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12 Finance Lessons from 12 of Your Favourite Netflix Shows

Updated: May 12, 2022

We all know learning practical money skills is crucial – but let’s face it: our lives are terribly busy as they are, and when we finally get a little time for ourselves, we certainly don’t want to spend it on complicated economy or finance lessons. Our brain does need rest, after all. But what if we told you you could actually learn finance by watching your favourite Netflix series and movies – and we don’t even mean finance-themed ones?

Think about it: no matter what Netflix shows you’re watching, they are usually about characters that find themselves in challenging situations. Whether they are financial or not, you can learn from their mistakes or insights – all you need to do is watch more consciously… Or dive into the list of 21 lessons the Honeygain team has devised for you to help you gain practical money skills stress-free!

⚠️ SPOILERS AHEAD! (well, obviously) ⚠️

Bees watching television

1. Pretty Smart: Saving does not have to make you miserable

If you’re into sitcoms that feature groups of young adult friends figuring life out, chances are, you’re enjoying Pretty Smart, which premiered on Netflix in October 2021. The main idea of the show is simple: Chelsea can’t afford to live on her own as she’s working on her novel, so she moves in to live with her sister Claire and her three roommates. As you might have guessed, she soon becomes one of the gang and forms great friendships… And where did it begin? In a wish to save some money, of course.

Here’s the thing: it’s easy to do whatever you can think of when you have the money for it. Being a bit more money-conscious, on the other hand, forces you to be creative - which can result in not just new relationships but also new hobbies, new skills, new favourite dishes, or newly discovered holiday spots. The sky’s the limit!

An engagement ring

2. Love Is Blind: Never shy away from discussing financial matters with your partner

Love Is Blind was such a hit it recently got a Brazil spin-off, too. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, it’s a reality show where people try to pick a spouse and get engaged without ever seeing them and get married in less than a month after seeing each other face to face. The problem is, it’s hard to make lifelong decisions when you’re still very much in your honeymoon phase!

Not sure where practical money skills come into this? Think about this: the only two couples that actually tied the knot and stayed together were the ones that discussed the serious matters carefully. Amber was completely honest with Burnett when it came to her debts, and Lauren told Cameron openly she wanted to keep her apartment. If you’re in a serious relationship, too, make sure your approach to money and financial planning aligns with your partner’s so you can prevent unpleasant surprises in the future!

3. The Movies That Made Us: The road to success is bumpy – and it’s okay

If you always believed documentaries and docuseries are boring, The Movies That Made Us is one of those Netflix series that can convince you otherwise. Diving headfirst into all the interesting and unexpected details behind the scenes, it tells the stories of the world’s best-known movies like you’ve never heard them before. And what do each and every one of them have in common? None of them had it easy.

If you’ve got ambitious financial goals, kudos to you – just remember you shouldn’t expect it to happen easily. Don’t get discouraged by the obstacles you meet in your way – instead, turn them into financial lessons! For example, if you wanted to keep your vacation budget under $500 and you didn’t succeed, analyze your spending before the next trip and see what you spent the most money on and what opportunities to save you might have missed.

4. Tiger King: Trying to live well beyond your means doesn’t end well

If you haven’t seen Tiger King, you probably skipped 2020 altogether. At some point, it seemed like everybody and their grandma watched this Netflix docuseries, and everybody had their opinions on who is guilty of what. But no matter where you believe Carol Baskin’s husband ended up, we’re sure you can agree with us on this: Joe Exotic was trying to live the lifestyle he could never afford. Having a zoo of big cats but not nearly enough money to feed them all, he bought expired meat… which he also used for employee meals.

A tiger

While there is nothing wrong in having ambition and wanting to lead a more comfortable life, you should always evaluate your budget and your capabilities realistically first. Otherwise, you’ll learn finance the hard way! Sure, you might not have to make your chili con carne with stinky mince – but acquiring debt is not something you want, either.

Think about it this way: if you want to spend more, you need to earn more. Why not try passive income with Honeygain? The app does all the work for you, so there’s no effort or time investment needed!

5. You: If something sounds too good to be true… Stay alert

You doesn’t look like a TV series that could teach you practical money skills, right? It’s a psychological thriller that focuses on a bookstore manager Joe who develops a toxic obsession with a young writer named Guinevere. The show is about to launch its third season in October 2021, and what’s the most chilling about this is the way Joe manages to masterfully hide his real intentions behind the facade of a ‘nice guy’.

Unfortunately, the idea of making something look a lot better than it actually is affects our finances a great deal. Have you ever bought something on a whim because an ad or an influencer’s story made it look like it will save your life, only to find you wasted money on some cheap gimmick? If you’re an impulse buyer, make sure to research the item every time you decide to make an unusual purchase – you might be surprised just how much money you will save... and how much you'll enjoy a home with less clutter!

6. The Witcher: When choosing a job, consider freelancing

While you wait for season 2 to be released in December 2021, consider this: Geralt of Rivia is the ultimate freelancer. Sure, the role of the witcher is a bit different from creating websites or doing some graphic design on the side, but he does work on a project basis (as opposed to full-time), has multiple clients but no boss, manages his own time, and works anywhere he wants – or rather, is needed in.

A lot of people still consider freelancing to be somewhat worse than a full-time job. Don’t make this mistake when you’re planning to change jobs: if your profession allows working on a freelance basis, it might be your key to living a more comfortable lifestyle.

You might want to look into passive income ideas while you’re at it: these days, you can earn as effortlessly as by using money-making apps – such as Honeygain!

7. Superstore: Make sure you read the fine print

While Superstore is not technically a Netflix TV series (it ran on NBC for six seasons), it has been recently added to the platform’s catalogue. It’s a sitcom that focuses on a team of employees working in a supermarket called Cloud 9. Seemingly fun and careless at first, it also tackles some more serious themes, including inclusivity, healthy life-work balance, cultural identity, and the faults of the health insurance system.

A full shopping cart

There’s a lot of practical money skills you can learn from Superstore, but always reading the fine print – a.k.a. getting to know all the terms, rules, and exceptions before you sign anything. Amy thought the store offered an excellent insurance plan but learned it was only for the managers when she landed in a hospital. She also thought she worked at the store long enough to get maternity leave but didn’t realize the work record restarts after getting suspended.

Not reading the fine print when you sign anything might result in unpleasant surprises in the form of hidden fees, potential fines, and other money pits!

8. Tattoo Redo: No mistake means the end of the world

Introduced in 2021, Tattoo Redo is a Netflix reality show that welcomes people who have made some terrible life choices in the past… Namely, getting nightmarish tattoos. The team of professionals then does an impressive job at covering them up with something they can finally show off proudly.

How does this relate to practical money skills, you ask? Here’s the thing: we’re all told tattoos are permanent, and you should make your choices very carefully. We’re not saying you shouldn’t – however, mistakes can often be fixed, and you will learn a lesson in the process. If your first attempt at a personal financial plan failed, learn from it and do better next time. If you spent too much money on your holidays, allow your finances to catch up by trying a No-Spend challenge. Nothing ends in a failure unless you decide so!

9. Chicago Party Aunt: More independence beats more money

Chicago Party Aunt is an animated series that started streaming on Netflix in September 2021. It follows the life of Diane – a middle-aged woman desperately clinging to her careless youth. In the very first episode, her husband leaves her, her job shoos her away, and her sister (who’s also her unpaid landlord) tells her she’s about to sell the apartment Diane’s been crashing at for years. Bummer, right?

A party DJ

While relying on other people (e.g., living with your parents) might help you spend less of your income, you should always think about the opportunities you’ll be left with if something goes awry. Saving for an emergency fund is one of the first finance lessons one should memorise: the better you’re prepared, the less likely an event like needing to change apartments or losing your job is to harm your financial well-being.

Here’s another tip: having money coming in from multiple sources is a great way to boost your financial stability. For example, Honeygain won’t help you cover your rent or pay your mortgage, but it’s still free money for doing nothing!

10. Good Girls: The quickest solution is rarely the best one

We’re pretty sure everybody has thought robbing a bank would make all their problems disappear at least once in their lives. Fantasies weren’t enough for the protagonists of Good Girls, though: they decided to actually rob a local grocery store, share the money between them, and go on with their everyday lives. Needless to say, this doesn’t go as planned, and pretty soon, the women are in ties with the local mafia.

No, we’re not calling you someone who’d jump into criminal activities just like that. The lesson you can take away from Good Girls is a lot more universal: there is no one thing or one action that can take away all your troubles instantly. Realistic expectations and careful financial planning will help you prevent a lot of disappointment and stress!

11. Grace and Frankie: It’s never too late to start...

With seven seasons and 82 episodes, Grace and Frankie is currently the longest-running Netflix series of all time. Its main characters (obviously, named Grace and Frankie) are freshly divorced women in their seventies who decide to start their own business catering to the needs of older women like themselves that are often left neglected.

Learning new skills

One of the reasons why the viewers loved Grace and Frankie so much was because it showed no age is a reason to give up hope and ambition. If you don’t find your job fulfilling or it pays too little (for example, a lot of people who thought their salary is okay find it insufficient once they start a family), it’s never too late to gain new skills and retrain or even start your own business. In fact, 39% of people who changed their careers completely did so to improve their income – don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps!

12. Baby Ballroom: ...but it’s also never too early

Some people think kids only care about fun and games, and if they actually do participate in something like ballroom dancing, it’s typically for their parents’ enjoyment. Baby Ballroom shatters this belief to pieces: in this Netflix reality series, kids (ages 6-17) train every day, compete every week, and do it all with a burning passion in their eyes. They might be too small to ride a roller coaster, but that’s not stopping them!

If you’ve got a younger brother, sister, or children of your own, you should know that just like with dancing, there is also no age limit when it comes to learning practical money skills. As soon as a child is big enough to get some pocket money, they should be taught about the way earning and spending works, as well as the importance of savings.

A bee divider

No matter your age, job, or current financial situation, gaining practical money skills is a sure way to improve your life – and what can be better than obtaining them while you watch your favourite shows and movies in your free time?

There's only one answer we can think of: free money!

Did you know that by using the Honeygain app, you can earn effortlessly by sharing your internet connection? The app (currently available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS) does all the work for you: all you need to do is download and install it, and then leave it running in the background of your device!

Free $5

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