Guest Post by Paula at AffordAnything.org

Well, the title is not entirely true. (Okay, it’s a complete lie.) I haven’t learned EVERYTHING about money from Homer Simpson. But I’ve certainly learned a lot from watching television’s most famous cartoon dad.

Lesson #1: Either Get Ahead at Work or Concentrate on Side Income

Homer’s day job is Nuclear Safety Inspector at Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, but he’s mostly ignored by his superiors, and it’s clear he won’t be getting a raise from miserly boss, Montgomery Burns. So rather than stress himself out with his responsibility at his day job (who cares if there’s a meltdown at the plant?), he commits his extra energy into his own entrepreneurial side ventures.

Over the years, Homer has moonlighted as a clown impersonator, launched a snow plow company, gone to space as a NASA astronaut, sang in a barbershop quartet, smuggled beer in prohibition zones, and invented a reclining toilet.

Plenty of people have great opportunities to move up the ladder at their current job, or head to a bigger and better company in their same line of work. If you’re one of these people, your time might be best spent getting ahead within your field. A young associate at a law firm, for example, could probably make more money moving up the ladder than he could writing blog posts about Homer Simpson.

But if you’re a graduate from a liberal arts major at a state university who earned chump change as a newspaper reporter (like yours truly), you might be better off trying to launch your own side business. True, the “entrepreneur” myth is that business ownership = instant wealth. (Not true!) But this will at least give you multiple streams of income, so you have something to fall back on when you get laid off in the next recession — or extra cash to splurge on a reclining toilet.

Lesson #2: It’s More Fulfilling to Give Than to Spend On Yourself

Homer’s not exactly saintly — he sleeps through church — but when push comes to shove, we see Homer sacrificing for his family. Although he once won a ride on the Duff Beer blimp, the opportunity of a lifetime for a Duff fanatic like Homer, he sold his ticket to raise the money so his daughter Lisa could enter a contest. When he bought a winning lottery ticket but couldn’t admit that he won (for a complicated number of reasons), he spent the money on items for his family — a washer and drier, kitchen appliances — rather than for himself, and placed the goods in places where Marge and the kids would “find” the treasure.

Lesson here? ‘Tis better to share your wealth with others. Don’t get taken advantage of — and let yourself enjoy a Duff beer! — but don’t get so caught up in money that you forget how much a contest entry, or a new blender, could benefit the people you love.

Lesson #3: You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot to Have Fun — A Donut and A Hammock Will Do

Homer is the ultimate fun-lovin’ guy, but he’s not dropping major dollars to have fun. You never see him dash off to Vegas for a weekend, or regularly dine at fancy restaurants. He enjoys the simple things: a donut, some cheap beer, laying in a hammock on a sunny day. He enjoys life as much as the next guy — and saves his hard-earned (okay, soft-earned) cash.

This is a Guest Post from Paula at AffordAnything.org — the blog that teaches you to live richly + savor life. If you really loved it, won’t you please Tweet it or Like it on Facebook?

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