Rick and Morty is a wild and weird TV show following the adventures of Rick — an alcoholic who just happens to be a genius — and his grandson, Morty, who is constantly worried and may not be the brightest crayon in the box. Although you would think an Adult Swim TV show couldn’t possibly teach you any financial advice, I picked out quite a few gems in just the first season. Here are five Rick and Morty money lessons that I learned:
- People love to give bad advice. Ignore it.
- Make sure to have the correct currency when you travel.
- You always need a backup plan.
- You can learn a lot from a summer job.
- Plan for the future.
(Warning: Season One spoilers ahead.)
1. People’s Two Cents’ Worth Don’t Matter
While I don’t remember any character on the show mentioning why Rick moves in with his daughter and her family, I assume it’s because he doesn’t have enough money to live on his own. Even so, Rick is constantly giving advice — typically bad advice — on how the family should be living.
If you listen to unqualified people's advice on how to spend your money, chances are you’ll stay poor or become poor trying to keep up with the Joneses. Instead, be smart: Educate yourself about your finances and forget the know-nothings. It’s your money and your life, not theirs.
2. Have the Correct Currency When Traveling
In the episode “Meeseeks and Destroy,” Rick lets Morty choose their adventure. After a few bumps on the road and an appearance in court, both of them are finally ready to go home. There's just one problem, though: They don’t have the correct currency to pay their way back. Rick and Morty are stranded and have to find a way to make the money that they need to get back home.
When traveling, always have enough money — preferably the local currency — to get you through dire situations.
3. Have a Backup Plan
You shouldn’t be prepared just while traveling, though. A recurring theme in Rick and Morty is that Rick is never ready for anything. This has put him and Morty in danger and gotten them stranded and even killed (in a different dimension). How does this relate to your finances?
While you won’t be traveling between dimensions anytime soon, you do need to have a financial backup plan.
And by that, I mean an emergency fund. Things happen, and you don’t want them to strain or ruin you financially. Even just $1,000 can help you out of a jam.
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4. Summer Jobs Help You Learn
When Morty’s sister, Summer, gets her first summer job, things go a little haywire. She finds out that her boss is the devil (literally). He uses her to build his business, only to fire her when the money starts to roll in. Summer learns an important lesson: A summer job is just a job.
During her summer job, Summer learns customer service, marketing, public relations, and much more. At the end of the day, she realizes that it was only a typical summer job. It was a way for her to make extra money, but it didn’t determine her real worth or value.
Summer jobs are a great way to earn extra cash and gain skills, and they can even help build character. If you have a teenager or a college-age student (or are one), a summer job can be just what you need to take your career to the next level.
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5. Prepare for the Future
It’s no secret that Rick’s daughter, Beth, and her husband, Jerry, have marital problems. Because they married while in school and had a child shortly afterward, she and Jerry never had the opportunity to plan for college, kids, or travel.
You can’t plan your entire life, but it’s never too early to start financially preparing for the future.
Want to take a trip soon? Start saving money today. Want kids? Ask yourself when you would be able to afford them, then start planning. While nothing will ever be 100 percent perfect, you can save yourself a lot of headache and financial stress by preparing for the future.
A Final Thought
Rick and Morty makes me laugh, think, and evaluate my personal financial journey. It’s the ideal show about what not to do, and it presents that in a funny way. I’m sure the next season will have even more money lessons!
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