Credit in TV land: "How I Met Your Mother"

Posted On : September 19, 2011 by Geoff Williams

How I Met Your MotherCredit rating: 6

Characters: Lily Aldren and Marshall Eriksen

Show: "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)

Credit card role models: Let's just say that they are both works in progress. Especially Lily.

Reasoning: Lily, at least during the first few seasons of the series, is a shopaholic, who, at the start of the second season, had her credit card stolen, and her numerous credit cards are kept in a "box of shame." As she puts it during one low moment, describing herself: "I buy designer clothes and accessories I can't afford. I have 15 credit cards, and they're all maxed out. And nobody outside this room, not even my husband, knows, and I feel terrible because all I want to do right now is ask you where you got those shoes. They're adorable!"

Lily also keeps her debt hidden from Marshall when they plan to buy a place in New York. "I've got the whole thing figured out," she tells her friend Robin. "We'll apply for the loan under Marshall's name, and he'll never need to know. And then in the meantime, I'll slowly work down my debt, right after I furnish the apartment. I saw this amazing leather sofa today." (Robin's reply: "You should be a reality show.")

Eventually, Marshall finds out about the debt, and nevertheless buys an expensive apartment. The mortgage has a high interest rate due to Lily's credit card debt. And yet he is responsible enough to take a well-paying job at a corporation instead of interning for a nonprofit environmental organization, which is why we're giving them a higher ranking than their actions might suggest. Of course, as the last season ended, he was possibly out of a job and Lily was pregnant. That could cause some money problems, but their careless credit card spending seems to be behind them.

 

About the Author

GeoffWilliams

Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist who has covered personal finance for several years. A former features reporter for The Cincinnati Post, Williams's work has also appeared in numerous magazines including Consumer Reports, AARP Bulletin and Ladies' Home Journal. He is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit (HCI Books 2010).


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