The 7 Things I Learned About Money While Watching Judge Judy (Part 1)

judge-jI don’t watch much television, but I cannot miss my girl, Judge Judy. She’s brash, sassy and wise – and I love how she puts people in their place with some choice words.

After watching Judge Judy for…oh, I don’t know…several years, I’ve come to understand, through her rulings, how she would manage money.

Here are the first 3 of 7 things I’ve learned about money while watching Judge Judy. I’ll share the remaining 4 in a follow-up post.

#1 – Don’t lend money to friends or family members

Countless people come into the courtroom and try to sue family members or friends for money that the former lent to the latter. No matter how Judge Judy rules, money always ruins the friendship.

Judge Judy would say from time to time “I don’t know why anyone would lend money. If a bank won’t give your friend or family member money, why should you?”

MONEY TIP: Never borrow money to lend money. Only lend what you can afford to give with the expectation that it will never be returned.

#2 – Don’t combine your financial resources as a married couple if you’re not married

Often, a jilted person will sue their ex-lover for the return of a sofa, dining room table, laptop and other household item that was purchased when the two were living together as an unmarried couple.

Judge Judy is very clear in these cases:

“The courts aren’t here to try to determine who gets the washing machine. If you wanted your stuff dived in half, you should’ve gotten married.”

MONEY TIP: Your best bet to wait until there’s a ring on it (like, wedding ring) before you move in with the person you’re dating. It just makes things simpler.

#3 – Always have a written agreement

I’ve worked with a client for 5-years on only a handshake. We’ve never had any problems. Unfortunately, not all my clients operate this way. I’ve worked with some very forgetful clients who asked for things that they could swear was promised in the agreement. We’d both consult the agreement only to see that what the client was asking for was an exclusion. I thanked God that there was an agreement in place to help us sort through the issues.

If there’s a disagreement between parties in her courtroom, the first thing Judge Judy will ask for is the contract or written agreement. If one is produced, that’s what Judge Judy will use to ajudicate the case.

MONEY TIP: Always write down what you’ve agreed to. Money is no excuse. You can hire a lawyer or do a search online for law services that offer contract writing for a small fee.

Click here to read the remaining 4 tips. What is reaction to the first 3 things I’ve learned about money from Judge Judy?