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7 Financial Lessons We Can Take From Breaking Bad

7 Financial Lessons We Can Take From Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad can teach us all some valuable life lessons; there’s still hope for television, human’s are capable of extraordinary and despicable things, don’t start a meth lab. Here, Tim Lenke from Wise Bread has 7 financial tips we can learn from Breaking Bad:

The hit TV show “Breaking Bad” will leave a lasting legacy as one of the most intense and popular shows on television. Watching Walter White and associates descend deeper into meth madness week after week has been truly entertaining.

But it’s also been educational from a personal finance standpoint.

Suffice it to say, Walter White made a lot of questionable decisions. And while we’re probably never going to make a foray into making crystal meth, many of his choices can offer helpful lessons in money management for the average, law-abiding citizen. From preparing for disaster to investing your money and how to deal with unexpected wealth, there is much to learn from the craziness of Breaking Bad. Here are seven lessons to take away from the madness. [Caution: Spoilers Coming]

1. Practice Good Estate Planning

Walter White began cooking crystal meth because he got an unexpected cancer diagnosis. He wanted to pay off his medical bills and make sure his family was taken care of.

There are obviously better ways to plan for a bad event.

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Life insurance is something everyone with a family should have. Do you have enough coverage? Look into setting up an annuity or other vehicle that can result in consistent payments to your family if the worst should happen.

Another big piece of estate planning is your emergency fund. Do you have enough cash in the bank to get through a tough period? Many financial advisors suggest putting away at least six months of salary.

A Roth IRA is a great way to save for retirement due to its tax advantages, but it also comes in handy in an emergency because any deposits you make can be withdrawn without a penalty.

Take time to review your financial plan. Are you prepared to handle any bad news that comes your way?

2. Get Quality Health Insurance

Health insurance is a vital part of your financial plan, and it’s important to review your policy to ensure you’re properly covered.

Walter White lived in a pre-Obamacare world. That means his medical expenses may not have been capped. Under the new Affordable Care Act, his expenses would have been capped at $12,700 annually, even if he had the low-cost “Bronze Plan” purchased through one of the new health insurance exchanges. (He also would not have been turned down by insurers for any pre-existing conditions.)

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But even under Obamacare, it’s still important to find coverage that won’t leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars that you may not have budgeted for. If you get insurance through your employer, review it closely to ensure you’re properly covered. If you do purchase coverage through a health insurance exchange, take a look at the Gold or Platinum plans, which have higher premiums but more comprehensive coverage. Being underinsured can still lead to financial hardship.

If you do come down with a medical condition, your employer may offer a health spending account, which allows you to deposit money tax free to help pay medical bills. Keep in mind, too, that unreimbursed medical expenses are often tax-deductible.

3. Talk About Money With Your Spouse

Walter thought he was best off hiding the truth from his wife, Skyler, but he’d have been better off being honest with her from the start.

According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 31% of American adults who combined assets with a spouse or partner say they have tried to conceal the truth about their finances. Nearly 60% of these adults say they hid cash from their partner or spouse. But that same report also pointed out that in most cases, spouses end up finding out the truth, anyway.

Once Skyler knew about Walt’s “business,” she was — surprisingly — able to help him. But their relationship was irreparably damaged. The lesson here is that hiding financial truths from your spouse can strain a relationship and cause you to make bad choices. A family’s finances are always better off when everyone is aware of the full picture.

4. Do Something With Your Money

Since most of Walter’s money was obtained illegally, he had trouble investing it through traditional means. That’s why he kept most of his cash under the floor, in storage units, and in barrels in the desert.

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But for the rest of us, it rarely makes sense to follow the “under the mattress” philosophy of saving. Most bank savings accounts and CDs will pay you interest and are FDIC-insured. There are also plenty of other safe investments, including bonds, that will protect your initial investment and offer a return. Even stocks are generally safe if you invest in index funds and don’t need your money for a decade or more.

5. Manage Your Risk, and Don’t Get Greedy

Walter White’s downfall may have come when he continued to cook crystal meth even when he had more money than he’d ever need. He let ego and pride get in the way of sensible thinking, and continued taking big risks when he didn’t have to.

It’s tempting to always go after the highest return on investments. But investments with the highest returns often have the highest level of risk.

The lesson here is that if you are ahead of the game in achieving your financial goals, consider taking a more conservative investment approach to protect what you have. This is especially true for folks who are approaching the age at which they plan to retire.

6. Don’t Buy Flashy Things, Especially for Your Kids

After Walter’s drug money started rolling in, he went and bought Walt Jr. an expensive sports car. This was, of course, a terrible idea for someone trying to keep a low profile.

Even if you come into a lot of money legally, there are better things to do than blow it on an expensive material item. (Especially a car, which declines in value the second you drive off the lot.)

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Even ultra-rich people should take time to teach their children about good financial habits. If you feel the need to get a car for a teenager, take them to the car lot and have them learn about how cars are marketed and priced. Let them help you negotiate the best price on a small, reliable, and fuel-efficient sedan. Once it’s bought, set up a plan for having them pay you back.

And set a good example — parents who spend money irresponsibly have kids who spend money irresponsibly.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

When Walter needed to launder his drug money, he called Saul. When he needed some bad guys to disappear, he found Mike or some other henchmen. Without some help, there’s a good chance Walt and Jesse would have been caught or dead before Season 3.

It never hurts to consult with experts when you are in over your head. If you are confused by how to invest your money, find a good financial advisor. If you have home or auto repairs that you can’t handle yourself, hire a guy. It’s OK to get help.

Tim Lenke is a dad of two who enjoys investing, saving for big trips, and quality barbecue. Tim blogs at Wise Bread and MakingCentz.

7 Financial Lessons From Breaking Bad | Wise Bread

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 1, 2020

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

Elite Daily have got some great points as to why you should chase down your dream job, regardless of how much the wage is. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your career, maybe it’s because you’re on a path that doesn’t connect with your passion? Maybe it’s time to steer right off that road and take a different route:

Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.

However, this is inherently problematic as this mindset leads many people to stray down a path that doesn’t best suit them. When people choose their careers, they are sometimes blinded by money and so choose to follow the paper trail. Although money is great and can buy us all the things that will temporarily make us happy, no amount of money can buy time. Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away

This generation is particularly in trouble because jobs are scarce and many of us will be stuck doing jobs we hate just because we need money. Although this may be the right move for our careers now, this shouldn’t be something we do for the rest of our lives. it is best we search for something we are passionate about. Here are the 10 reasons why you should follow your passion and not the money.

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1. Working for money may seem like good enough motivation for one to keep at their career.

Every morning Monday through Friday you go to work 9 to 5 sitting their punching away the hours stressing about the work at hand. This is not a way to enjoy your life. Working for 8 hours a day 5 times a week at something that makes you miserable is not the way you live life to the fullest.

Many people who choose careers that don’t make them happy will tell you that they would all do it differently if they had the chance. You only have one life, so don’t waste it working somewhere you hate just because of the money.

2. You’re more passionate about the work you are doing.

There is nothing worse than having to wake up every morning during the week to mindlessly go do work you don’t even care about. However, this is never really an issue when you are passionate about the work you do. If you are not forced to work somewhere because of monetary constraint, you truly enjoy what you do and you never really work a day in your life.

3. You can relate more to the work and come up with better ideas.

Being forced to do work is one of the most draining experiences. While there are times at every job where you may feel the work may be draining and dull, you have to realize that not every day is going to be an enjoyable one. There are highs and lows, but when you are passionate about the work you you look past the dull days. Your creative process is also different. You are more inclined to come up with creative ideas when you like what you do.

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4. Work doesn’t feel like it’s forced upon you.

When you value money over your overall health and your passion, you will find yourself in an endless cycle of misery. Work no longer becomes a career or a journey, but more of a  taxing nuisance on your mind and body that has to get done.

Every day that you go to work with this mindset you begin to hate your job more and more. While many people feel that they must work hard to retire and have money to enjoy themselves, what’s the point of enjoying yourself in your later years when you spent your life being miserable?

5. No matter how much money you make, nothing will help you overcome the feeling of doing something you hate.

Many accountants come into corporate America, put in reckless hours during the week and make a great paycheck on pay day. Many of them have all this money piled up, but they never really get to enjoy the fruits of their labor because their labor takes up most of their lives.

Many of them hate their jobs because they aren’t really passionate about what they do. Is there a worse feeling than doing something you hate? Eventually this hatred will cause stress and in the long run, it will have lasting effects on your health.

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6. You are more inclined to work later hours.

When you work somewhere that you are passionate about, putting in later hours isn’t as much of a burden as it is when you don’t like what you are doing. To you, putting in the extra hours doesn’t hurt as much because you don’t feel like you are forced to do it, which makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

Every industry has a busy season and without a doubt there will come a time when you will need to put in the extra hours. Will it be easier for you to work longer on something you can relate to or something you can’t stand doing?

7.You are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Certain obligations at your work will require you to go above and beyond the call of duty. In certain times during the busy seasons, you may be asked to do certain tasks that are not part of your everyday schedule. It is much easier for you to put in the extra work if it’s something you actually care about. Because you are passionate about your job, you will be willing to put in the extra effort to go beyond what is required of you.

8. No obstacle will stop you from achieving success.

When you really enjoy what you do, nothing will stop you from getting your work done. Because you are passionate about what you do, you feel unstoppable and nothing can obstruct you from achieving greatness. Your passion ignites your work, and like a rocket, it accelerates you past road blocks that may come about. Any obstacle that comes your way is accepted and fought off with a creative solution.

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9. Our working careers will consume most of our lives, so we might as well do something we enjoy.

You will spend a majority of your life working and there is no other way around this fact unless you are born into a wealthy family or marry rich. For the rest of us who weren’t fortunate enough, we will be spending a good portion of our lives working in order to make ends meet.

There is no way around this, so we might as well accept the cards we are dealt. Many people go about this the wrong way because they feel like work is something they have to do rather then something they can enjoy. Once you realize that your career should be something you enjoy, then you will lead a more happy and fulfilling life.

10. You will get more fulfillment when you finally make it.

There are few feelings better than achieving a level of success you set out for yourself. Nothing like crossing off your bucket list of goals you set out for yourself to achieve. When you finally reach the pinnacle, it is that much more enjoyable knowing you got there doing something you love. Remember work doesn’t have to be something that you hate doing, stay true to yourself and always do what makes you happy.

The 10 Reasons You Should Follow Your Passion And Not The Money | Elite Daily

Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

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