There are lots of reasons that watching TV isn’t great for your financial habits, including those pesky commercials we’d all like to skip through to get back to our favorite programs. But have you really thought about the TV shows you watch and how they portray the character’s finances?
I don’t watch much TV anymore because I don’t have time for it in my schedule. But, when I do plunk down in front of the TV, I am always surprised at what I see – especially when it comes to commercials and how finances are portrayed dealt with in the shows themselves.
Here are 3 TV shows that set bad money examples.
Bad Money Example #1: Sex and The City
This show has been off the air for a few years now, but it’s still pretty popular on streaming services like Netflix. While I’ve been known to enjoy binge-watching SATC, it’s not the best show to watch for financial advice. The characters on the show make way more money than what is realistic for their professions, and you hardly ever see the characters doing any actual work. As a whole, the show portrays a very unrealistic picture of what life is like in the city. Hopefully, young viewers don’t expect adult life to be like that. If so, they’ll be in for a rude awakening when they get their first paycheck and have very little left over after paying their bills.
Bad Money Example #2: Pretty Little Liars
Ok, you caught me. I’m a total ABC Family addict and PLL is one of my favorite shows to watch on Hulu each week. Unfortunately, it took a friend to point out to me that PLL doesn’t set the best financial examples for their young audience.
In the first season of the show, one of the main characters does quite a bit of shoplifting before she gets caught stealing a pair of designer sunglasses. After this it is revealed that, after her parents’ divorce, her mom isn’t able to keep up with the bills and they are at risk of losing their house. They make some sketchy money decisions, but in the end they come out ahead and are able to keep the house.
Another bad money example in this show is the fact that 3 of the 4 high school students don’t work, yet they always have money to eat at restaurants or order take out in every episode. You never see them cooking at home, which is one of the easiest ways to eat healthier and save money.
Bad Money Example #3: Teen Mom
Many of the episodes of MTV’s hit show Teen Mom, and the spin offs, are focused around the financial struggles of having a baby while you are still in high school. While I think it’s good for viewers to hear about the struggles of teen moms, the moms featured in this show are not an accurate portrayal of what many teen moms I’ve seen really struggle with. The teen moms on these TV shows are paid an extraordinary amount of money to be on the show, so you can’t help but wonder if they are fabricating the scenes where they talk about their money struggles.
TV shows can be a good escape from real life once in a while, but don’t forget that they are all fabricated and not an accurate portrayal of what life is really like.
Do you watch any other shows that give bad money examples?