Smart Money Tips From "Big Bang" Sitcom

Are you looking for smart money tips and advice in all the wrong places? Could the answer be in the blue glow you stare at every night? According to a recent post from Daily Finance, the answers could easily be found in a television sitcom. Citing examples from “The Big Bang Theory,” Daily Finance lays out six ways to keep your finances secure – and oddly enough, like most things on the show, it makes sense if you just think about it. Here are the six lessons learned from Sheldon, Penny and the rest of the sitcom gang:

  • Money can’t buy you love
  • Don’t quit your day job
  • Stop the impulse buying – or at least limit it
  • Talk over big purchases with someone
  • Buy in bulk

To this list we add our own, regarding loans. Ideally, you would not have to borrow money. If you do, then choose a lending company wisely. Then there will be a mutually beneficial relationship between borrower and lender. Also consider some of the alternative financing products. We think that Sheldon would be all over Kickstarter or Indiegogo for raising quick cash for science projects. For financing school or business, there are also several interesting options with Income Share Agreements from Pave and Upstart, as well as Cumulus Funding.

Can you learn smart money tips from a television sitcom? Judging by the debt that plagues millions of Americans it might be time for our public schools to toss out second-language requirements and focus on a different kind of language: Financial literacy.

You’ve tried, you say, you’ve tried. You’ve created a budget. You’ve consulted all the financial papers and magazines. You’ve asked your spouse or other family members to rein it in – and perhaps more importantly, you’ve tried to rein it in. Maybe you’ve even hired a financial adviser – which, it should be noted, costs money.

Of course, let’s not forget the second item on the “Big Bang “list, “Don’t quit your day job.” Another fact of today’s economy is that many people hold two or even three jobs. The upside is that there are more ways than ever to develop an extra income stream or two while cashing (or better yet, saving) that regular paycheck every two weeks.

This post from the Simple Dollar has some suggestions for finding another source of income. Find something you are actually good at – and even enjoy – and figure out a way to turn it into green. And, of course, make a commitment to it. How many great ideas come and go because no effort goes into them?The takeaway is that there are all kinds of ways to earn a little money on the side, but it requires a little more focus and patience than that. Returning bottles and cans for a recycling fee or selling your plasma might be obvious places to start, but probably not the wisest.

Now, what about that ‘Big Bang’ tip from the bullet points above: Impulse buying. How do we avoid it? After all, advertising in a great sense is about making you feel you want something you don’t actually need. Most of us are powerless at some time or another.

Psychology Today has been to your mind and back, and has five tips to avoid purchases you’ll regret later, including not using a basket or cart when you shop, getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible, and being aware of those ticky-tack items they put near the register.

Finally, the Simple Dollar has one suggestion about commitment: “Give up an hour of television each day.”

Fine. But then we’d miss all the money lessons on “The Big Bang Theory.”