When you watch a TV show, chances are you’re not thinking about the type of lifestyle the character is living. The whole point of TV is to get you caught up in your favorite characters’ “reality.” But, have you ever wondered if they would be able to support the lavish lifestyle they live in the real world?
Is it Realistic?
Recently, Casino.org crunched the numbers to find out which beloved TV characters could realistically live their charmed life in today’s economy. Focusing on the metrics of annual salaries, monthly net income, location, monthly rent or mortgage, and disposable income, a few characters really stood out.
Alex Levy – The Morning Show
Star of the Apple TV hit The Morning Show, actress Jennifer Aniston’s character, Alex Levy, is loosely based on NBC’s Today Show.
After taxes, it’s estimated that Levy’s net income amounts to $343,566 per month. Zillow estimates the rent for this exact penthouse Levy lives in to be around $43,160 per month!
The study estimates that New York City’s favorite news anchor still rakes in more than $300,000 in disposable income a month after taxes and rent, leaving her more than enough money to support her lavish lifestyle.
Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl
The article states that despite coming from a wealthy family, they solely focused on her income earned as CEO of Waldorf Designs. It was estimated that she was making an annual income of $10,000,000.
After paying taxes and the $212,324 monthly rent for her lavish Waldorf Penthouse on 1136 Fifth Avenue, the study notes Waldorf is left with a monthly expendable income of $215,142.
Ted Lasso – Ted Lasso
As the head coach of AFC Richmond, Ted Lasso earns an estimated annual income of $1,285,275. The study notes, “Coach Lasso’s apartment on Paved Court in Richmond comes with an estimated monthly rent of $3,855 (£3,000) per month, according to Zoopla. This leaves the Midwest-twang character about $52,784 (£41,069) to spare after taxes and rent.”
Phil Dunphy – Modern Family
The article shares, “Glassdoor estimates Dunphy’s annual income as a realtor in Santa Monica to average out to $100,000, a respectable income indeed. Unfortunately, Dunphy falls into a deep financial hole because of his hefty mortgage.“ Zillow estimates that a house similar to Dunphy’s would cost around $11,000 per month in real life, which would put him in the red around $5,000 per month.
Oliver Putnam – Only Murders in the Building
Coming in last on the list is theater director Oliver Putnam. It was said, “With a yearly income of $83,933, his New York City salary is quite decent. Unfortunately, his biggest downfall (besides being intensely obsessed with true crime) is the fact that he’s residing in one of the city’s most expensive buildings.”
With the average mortgage payment costing almost as much as he earns in a year, it seems Oliver is way over his head and should consider finding more affordable housing.
How the Remainder of the Characters Stack up
The study goes on to show other fan favorites Harvey Specter, a lawyer in the TV drama Suits, Meredith Grey, Chief of General Surgery in the long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Jessica Day from New Girl, and Michaela Stone from Manifest, would each be able to continue thriving should they be plucked from TV and dropped into reality.
Michael Scott from The Office, Carmen Berzatto from The Bear, and Emily Cooper from Emily in Paris would all be capable of supporting their fictional middle-class lifestyles in the non-fictional world.
Joe Goldberg, an English literature lecturer from the thriller You, may be able to get by if he takes care to live frugally in London, as his estimated annual income of $59,023 won’t go too far in an expensive city like London.
This study gives us a fun reality check when we get caught up in the glitz and the glamour of what we watch on TV and bring us back down to Earth when we find ourselves wishing we could live like our favorite TV characters.
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Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.