There are countless reasons to love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Midge's limitless supply of hats, her countless comedy club zingers, and the prospect of her someday, maybe finally, ending up with Lenny Bruce...
Even if you aren't a housewife-turned-stand-up-comedian living in 1960s New York City, a hidden gem of this series is its surprisingly relatable commentary on money management.
So before you get on a Ferris wheel and start screaming about your money problems to your in-laws, here are eight financial lessons we can learn from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:
1. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Midge's circumstances are the definition of the saying, "when life gives you lemons..." If she wasn't a housewife living in the 1960s, having a nest egg saved could have softened the blow of these unexpected hardships at least a little.
While the amount of money saved for an emergency is going to vary person-to-person, experts recommend saving around three to six months worth of expenses to ward off those lemons. You can find tips for building your emergency fund here.
2. Sometimes "money jobs" are necessary while pursuing your passions.
Sometimes, making a living off of what we love just isn't possible right away. Even this season, with a new set of financial hardships rearing their ugly head, Midge has taken up selling Tupperware to make a bit of extra cash.
Whether you're living in the 1960s or 2022, these storylines are a good reminder that there is no shame in the side hustle game (or in a full-time hustle while you pursue your passion on the side!)
3. Growing your savings account takes time.
In order to get her life on track, both personally and professionally, Midge has to start saving. A retail job and a few local comedy gigs don't make her rich overnight, but they are a launching pad for the start of becoming financially independent.
While the mess with Shy Baldwin last season (plus Susie's gambling problem) threw a wrench in Midge's progress, we can still take away an important lesson: growing substantial savings takes time, strategy, and a well-thought-out budget.
4. Know how to identify a financial scam.
Okay, this example might be Susie Myerson-specific, but it does showcase a money-swindling scam! Don't make the same mistakes as Susie. Whether you're kickstarting entrepreneurial endeavors, or simply managing your money online, always make sure you're working with credible and trustworthy resources!
A sidebar lesson learned from the misfortunes of Midge's sharp-tongued manager would be to always keep track of the money that you're owed. Even if it's not as intentional as being refused a paycheck, it is good practice to monitor your paystubs for any accidental discrepancies.
5. Everyone's financial situation is different (and it does no good to compare!)
It's hard to say how much money Joel actually has to his name, since his parents, Moishe and Shirley, are a permanent safety net. By Season 4, Joel, Midge, and Susie are all working hard at their respective dreams, but their financial situations are strikingly different.
In the age of social media, it's especially easy to get down on ourselves when we see others' financial accomplishments. Maisel reminds us that when it comes to money, everyone's situation is different. Need a little encouragement boost? Here are 12 signs your finances are in better shape than you think.
6. Lying about money always leads to consequences.
Rather than coming clean to Midge, Susie keeps these skeletons hidden away in a closet, so to speak, and asks Joel to lend her money at the start of Season 4.
As if Susie's illegal activity isn't bad enough, every episode this season is a ticking timebomb until Midge (who is experiencing financial hardships of her own) finds out the truth about her manager's deception.
Coming clean wouldn't bring back the money lost, but the dishonesty is almost certain to make things more difficult for both Susie and Midge down the line. Lesson learned? Don't gamble away your life's savings and don't lie about it!
7. Know how to manage your own money.
While Susie is technically in charge of her comedy show earnings (unfortunately), Midge is finally learning the importance of a good old-fashioned budget!
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel might be MC'ing at a strip club and selling plastic kitchenware, but by golly, she knows just how much money is coming in and how much money is going out toward bills and expenses. Go, Midge! We can all take a page out of her joke book and remember to keep tabs on our assets, investments, and budget!
8. There's truth to the old saying: money doesn't buy happiness.
However, in a tipsy heart-to-heart with his daughter, Abe confesses that he is really, truly happy: "The both of us pursuing our art," he says. "Though one of us pursuing banking would've been smart."
Despite this little joke (and the family's dip in income), we can see that both Abe and Midge feel their cup is the most full when they are doing what they love. Yes, there is an element of privilege in the fact they can both pursue their passions without going completely destitute, but the lesson rings true all the same: money doesn't buy happiness.
This sentimental scene ends with Abe and Midge making a powerful toast: "to art".
While Midge might still be grasping at the basics of money management, we have to hand it to her: our comedy queen is stepping up and defying a system that wasn't created for women during the 1960s.
We still have a road ahead of us when it comes to full gender equality in the financial realm. But we've sure come a long way and could take a page out of Midge's book as we move forward!
Are there other financial tidbits you've found in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Share them in the comments below!