8 Money Lessons from TV Shows We Should Practice in Real Life

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Image of a woman holding money in a TV show

Watching and learning something onscreen has come a long way from the traditional cinema house or television set to be viewed at specific times. Now, we can watch different kinds of series online at our own time.

It’s amazing then when TV shows, no matter in which way they are watched, become something that groups of people follow together or talk about. There are still shows that transcend differences. The following TV shows share particular money lessons that we can apply to our own lives.

A scene from How I Met Your Mother where the characters are clinking their beer glasses

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1. Spend only what you can afford.

Retail therapy has become such an excusable behaviour that it can be easily abused. Lily in How I Met Your Mother is a perfect example of a compulsive shopper. It’s funny to watch her make the mistake, but it also helps us laugh at ourselves and see how silly we are when we do so.

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2. It’s okay to be broke; just don’t stay broke.

2 Broke Girls owned up to the downside of money by showing us through unconventional comedy what two friends from different backgrounds did when they found themselves in the same financial state. It showed us that financial depletion happens to anyone, but we don’t have to stay in that state.

A scene from 2 Broke Girls

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3. You don’t have to be rich to be happy.

Friends’ Phoebe and Rachel might have paved the way for audiences to appreciate the financial wisdom behind 2 Broke Girls, but audiences following Joey’s career in show business witnessed another money lesson. This seemingly naive actor taught us that it’s our love for what we do that counts more than the paycheck we take home.

Even the theme song by the Rembrandts talks about how friends trump any difficulties we may have. As much as having money is important, having friends is far more so.

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4. Diversify your income portfolio, and accept failure.

Like Joey, Big Bang Theory’s Penny is an aspiring actor. While she waits tables and takes not-so-glamorous acting stints, she even got entrepreneurial. Even if it did not take off, two lessons that can be learned from this show is not to put our eggs in one basket and that it’s better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all.

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5. Do not accumulate debt.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones is upon us, and we are still in bated breath if Tyrion Lannister will utter one of his many famous quotes, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” We would do well to remember this money lesson to avoid losing the trust of the people or institutions we borrow from. Who knows? We might be able to return the favour to others in need as well.

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6. Look forward to a bright future, but expect and prepare for the worst that can happen.

House of Cards may be a political show, but it is rife with money lessons as well. Maybe a better way to rephrase that is, because it is a political show, we can pick up money lessons from it too. The love of power can be the root of all evil just like the love of money can.

So even after we have planned our financial goals and keep them in mind as we go through our day-to-day routines, we also need to keep in mind that we shouldn’t only be putting away money for our emergency fund to cover us for six months.

We also need to take into account if we have a medical history we should prepare for, for example.

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7. It’s okay to take risks sometimes. Try to make them as calculated as possible.

All work and no risk makes anyone dull. As predeterminers of our financial destiny, we cannot control everything. We have to go with our gut sometimes even if it sounds risky. It’s important not to get carried away, but we shouldn’t be averse from risk completely either. Just ask Mike in Suits.

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8. Practice financial professionalism at home.

You may not be running a household as luxurious as the one in Downton Abbey. But we could all pick up a few pointers in managing our own households a similar way as our workplaces manage us. Keep records, be punctual in payments, and observe transparent practices are among them.

Downton Abbey poster

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For more Hollywood and money-related articles, check out Five Life Lessons That Disney Movies Have Taught Us and 5 English Movies That Teach Us About Money Management.


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