I won’t be watching any episode, ever, of The Apprentice starring the king of comb overs, fake tans and dollar store hair colour himself Donald Trump. You would learn more about running a business by watching reruns of The Office. This show is more like the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo than an educational program.
Dragon’s Den is an interesting Canadian show that has business entrepreneurs and inventors pitching their ideas to a panel of multi-millionaire investors. It is always on in reruns. Last week I watched a man who wanted to change the game of hockey to a faster game by eliminating the corners of the ice surface. It would cost $40,000 to retrofit each ice surface. There are 6 ice surfaces in my little city. Imagine the cost of changing every hockey arena all over Canada. That idea was a flop.
Good ideas with sound research often gain the presenter an investor and experienced business mentor. The Dragon’s Den emphasizes research and preparation and hard work as the way to business success. Good looking young men and women wearing minimal amounts of clothing always gets the attention of the investors.
Saturday night is reserved for Suze Orman. I stumbled upon her show and her advice a few years ago and she changed the way I deal with money. People with credit card debt and no cash call in and ask if it is ok to buy a Star Wars pinball machine or an over priced fashion hand bag.
Suze repeats over and over and over again that you must never cosign a loan for anyone regardless of the circumstances. I cosigned student lines of credit for both my sons and they would not have been able to go to university without that money. I would have hated to have my sons miss out on life changing educational opportunities just because their mom was low income and could not pay their tuition.
Suze does a segment called How Am I Doing where she reviews people’s finances, debt levels and retirement planning and gives a grade. I would give myself a C- on the Suze scale. I have the will, power of attorney and a plan to get out of debt and retire. She would tell me that I don’t have enough saved for retirement and that I probably never will. Between my lack of funds and the student lines of credit I have cosigned for she would probably give me a D. I have no credit card debt and that would keep me from getting an F.
Saving the best for last. Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
Everyone can learn from Gail. Til Debt Do Us Part is a show that teaches everyone simple money management and budgeting basics. The show shocked me in the beginning because I did not know that some people paid their credit card bills using another credit card. I learned about the impossibly high rates of interest that pay day loan companies charge people and was shocked by how many people use them. The people with credit card debt often waste a lot of money on smoking, pizza delivery and big screen tvs. The advice is easy to understand and gives the viewing audience real tips they can use to improve their own situation.
Gail also has a show titled Princess. Spoiled rotten young women and some men feel entitled to everything they want and expect family and friends to pay for it. If you haven’t seen this show you will marvel at Gail’s patience with these whiny, demanding, lazy takers. Gail has more self control than anyone I have ever seen. I would have smacked several of the Princesses and some of the moms. Try and not throw your computer when you watch Princess Allison the worse princess of all.
If the link to the Slice network does not work outside of Canada I hope you can find the episode featuring Princess Allison online somewhere else.
Popcorn, perhaps a glass of wine and some fun financial viewing for a cold winter weekend. Enjoy.