There are a handful of television shows that have the ability to bring us all together to laugh and cry, celebrate love, and friendship, and just life in general. I’d argue that The Office is one of those shows that has the unique ability to both pull on our heartstrings and bring to life even the most minute office-related humor by showcasing how flawed humans from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, interests, and passions, come together and form a work family.
During the nine seasons that The Office aired, we were given some of the most hilarious characters and iconic moments, like the time Dunder Mifflin paper company’s fearless leader Michael Scott organized a choreographed routine down the aisle at his employees’ wedding or the time that Assistant to the Assistant Regional Manager Dwight K. Schrute started the office on fire to test the team’s emergency preparedness.
But upon further review, The Office is a great example when it comes to money personalities. Every character on the show has a different money personality and as the show progresses, we see how that character ended up working at The Office and how the decisions they make throughout the show are related to their specific money personality.
For example, long-time Dunder Mifflin sales associate Stanley Hudson hates his job. The only time we ever hear Stanley upbeat and positive is when it’s 5 pm and he’s done for the day when he’s at happy hour, or if it’s pretzel day, the one day each year where the company gifted its employees’ free soft-baked pretzels. As Stanley tells the camera: “I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small, drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive, and then I go to work, to a job for which I get paid too little, but on pretzel day? Well, I like pretzel day…”
While Stanley clearly hates his job, his boss, and possibly most if not all of his coworkers, he shows up for work every day because it’s very clear he needs the money. Even after Stanley has a heart attack from work stress, he has to go back to the office, where he risks suffering a second heart attack if he can’t figure out a way to either keep his distance from his boss or find Michael Scott less triggering.
So in the spirit of fun, we created an Office-themed guide to help you discover what your favorite Office character says about your relationship with money! Don’t forget to share your results with us in the comments below.
What Your Favorite Office Character Says About Your Relationship with Money
You have a heart of gold, but you don’t necessarily have the financial ability to spend money the way you do. Instead of spending three months of your salary on an engagement ring, you spent three years’ worth of your salary. You also promised an entire class of “tots” that you would pay for them to go to college one day but waited until they’re 18 and accepted into their first choice higher education institutions to tell them that there is no money after all.
In other words, you’re always overcommitting yourself financially. You live with your head in the clouds, ignoring the financial quicksand you’ve walked into. This is why you find yourself declaring bankruptcy in the middle of your office and why your charitable contributions are increasingly dwindling; the cost of the big check your donation is written on is more important to you than making a larger anonymous donation.
I mean, would anyone even know about all the great work you’re doing to eradicate health conditions that already have known cures like rabies without the giant check?!
Despite your struggle to keep money in your accounts, you’re always dressed quite well, you’re beyond proud of your car, and you always seem to have just enough to host a theme party or host an award show to boost office morale. When obstacles come your way, like not being able to afford your mortgage or losing your dream job, you never stop hustling, moving, or earning. Your success is inevitable because, in your mind, you are the world’s best money boss.
In your honest opinion, you’re more than great with money – you are a money maven! Handling money comes easily to you. So easily in fact that you may even work in finance professionally, maybe even in accounting?
The thing is though, your coworkers are really concerned with your budgeting skills and your love of gambling. Your numbers are frequently double-checked by management and you may have even had a conversation about how “keleven” is not a real number.
At home, your finances are equally messy. You have one suit jacket and one pair of shoes that are so rancid it’s surprising you haven’t heard more complaints at the office. In other words, like your shoes, your financial situation really stinks. Consider humbling yourself enough to ask for financial help from a nonprofit credit counseling service to get back on track. Or at least consider looking for other ways to save money temporarily. For example, instead of going out for lunch, you could make a large pot of chili and bring it to the office.
Yes, you are a college graduate. Yes, you have a job that you’re good at and earning money from, but let’s be real, you’re hoping to fall in love with someone from the office so you can be a trophy spouse or stay-at-home parent. If we’re being honest, your retirement plan is 100 percent dependent on marrying someone with money. Otherwise, if you had to start saving for your own retirement, well, you’re not exactly sure how you would be able to afford your glam team or the latest TikTok fashion trends and still put money away.
You love to spend money, you’re just not exactly thrilled to work so hard for it. In your mind, you are as valuable as a diamond and you expect to be treated like the luxury item you are. This is why you don’t have any problems saying yes to dinner dates even if you’re not attracted to your date – the free food is a win in your eyes. Maybe you often convince your dates to let you buy a second entree and a solo dessert to go?
Although your savings plan is to marry wealthy, you may find yourself attracted to a partner who is a high earner, big spender, leaving you with less money after all than if you would have kept working and achieved your own money goals. Lifestyle creep could end up putting you in a tough financial spot down the road if it hasn’t already. Try to limit the number of designer-brand items you MUST have and consider downsizing at least temporarily.
You know down to the penny how much money is in your savings, checking, retirement, and any and all investment accounts. You love to check in with your budget so much so that you find yourself reviewing your accounts multiple times each day.
If you are in a romantic relationship, you may have asked your partner to sign a legally binding contract like a prenuptial agreement, possibly even a postnuptial agreement, so that you know exactly what is expected from each of you money-wise. You keep your relationship a secret, dinner is usually just going through the drive-thru, and you keep your own living space.
If there was anything you were going to splurge on it would never be for you, but you would be willing to spend money on your little ones, like fur children in a heartbeat. Your little ones are your entire world and this is why you built up that emergency savings instead of buying yourself a new turtleneck sweater for the summer. It’s all for them.
At some point in life, you may consider entering into a relationship with someone because they feel financially stable and comfortable to you, but do you really want more of the same, safe, beige life? Is it possible your financial challenge is to find someone who helps you discover what you’re passionate about in life so that you have something to do other than obsess over the interest you’ve earned since 10 AM in your high yield savings account?
Dwight K. Schrute
You grew up living off of the land your family has owned for generations. You learned how to farm and grow your own produce at an early age and you still rely on several of those skills to keep your expenses low, especially your grocery budget. In a way, the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement interests you because it sounds like a survival challenge. The thing is, you believe retirement is for the lazy – so you’ll never retire, let alone retire early.
Although you have a 9-5 job, you earn a lot more money than that thanks to your several side hustles and passive income streams. From the bed and breakfast, selling beets, and owning commercial buildings – even the one where your office is located – money is always flowing into your bank account.
Despite having multiple sources of income, you continue to live a modest lifestyle and avoid debt at all costs. You are truly financially savvy. Is this why you’re always feeling so confident?
You graduated college, sent out a few job applications, and accepted the first job you were offered. Now 10+ years later, you’re still at the same job you promised yourself you were only going to stay at for six months after graduation – max. Although you’re comfortable with where you’re at in life, the truth is, you want more, you’re just not sure you want to work 80-hour workweeks to get ahead financially.
Currently, the most exciting thing at your job is finding new ways to prank your coworkers. Yet despite your reputation for being a prankster, you’re one of the top performers at work and the corporate office has big plans for your career. Do I smell a promotion in your near future? Although you may be offered bigger paychecks, from bigger companies, with bigger opportunities, the truth is you’re comfortable with where your finances are right now and you’d rather enjoy your life than become the richest person in the world.
Your “go with the flow” attitude may have been useful when you were single, but consider discussing your money goals with your partner to avoid financial infidelity or other financial disappointments. Your heart may be in the right place when you say, buy a house for you and your partner without discussing it with your spouse first, but this kind of financial decision-making could hurt your relationship and finances in the long run.
Pam (Beesly) Halpert
You’re blinded by rose-colored glasses. Your “career” started as a temporary job where your plan was to earn just enough money to fund both art school and your wedding. But you are a hopeless romantic, a fiercely loyal friend, so when your boss, who you know loves your company, quits his job because of a decision made by the corporate office? Well, you believe it’s in your best interest to quit and follow your boss too. After all, he’s been making sure you’ve been paid for years so why would anything change now? In other words, you have zero financial boundaries and will blindly follow anyone who makes you feel loved and liked. Is that why you were in that relationship that was going nowhere for so long?
Rip that band-aid off and start living your life for yourself. If that means calling off an engagement, do it. If that means going back to art school 20 years later than you planned? Do it. If that means telling your coworker bestie that you’re into them, do it. Everyone loves an office wedding after all!
Just be careful to not blindly agree to all financial decisions your partner makes, especially if there’s something that makes you uncomfortable. For example, if he buys his parents’ house “for us” and you actually like it, feel free to celebrate this sweet gesture. But if you’re upset that you’re now responsible for a mortgage on a home without your spouse talking to you first? Well, now would be the time to speak up and share what you will and will not tolerate money-wise.
You went to an Ivy-league school, possibly Cornell, and believed that future employers were going to be impressed by your resume solely based on your education. But the thing is, no one seems to be impressed at all; it’s like everyone has a degree and that a person’s value is based on so much more than a college diploma. So here you are, stuck paying off thousands of dollars worth of student loans to your fancy ivy-league school.
Oh, and your parents can’t help you pay off your student loans because it turns out that their attempt to Keep Up with the Kardashians left them broke. So broke, they declared bankruptcy.
Although your current job is not the most exciting work you’ve ever done – the truth is you’d rather be touring with your acapella quartet – you’re always looking for advancement opportunities now that your financial future is solely dependent on you and your success. There is no trust fund to fall back on. No parents to bail you out this time.
To try and make your student debt load not feel so suffocating, you may act like you’re in college – offering to take your boss out for shots, beers, and burgers in order to get ahead faster, but just relax. Be yourself. Who knows, you may just end up getting promoted to manager in the end after all.
Which character’s money personality do you relate to most? Which character’s money story do you relate to the least? Share with us in the comments below!