Sometimes financial lessons can be hidden in familiar places, like your favorite TV shows. Here are our top 5 lessons that we learned after binge-watching some of our favorites.

Who said that you can’t learn anything from watching TV? If you pay attention, there are important financial lessons hidden in some of your favorite shows. 

It might be a reminder to keep your money somewhere safer than a banana stand, or even Tyrion Lannister imploring us all to pay our debts. Either way, there is something to learn for pretty much anyone.

Arrested Development – keep your money somewhere safe


If you are a fan of Arrested Development, you may remember “Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana,” a frozen banana stand founded by George Sr. 

When George Michael – George Sr.’s grandson – starts to feel guilty about embezzling bananas, he burns down the banana stand, only to find that George Sr. had lined the walls of the stand with $250,000. 

Don’t be like the Bluths and risk losing money in a banana stand fire! Instead, why not put your money in high yield savings accounts? These accounts can keep your money safe, while also accruing a higher percentage of interest than traditional savings accounts.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

CIT Savings Builder

CIT Savings Builder is a high yield savings account from CIT Bank that offers one of the highest annual percentage yields (APYs) of any online savings account, coming in at up to 1.00%.

To retain this APY you must maintain a balance of $25,000, or make monthly deposits of at least $100. If you can automatically deposit the $25,000, or, more realistically, commit to making the minimum monthly deposits, CIT Savings Builder will keep your money much safer than any banana stand could.  

Discover Online Savings 

The Discover Online Savings Account advertises an interest rate that is over five times the National Savings Average, coming in at 1.40% APY

Don’t worry about costly monthly fees negating your interest, the Discover Online Savings account is free of monthly fees. The Discover Online Savings is an account that even George Sr. would approve of! 

Schitt’s Creek – tax write-offs are not free money 

For David Rose, things usually come easy. However, when his family lost all of their money and moved to the town they bought as a joke, David had some learning to do. After acquiring a job at Blouse Barn, David went on a shopping spree using the company card. He assumed that the government would pick up the tab. Luckily, Johnny Rose, David’s father, stepped in to set him straight. 

Tax write-offs 

“A write off is a business expense used to reduce your taxable income.” – Johnny Rose

Johnny’s explanation of tax write-offs is correct, but what he fails to mention is that you can also write-off things like:

  • Paid mortgage interest
  • 401(k) contributions
  • Self-employment expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Your home office
  • Educator expenses
  • IRA contributions

When you write-off these expenses on your tax return, don’t be like David and expect the money that you spent to be returned. Write-offs simply lower the amount of income that you will be taxed on, in some cases saving taxpayers more money than the standard deduction. 

Everyone’s tax situation is different. If you need help figuring out what write off’s apply to your individual tax situation, tax software like TurboTax can help you.

The Office – get a side hustle 


Dwight Schrute is a dedicated man. A devoted member of the Dunder Mifflin team, The Office fans know that Dwight loves three things: bears, beets, and Battle Star Galactica. For him, the beet farm that he owns with his brother, Mose Schrute, acts as a side hustle to put extra money in his pocket

If you’ve been looking for a way to make your wallet a little greener, why not find yourself a side hustle?

Even if you don’t own a beet farm with your brother, you can still find a side hustle that brings in some extra cash. Side hustles don’t have to be in your usual line of work, meaning they can sometimes become a fun escape from your nine to five job. 

Parks and Recreation – keep financial records & consider investing in gold 


When Ron Swanson’s first wife, Tammy, informs him that he is being audited, he hands over his financial records to her and his friends for review. While helping them sort through them, he informs them that among the piles of IOUs and handwritten bills of sales, they will not find any bank records. 

Ron admits to having “heavily invested in gold”, which he has buried around their town of Pawnee. While Ron likes to protect his privacy and keep the government out of his business, his methods might not be the best choice.

Not being able to produce financial records can hold you back, but so can an uninformed investment. Before you decide to be like Ron, consider the following.

Keeping your records is important

Keeping records is an important part of understanding your finances. Not only does it come in handy in the rare chance that you are audited by the IRS, but also in simpler circumstances. If you are looking to buy a home or prepare your tax returns, having your financial records handy can seriously expedite the process. 

Investing in gold could be a good idea 

Gold is a controversial investment that has performed well in the past, but may not always perform as well as other investment options. A precious metal, it has been used as a form of currency since around 700 B.C.

Nowadays, investing in gold is more often used as a way of storing value, than as an investment that is going to make investors rich. If you are considering investing in gold, make sure to do your research before you decide to bury your entire net worth like Ron. 

Game of Thrones – always pay your debts


A Lannister always pays his debts, especially when it comes in the form of revenge. Even if your castle isn’t built on top of a gold mine, or another house resonates more with your financial habits, this iconic line from Game of Thrones is a great reminder to always pay what you owe

Why you should pay off your debts 

Debt, definitely if left to accumulate, can be debilitating. While some debt can actually help you, having a high debt-to-income ratio can hold you back. 

If your debt collects for too long without being paid, your credit score could begin paying the price. A bad credit score can make it harder to accomplish goals like buying a home or getting a car loan. 

So, take a cue from the Lannisters and always pay your debts.

Try a balance transfer card 

Getting another credit card to aid in your journey to becoming debt-free might seem counterproductive. However, if used responsibly, balance transfer cards are a great tool to help simplify your debts. By moving all, or most, of your debt to one card, you can save money on interest fees and stop worrying about keeping track of multiple accounts. 

Try a cash back card 

Getting a cash back credit card can help you pay off your debt; again, responsible use is the name of the game. The win with cash back is you spend and get the money back right into your wallet.

Here is my favorite cash back card.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Proceed Card info has been collected by MoneyUnder30 to help consumers better compare cards. The financial institution did not provide or approve card details

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has no annual fee and offers so many different opportunities for cash back. 

New cardmembers can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Also earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating categories each quarter you activate, 5% cash back on travel purchases when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

So that’s a lot of cash back into your pockets.


Like Ron Swanson’s gold, financial lessons are hiding in places that you would least expect to find them. You’ll find them in a banana stand in Newport Beach, all the way to Westeros.

Next time you find yourself watching TV, listen out for advice that just might help you improve your financial situation. 

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About the author

Total Articles: 11
Micah Murray is a freelance writer and editorial assistant for Money Under 30. He enjoys writing about personal finance and educating readers on how financial literacy can change their lives. Micah lives in Maine with his husband, their dog, and three cats. When not writing about finance, he can be found around a campfire, with a glass of wine, and a true-crime podcast. You can reach him on his website or LinkedIn.