rings shouldn’t necessarily cost you three months worth of salary, and that silent auctions don’t work.

Shark Tank

Who could argue that the biggest money lessons certainly come from this ABC reality show? With aspiring entrepreneurs looking to land lucrative deals with the sharks, we can pick up bits and pieces of strategy and business acumen that can work for our own ventures just by watching one episode.

Perhaps what we can all learn from Shark Tank and take as standards when entering a business are that good business takes time to grow, you should know your numbers when you pitch your product or service to investors, limit credit and business expenses, and your gut instinct can help you negotiate properly.


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