TomorrowMakers

TV shows are not only about the entertainment. Here are 5 female TV characters from popular series that can teach you a thing or two about money.

Money saving tips

From daddy’s spoilt little princess to (terrible) waitress to personal assistant and finally a merchandising manager at Ralph Lauren – not to forget bagging a bigger job offer with Louis Vuitton – the journey of Rachel Green from Friends can teach us a thing or two about perseverance, focus, and money management.

Let’s look at some strong female characters from popular sitcoms and at what we can learn from things they did right and instances where they messed up.

Rachel Green, Friends

A privileged girl from Long Island, New York, who had a boat and pony growing up, Rachel turned into a clueless adult who had no concept of earning and paying her bills. When daddy was no longer around to pay her ridiculous credit card bills, the first thing she did right (or rather was coaxed into by Monica, Chandler, and the gang) was to cut up her credit cards and get herself a job waitressing (though she did think FICA was stealing her money!)

What we can learn from her:

•    Live within your means

•    Cut up your credit cards if you don’t trust yourself with them

•    You may not always have a dream job, so take up what you can to put food on the table. Work towards your goals, and it will happen eventually 

•    Learn how to adult – pay income tax, set aside money for rent, limit unnecessary shopping, help one’s friends, and find an emotional and financial support system in return

What not to do:

•    Don’t (almost) marry a rich guy without making a mark of your own

•    Don’t live in a bubble; real life doesn’t work that way

 

Penny, The Big Bang Theory

A beautiful, young, naïve girl trying to make it as an actress in Hollywood, while holding on to her day job as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, Penny (they never reveal her surname) had her share of tough times. She had a ratty little car where the engine light was always on, much to Sheldon’s dismay; she always ate at Leonard’s and stole their cable and Wi-Fi. After years of trying, she finally decided that maybe it wasn’t meant to be and studied to become a pharmaceutical rep, eventually earning more than her scientist boyfriend.

What we can learn from her:

•    Keep a day job while chasing your dreams

•    Be enterprising and start a side hustle (remember her hair accessories venture, Penny Blossoms?)

•    It’s never too late learn a new skill and get a job that pays well

What not to do:

•    Don’t mooch off friends for everything – you may not be as lucky as Penny

•    Don’t buy expensive shoes when you don’t have money to pay for your rent– though Penny did eventually return them. What you should do is budget and prioritise your expenditure.

 

Caroline Channing, 2 Broke Girls

Caroline, daughter of disgraced billionaire Martin Channing, is down on her luck and waitressing at a local diner. (Just what is it with sitcoms and waitressing as a go-to profession?) Along with roommate and co-worker Max, she wants to open her own cupcake/dessert bar, and both girls save every dollar they can to make their dreams come true. From buying clothes at thrift stores to working two jobs to running a catering business, Caroline tries every trick in the book. She finally sells the movie rights to her life story for $250,000!

What we can learn from her:

  • Adapt to financial changes
  • Dream big. Have a goal and stay focused
  • Find ways to supplement your income
  • Every rupee counts, so cut costs by making small changes – cook at home rather than eating out, avoid expensive brands of clothes and shoes, find a cheap apartment even if it means commuting to work
  • Don’t be disappointed by the failure

What not to do:

  • Don’t take on debt you may not be able to repay (taking $20,000 from Sophie for the business was clearly a mistake)

 

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Carrie was quite a disaster when it came to money. She had no qualms blowing all her money on designer clothes and shoes. How she could afford all the Manolos on a freelance columnist’s salary is a discussion for another day. She had no savings at all. In fact, when she had to make a down payment on her apartment, she pressured Charlotte to loan her money. It’s enough to make one roll their eyes. Why should boyfriends and friends bail her out when she was so irresponsible! 

What we can learn from her:

•    Create a budget, so you don’t spend more than you make

•    Stick to cash; cut up or lock away that credit card

•    Start putting away money to create a safety net

•    Take public transport; cabs will burn a hole in your pocket

•    Learn to cook the basics; eating outside all the time means you will always be broke

•    Hustle to get a supplementary income

What not to do:

•    Don’t buy so many expensive shoes. You can live without them

•    Stop partying so much. Restrict them to once or twice a month

 

Claire Dunphy, Modern Family

Claire Dunphy is one smart cookie. Not only does she keep her alpaca-buying husband and kids in check, but she also successfully runs her father’s business. She seems to be the only level-headed person in the entire extended family. Though she is controlling by nature, she helps her father and brother stay sane. Never an over-the-top spender, she finds ways to support Phil and bring in the moolah (remember her flipping the house idea with Cam?)

What we can learn from her:

•    Make a family budget and enforce it

•    Teach your kids about money and savings early on 

•    Be the bad guy sometimes if you have to

•    Identify your strengths and find ways to make money off it

•    Meet challenges head-on (she did take up the reins of her father’s business and learnt the ropes the hard way)

What not to do:

•    Don’t overdo the controlling bit when inculcating habits because your children will rebel

•    Don’t get too worked up if things don’t go your way

Whether television reflects reality or reality is influenced by television, it does have some life lessons for us. Learn from these characters, make your own mistakes, hustle, be smart with your money, grow, rise, and touch the sky. More power to you ladies!

From daddy’s spoilt little princess to (terrible) waitress to personal assistant and finally a merchandising manager at Ralph Lauren – not to forget bagging a bigger job offer with Louis Vuitton – the journey of Rachel Green from Friends can teach us a thing or two about perseverance, focus, and money management.

Let’s look at some strong female characters from popular sitcoms and at what we can learn from things they did right and instances where they messed up.

Rachel Green, Friends

A privileged girl from Long Island, New York, who had a boat and pony growing up, Rachel turned into a clueless adult who had no concept of earning and paying her bills. When daddy was no longer around to pay her ridiculous credit card bills, the first thing she did right (or rather was coaxed into by Monica, Chandler, and the gang) was to cut up her credit cards and get herself a job waitressing (though she did think FICA was stealing her money!)

What we can learn from her:

•    Live within your means

•    Cut up your credit cards if you don’t trust yourself with them

•    You may not always have a dream job, so take up what you can to put food on the table. Work towards your goals, and it will happen eventually 

•    Learn how to adult – pay income tax, set aside money for rent, limit unnecessary shopping, help one’s friends, and find an emotional and financial support system in return

What not to do:

•    Don’t (almost) marry a rich guy without making a mark of your own

•    Don’t live in a bubble; real life doesn’t work that way

 

Penny, The Big Bang Theory

A beautiful, young, naïve girl trying to make it as an actress in Hollywood, while holding on to her day job as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, Penny (they never reveal her surname) had her share of tough times. She had a ratty little car where the engine light was always on, much to Sheldon’s dismay; she always ate at Leonard’s and stole their cable and Wi-Fi. After years of trying, she finally decided that maybe it wasn’t meant to be and studied to become a pharmaceutical rep, eventually earning more than her scientist boyfriend.

What we can learn from her:

•    Keep a day job while chasing your dreams

•    Be enterprising and start a side hustle (remember her hair accessories venture, Penny Blossoms?)

•    It’s never too late learn a new skill and get a job that pays well

What not to do:

•    Don’t mooch off friends for everything – you may not be as lucky as Penny

•    Don’t buy expensive shoes when you don’t have money to pay for your rent– though Penny did eventually return them. What you should do is budget and prioritise your expenditure.

 

Caroline Channing, 2 Broke Girls

Caroline, daughter of disgraced billionaire Martin Channing, is down on her luck and waitressing at a local diner. (Just what is it with sitcoms and waitressing as a go-to profession?) Along with roommate and co-worker Max, she wants to open her own cupcake/dessert bar, and both girls save every dollar they can to make their dreams come true. From buying clothes at thrift stores to working two jobs to running a catering business, Caroline tries every trick in the book. She finally sells the movie rights to her life story for $250,000!

What we can learn from her:

  • Adapt to financial changes
  • Dream big. Have a goal and stay focused
  • Find ways to supplement your income
  • Every rupee counts, so cut costs by making small changes – cook at home rather than eating out, avoid expensive brands of clothes and shoes, find a cheap apartment even if it means commuting to work
  • Don’t be disappointed by the failure

What not to do:

  • Don’t take on debt you may not be able to repay (taking $20,000 from Sophie for the business was clearly a mistake)

 

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Carrie was quite a disaster when it came to money. She had no qualms blowing all her money on designer clothes and shoes. How she could afford all the Manolos on a freelance columnist’s salary is a discussion for another day. She had no savings at all. In fact, when she had to make a down payment on her apartment, she pressured Charlotte to loan her money. It’s enough to make one roll their eyes. Why should boyfriends and friends bail her out when she was so irresponsible! 

What we can learn from her:

•    Create a budget, so you don’t spend more than you make

•    Stick to cash; cut up or lock away that credit card

•    Start putting away money to create a safety net

•    Take public transport; cabs will burn a hole in your pocket

•    Learn to cook the basics; eating outside all the time means you will always be broke

•    Hustle to get a supplementary income

What not to do:

•    Don’t buy so many expensive shoes. You can live without them

•    Stop partying so much. Restrict them to once or twice a month

 

Claire Dunphy, Modern Family

Claire Dunphy is one smart cookie. Not only does she keep her alpaca-buying husband and kids in check, but she also successfully runs her father’s business. She seems to be the only level-headed person in the entire extended family. Though she is controlling by nature, she helps her father and brother stay sane. Never an over-the-top spender, she finds ways to support Phil and bring in the moolah (remember her flipping the house idea with Cam?)

What we can learn from her:

•    Make a family budget and enforce it

•    Teach your kids about money and savings early on 

•    Be the bad guy sometimes if you have to

•    Identify your strengths and find ways to make money off it

•    Meet challenges head-on (she did take up the reins of her father’s business and learnt the ropes the hard way)

What not to do:

•    Don’t overdo the controlling bit when inculcating habits because your children will rebel

•    Don’t get too worked up if things don’t go your way

Whether television reflects reality or reality is influenced by television, it does have some life lessons for us. Learn from these characters, make your own mistakes, hustle, be smart with your money, grow, rise, and touch the sky. More power to you ladies!