Not Done Yet: 10 MORE Finance Lessons Straight Out of Netflix Series
If you read our last week’s article, you already know Netflix is a great place to kill two birds with one stone: not only is it an (almost) endless source of entertainment, but you can also learn valuable finance lessons along the way. And we don’t mean you should be watching finance shows exclusively, either: you can gain practical money skills from virtually any Netflix series, as long as you’re paying attention and watching closely with a goal in mind.
This week, we’re presenting 10 more finance lessons from 10 more of your favourite Netflix series – so buckle up, and let’s dive deep into the silver screens!
⚠️ SPOILERS AHEAD (yes, again!) ⚠️
1. Close Enough: Resist from always keeping up with the Joneses
Close Enough is a wacky animated TV series that follows Emily and Josh – a couple of thirty-somethings who have a kindergarten-aged daughter Candice and share an apartment with their divorced friends. Clearly, their financial situation is far from impressive; however, it seems they’d be perfectly okay with their lives if they didn’t constantly give in to peer pressure to party more, act younger, and live richer – which never ends well.
One of the first finance lessons you need to learn is that you should never compare yourself with others in fear of lagging behind them financially. Trying to live beyond your means and making buying decisions based on what others already have (as opposed to what you actually need) is the straightest way to acquiring debt! Reviewing the accounts you follow on social media might be a great first step – and let’s face it, most of the lives you see on there are fake anyway.
2. Squid Game: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
To be honest, we could probably devise an entire list of finance lessons from Squid Game alone – after all, this recent hit series focuses on 456 people trying to get out of financial debt in extreme ways. However, we’ll only discuss one (and arguably the most famous) episode here: The Man with the Umbrella. The players have to play a game where they’re each given a dalgona – a sugar candy with a shape stamped on it – and have to pick the shape out without breaking it.
The traditional way to do this is by using a needle, but this can cause the sugar to crack. Two players, however, manage to win by melting the dalgona – i.e., licking it and heating it with a lighter. Thinking out of the box and looking for unexpected solutions is just as great when you start saving money, as conventional isn’t always convenient.
For example, if you can’t put away a part of your earnings, why not try a money-making app like Honeygain and save the extra income you earn on it? Best of all, you won’t need to sacrifice time or money!
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Attitude is everything
In 2015, the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt taught us all that, as the soundtrack goes, ‘females are strong as hell’! After being rescued after spending 15 years in an underground cult of Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne's Spooky Church of the Scary-Pocalypse, Kimmy starts a new life. At almost 30, she moves to New York City, finds new roommates, and starts working as a nanny. By the end of season 4, she’s a successful children's author!
The main takeaway from this show is the fact that the right attitude can help you tackle anything – including financial planning. Kimmy takes the modern world (and a huge new city) head-on, never letting the lack of experience stop her – what makes you think you can’t do the same with the world of budgeting and saving? Start with smaller steps, like planning for a week or two: just starting to watch your spending more consciously will already make a huge difference. Stay optimistic: the more you try, the more you learn!
4. Pretend It’s a City: Be realistic about your long-term goals
We guess you might call Pretend It’s a City one of the more intellectual Netflix series recently. Basically, it’s a 7-episode documentary that features conversations between Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz – a movie director and a writer – living in New York. Aside from the city itself, they discuss a variety of topics, including career, fitness, technology, and – of course – money.
When you’re thinking about your long-term financial goals, don’t assume there’s an exact point you will reach and then stop and feel satisfied. “There’s only two kinds of people in the world,’ Fran says. ‘The kind of people who think there’s such a thing as enough money, and the kind of people who have money.” She’s right: the more we have, the more we need – it’s called lifestyle inflation. For example, you might want to buy a spacious house – but it doesn’t end with getting the keys: a big house needs constant (and often pricey) upkeep. Keep this in mind when you’re making financial decisions for the long term!
5. The Good Place: Learn from others and their experiences
While The Good Place is pretty unique in terms of its premise and location (most of the action happens in the good place and the bad place – a.k.a. heaven and hell – or in between the two), it has something you’ll find at most Netflix series: a group of mates trying to find their way out of whatever mess they’ve got themselves into. What’s charming about this show, though, is the fact that while they’re all extremely different, everyone can learn something from each other – from the intricacies of moral philosophy to the way producing almond milk harms our planet. All you need to do is start the conversation.
That being said – do you discuss money with your friends? Some believe it screams bad tone, but we’re not speaking of exact numbers or private information. Instead, you could explore saving ideas, share practical money skills, or discover handy tools like budgeting apps or personal finance podcasts. Tackling a saving challenge together can also be a great idea – you’ll be less likely to fail since you can support each other in your moments of weakness.
You could also introduce your mates to Honeygain and earn a recurring bonus equal to 10% of their earnings forever – and they’d get $5 once they sign up with your referral code, too!
6. The Kominsky Method: Not all businesses lead to earning a profit
A 3-season Netflix series called The Kominsky Method follows two aging best friends – an acting coach Sandy Kominsky and an agent Norman Newlander. The former has a teaching studio in Hollywood – however, despite the fact that Sandy himself was once a recognized actor and is now a great teacher, we soon find out the studio is hundreds of thousands of dollars deep in debt. Sandy is a master of his trade, but he’s hardly a businessman – and it shows.
Some people believe there’s nothing better than starting your own business, being your own boss, and making your own hours. However, you should never think of business as the ultimate solution to any work-related problems: while it does come with a sense of accomplishment (among other advantages), it brings its own set of challenges and responsibilities, too. It’s great if you have promising ideas plus entrepreneurial skills – just remember it will probably take a while since you start earning and plan realistically.
7. Rust Valley Restorers: For God’s sakes, declutter
If anyone could benefit from a visit from Marie Kondo, it’s Mike Hall – the owner of Rust Bros Restorations, the owner of hundreds of old cars, and the star of Netflix’s Rust Valley Restorers. What makes the shop a bit hard to watch is the fact that it has little money, yet Mike can’t resist getting more old cars and finds it hard to say goodbye to them – even though they take up a ton of space and basically rust away in Canadian winters.
When you’re trying to be more conscious about your budget, it’s important to not only buy less but also get rid of what you already have that might be digging into your cash. And we’re not saying you should throw everything away – a lot of that stuff might turn into extra income if you sell it online or organize a yard sale!
8. Maid: Don’t focus on earning 24/7 – leave some time for hobbies
Based on Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, this 10-episode Netflix series tells a story of a young single mother that’s forced to work physically challenging and low-paying jobs to make ends meet and support her toddler. Aside from this, she writes – and a creative writing therapy group is where she finds the much-needed support.
Of course, it’s good to have ambition and drive – but the idea of always needing to earn more, achieve more, and save more can drive you mad if you don’t find a place to release the tension. And do we need to say you won’t stay productive for long this way? Be it creative writing, cross-stitching, marathon running, or gaming, you need to have time carved out for yourself every week.
Don’t worry – you can keep earning passive income while you’re deep in your hobbies, too. Simply keep the Honeygain app running as you go about your day!
9. Emily from Paris: When it comes to financial commitments, avoid mixing personal and professional
During the time of the pandemic and travel restrictions, Emily from Paris offered thousands of viewers an escape to picture-perfect Paris, where the pastries are wonderful and handsome Frenchmen fall at your feet every three steps. However, one of them has an important finance lesson to offer too! Gabriel is a chef who wants to own a restaurant but lacks the funds to do so. His girlfriend’s family offers to invest in his idea, but he refuses, causing a conflict between the lovers. Gabriel is right to do so: by accepting the offer, he’d basically be trapped in a (shaky) relationship for years to come.
Mixing personal life with professional is never a good idea because it’s virtually impossible to keep strict rules when emotions are involved. Suppose you’re renting an apartment and the renter is late in paying the rent. It’s one thing to deal with when it’s all strictly business, and another when it’s your close mate, right? Whenever possible, try not to base your financial decisions on people you have an emotional attachment to. It can end well - but when it ends badly, it’s a catastrophe.
10. Sex Education: Side hustles are your friends
The British Netflix series Sex Education has recently presented its third season and been renewed for the fourth. While the story takes place in a seemingly ordinary high school, things start changing once a couple of students named Otis and Maeve notice the students’ need for relationship and intimacy-related advice and start a little consulting business the teachers have no idea about. By the third season, Otis decides he wants to get trained as a professional therapist – just like his mother, Jean.
If you’d like to make some extra money on the side, rethink the skills or experience you have. They can easily become a side hustle in most cases – all you need is a bit of time and creativity! By investing a handful of hours every week, you can earn as a blogger, a baker, a photographer, a dog-walker, a nanny, a personal trainer, a translator… The sky’s the limit! The best thing is, you can do it for as many or as few hours as you choose and balance it with your studies or full-time career – all while improving your monthly income. Can’t think of any special skills you have, or feeling afraid you don’t have enough time to make the most out of them? Try earning effortlessly! With the passive income app Honeygain, you can make money by simply sharing your internet connection.
You won’t even have to lift a finger: the app will take care of everything as long as you run it on your device – and do it with utmost safety. That’s right: you can earn while you’re spending time with your mates, playing computer games, or watching your favourite Netflix series!