Do you watch a lot of television? If watching television is your guilty pleasure, you don’t have to feel guilty about watching the following shows. You can learn a great deal about financial responsibility. Here are three TV shows that can teach you valuable lessons about money.
1. The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory teaches a lesson about the value of having roommates. Sheldon and Leonard, both physicists at California Institute of Technology, share an apartment together. They even have an elaborate roommate agreement outlining what is and isn’t acceptable roommate behavior. Considering the fact that the duo lives in Pasadena, California (where the cost of living index is 94 points higher than the United States’ average of 100), they’re likely saving a lot on living expenses. Back in 2013, Bill Podley, president of Podley Properties, told Bankrate the characters’ estimated rent would be roughly as much as $2,200 for that location. Although the median annual salary for university physicists in Pasadena is about $107,937, Sheldon and Leonard still choose to go the frugal route and live together.
If you’d rather not move back home with mom and dad after college graduation, splitting costs with a roommate is a good alternative. A roommate makes perfect sense if you’ve just graduated from college and want to transition toward eventually living on your own. You can take this time to save money and pay down student loan debt. Even if you’re making a good salary, it always helps to have some extra cash saved up for a rainy day.
2. Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls provides some great lessons on what not to do with your money. If you want an example of the impact of not taking time to make sound financial decisions and living beyond your means, look no further than the Gilmore girls. Lorelai Gilmore decided to run away from her wealthy parents’ home after giving birth to her daughter, Rory (the result of a teen pregnancy). Lorelai may have been better off staying with her parents so she could have an easier time financially supporting Rory, but she didn’t think things through. Moving too quickly forced Lorelai to take a job as a maid at the Independence Inn (located in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut) and live in the back of a renovated potting shed.
Things eventually turn around for Lorelai when she becomes the manager and co-owner of the Dragonfly Inn, but she spends much of her hard-earned cash on treats like coffee (Lorelai loves coffee so much, she even joked about needing coffee in an IV), take-out food, and living way beyond her means by purchasing a $2.8-million-dollar home. Considering the average salary for an inn manager is roughly $51,827 according to career site PayScale, Lorelai seems to be in over her head. The Gilmore girl manages to bridge the gap when she hits a rough patch by borrowing money from her well-to-do parents for expenses like starting her business and getting her home treated for termites.
If you find yourself in a tough financial spot, don’t forget to use your common sense. Do your best to live within your means, start an emergency savings fund, and think through major financial decisions. Don’t be quick to act when it comes to your finances.
When matters of the heart comingle with finances, make sure you protect your money. FOX TV’s Empire gives a glimpse into how life can turn chaotic when love and money clash.
The first seasons of Empire offer the best lessons on protecting your assets when going into business with a significant other. The main character, Lucious Lyon, creates a complicated love triangle by going into business with both his ex-wife and fiancée. His ex-wife, Cookie, helped fund Lucious’s business by contributing $400,000 during their marriage. The couple separated for 17 years (and later divorced) while Cookie was completing a jail sentence for drug possession. However, upon her release, she demands that Lucious make her co-owner of his company or threaten to reveal the cash she contributed is actually drug money. Following a lover’s quarrel, Lucious’s fiancée, Onika, attempts to destroy the company by stealing its most lucrative artists and convincing them to work with a competitor.
The takeaway here is that it’s vital to protect financial assets before and during marriage. Drafting a prenuptial agreement will help shield assets by outlining each person’s property rights after saying “I do.” If you’re already married but didn’t get a chance to draft a prenuptial agreement, you can always draft a postnuptial agreement. This is similar to a prenup, with the only difference being the document is drafted after marriage.