AMC’s “The Walking Dead” may seem like a strange place to mine money lessons, but it turns out the zombie apocalypse is rife with tips on finance.”The Walking Dead” focuses on small town sheriff Rick Grimes, who wakes up from a coma to find his world full of walking corpses. Rick must find his family and navigate this brave new world with a motley group of survivors. The show sets itself apart by focusing on character development and relationships rather than the usual blood and guts of the zombie genre (although it’s still quite gory). SPOILER ALERT.
Communication is Key
Often the characters in the show find themselves in predicaments that could have been avoided with a better communication system. This axiom holds true whether you are running from zombies or running your household. Communicating about your financial worries, hopes, and dreams with your significant other is a major factor in your financial success as a couple. Even if you are single, communication with yourself is vital. We make bad decisions because we lie to ourselves about our spending and fall into a trap of deception. Stop it. Get yourself a mental walkie talkie. Heck, get yourself a real walkie talkie if you have to.
Some characters on the show cannot come to grips with what happened to their world. They choose to live in a dream world and it eventually leads to their downfall. The characters who survive are the ones who can be realistic about their situation and deal with it.
We have this incredible ability to convince ourselves that everything is alright and we can keep living the way we always have, even as our world crumbles around us. Don’t whitewash. Sit down and be critical of your finances. Once you know where you are, you can begin to fix the problems.
Conserve, Conserve, Conserve
Constantly faced with a lack of supplies (sometimes through the wastefulness of one group member), Rick and his group are forced to take extreme measures to procure more. After all, it’s a matter of life and death for them.
Although most of us in this world don’t have to worry about running out of basic supplies such as food or water, conserving our resources is still a great way to cut down on spending. Proverbs 21:20 tells us, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Whether it’s buying food in bulk and cooking huge meals in order to have lots of leftovers or driving less (and riding a bike) to cut back on your transportation budget, every little thing makes a difference.
You Need a Support System
As is evident whenever the clan stops to regroup in the series, it’s impossible for any one person to accomplish everything on their own. Certain community members contribute by hunting for food or standing guard while others handle laundry logistics, food prep and education for the kids. Thanks to the extreme circumstances, characters are forced to band together to help each other physically and emotionally as they struggle through hard times.
Your financial life is not an island either. Having the support of friends and family is invaluable to keep you on track and give you a helping hand when times are tough.
Don’t Be TOO Miserly
The residents of Woodbury, a “town” set up by survivors and run by “The Mayor” recognize that being too stingy can be a bad thing. The town regularly hosts celebrations for the survivors to remind them what life was like before. Our financial lives can often use an infusion of partying to keep us sane, especially when we’ve been in a season of sacrifice. This doesn’t mean you should blow all your resources and waste everything you’ve saved, but it does mean to let your hair down within reason and relax a bit every once in a while.
Are you a “Walking Dead” fan? What other tips have you learned from the show?