3 Money Lessons From "Big Little Lies"

If you haven't seen Big Little Lies on HBO, you are missing out on a drama about the nouveau riche that goes to depths we haven't seen before. The short series is based on the excellent book by Liane Moriarty. The lead characters live in beautiful Monterey, California and mostly drive around in expensive cars and drink coffee. Without the boring stuff like work to get in the way, they're mostly free to explore the more gentle aspects of coastal life.

These moms have massive amounts of everything on their hands: free time, yoga classes, wine bottles, and dollar dollar bills y'all. While the show is about lust and murder, if you watch closely you can pick up on a few financial lessons.

Lesson #1: The big money is in technology

Somehow, Madeline and Ed make enough money to own a house valued at $15 million. Madeline is a SAHM who works part time for the local public theater and Ed does something that requires a stand-up desk and lots of clicking on the keyboard. Ed's entire character is wrapped up in him being the stable husband to Otter Bay Elementary's queen bee, so we can only guess that what he does for a living is a similarly put-upon occupation requiring infinite patience. Perhaps he runs an IT help desk?

Lesson #2: Money doesn't make your problems disappear

From kindergarten dust-ups to intense violence at home, BLL proves that problems know no class barriers. The same issues that Jane is so ashamed of are ones that Celeste is dealing with every day. Once a powerful attorney, she's now reduced to competing for a place in the drop-off line at school. Obviously bored and unhappy in their financial situations, Jane and Celeste are essentially different sides of the same, sad coin.

Lesson #3: Don't try to keep up with the Jonses

Madeline mentions in the first episode, you're really not competing if you're not making more than $100,000 a year. The enormity of this number registers on Jane's face and she obviously decides that competition isn't for her. A single, working mother, Jane has picked up and moved to a new town to start a new life. She and Ziggy live in a one bedroom apartment, she drives an older car, and she freely admits to not fitting in with the lifestyle. And she never tries to!