What A Repo Men Reality Show Teaches You About Finances

Reality TV isn’t particularly known for its educational properties, but you can find some useful lessons if you look hard enough. For instance, a show about tow truck operators who repossess vehicles can teach a personal finance blogger how to handle her money.

A Daily Money Shot post describes what the truTV show Lizard Lick Towing taught the writer about personal finances. While we aren’t familiar with the program, it’s apparently had a significant impact on at least one blogger. Here are lessons she took away:

* Always have plans A through Z at the ready. Repo men contend with adversity in ever-changing forms, and it helps to treat money the same way. Financial mishaps can leap out at you from any angle, so it helps to be able to think on your feet and not only develop a financial plan, but back-up plans to adjust when things don’t develop out as you expected.

* Get your numbers right. Just as the guys in the show need the proper VINs and addresses to make sure they’re repossessing the right vehicles, you need to make sure you nail the details when considering interest rates, balances, due dates and account numbers. One incorrect digit can unravel your work.

* Enlist backup. The show’s subjects pair up when completing a job in order to fortify their operation. It also helps to have a partner to help you out with finances, giving you someone to bounce ideas and decisions off of. Also, you should consider an emergency fund to be a backup that comes to your rescue in dire circumstances.

Lizard Lick Towing: Repo Men, Financial Educators [Daily Money Shot]

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  1. penuspenuspenus says:

    Ya… uhh… hmm.

  2. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I learned a lot from reality TV. Especially from Snooki… mmmmmm….

  3. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Everything I ever learned, I learned from Canada’s Worst Driver/Handyman.

    Educational Reality TV at its finest.

  4. benbell says:

    Umm how about… those shows are staged.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Wait you mean REALITY shows aren’t *gasp* real?

      • rmorin says:

        No, these repo ones on Tru TV are particularly bad. While a show like the Bachelor will do things to lead people to do something/create drama/edit selectively the contestants still actually have a free will to make choices even if what we see is edited to make certain story lines compelling.

        The repo-ones on Tru TV are legitimately done by paid actors as “reenactments” of actual events, but presented in a way that makes the casual observer believe these are genuinely occurring to the individuals in the show.

        • EarthAngel says:

          Ad the acting is particularly bad.

          • Ablinkin says:

            Is this the show with the chubby (ok fat) bleached blonde with drawn on eyebrows?

            • bethshanin says:

              I was pissed when I first saw that show because I was looking forward to some good stories they show in the promos. I felt like a YouTube commenter screaming FAKE!! at my TV until I found the remote and changed channels.

            • wen says:

              Yes. And she’s alllllll real

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          But the show is staged but based very accurately on the tru life of a repo man, is that so bad?

        • TerpBE says:

          Wait…you’re telling me that the guy who spontaneously broke into a Michael Jackson dance as his car was being repossessed (while conveniently being dressed as Michael Jackson) wasn’t real?!?!?!

  5. LogNoggin says:

    What the hell has happened to this site?

    BTW, Lizard Lick Towing is about as from from reality as you can get.

  6. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Uh. No. All the show shows you is how to be an ass when the repo man comes. Like attacking them with bug spray.

  7. dwrichards says:

    Yes, by all means learn from a scripted show. They even use the same locations for filming as the “Jackass” movies! From the Tru TV FAQ
    “Q: Is truTV a reality network?
    A: No. Our focus is on series that feature real-life situations. That is why we’re using the theme ‘Not Reality. Actuality.’ for the network. The goal is to let people know that truTV programming is different from typical reality shows, which often involve contests or other highly staged events.”

  8. Lackwit says:

    You could probably edify yourself in a similar fashion by watching your remnants swirl around the bowl.

  9. Crymansqua says:

    You could just not park somewhere you’ll get towed.

    Works well for me.

    • caj111 says:

      This show is about getting repossessed…not parking in a no-parking zone. So, the advice should be, make your monthly car payment on time and you won’t get towed.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      These are repo-men, not tow trucks. They go out and find your car, and as soon as it’s in a place they can legally enter, they take it. So, they could not go into your property or garage to obtain your car, but they could tow it from your curb.

      I’ve heard some interesting stories on legit repo-men (i.e. not this show) including a time they had to repo a private plane. They had to convince a hanger owner to allow them inside the hanger to finally take it.

  10. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Hmmm…could have sworn the financial lesson was “don’t buy a car you can’t afford or reality TV guys will come to your house and tow it away while you shout obscenities at them”.

  11. Galium says:

    Great show. This week we pick up a VW next week a Volvo, excitement???? Nothing personal but I cannot see how desperate anyone can be to watch any reality program. “Right now we are going to pick up a Ford, shhh did you see that, someone turned a light on be careful, don’t want an angry deadbeat coming out of the house. Wait what‚Äôs that sound did you feel that brush by us, don‚Äôt want any angry deadbeat spirits coming out of the walls?‚Äù sorry wrong program, but the script is just about the same. I cannot wait until they start having reality home repo. At least then we can keep a better eye on B of A. What other reality programs would anyone like to see?

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    This is like comparing an apple to a human brain because they’re both kind of round.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      No no it’s more like a walnut: wrinkly, and comes in a hard shell.

  13. Straspey says:

    I’m always amused by those Reality-Repo shows because, in many cases, the so-called “information” which they provide is useless – if not downright misleading.

    Here, in NY City, a repossession of a vehicle requires a court order, and then the repo agent must be accompanied by law-enforcement – usually someone from the Sheriff’s office (Yes – NY City has a Sheriff’s Office) – so those popular “surprise repos” never happen here.

    The repo truck – accompanied by a Sheriff’s vehicle – locates the parked car – hooks it up, and drives away. Most of the time the owner of the vehicle is not present and there is no confrontation – and the Sheriff is there just in case.

    And – speaking of confrontations -

    It’s good to remember that those repo shows are not public-service announcements. They are commercial production which sell advertising and are seeking the highest possible ratings and viewers – which is why, you will notice, they always show the repos with confrontations and violence.

    They never show the ones where the owner says, “Yeah – my bad. OK – here are the keys. Have a nice day guys.”

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not all states are like that – in fact many are not.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      In many states, you can not have a confrontation before/during a repo. Once the vehicle is hooked up, however, you can if they are refusing to let you leave.

  14. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    Things I learned from a TV Repo show:
    -Don’t leave your car outside if you are behind on payments.
    -Keep a baseball bat by the front door for when the repo men come knockin’.
    -Rehearse your speech about why it is someone else’s fault.
    -Rig your car with explosives so you can destroy it right before they hook it up and drag it away. This assures you will have a larger debt than you would have had if you would have just let them take it.
    -Always leave a large amount of valuables in you car, so you can accuse the repo men of stealing it.

  15. ovalseven says:

    If women are taking financial advice from Ron Shirley, then men should be allowed to take relationship advice from Tila Tequila.

  16. evilpete says:

    Slow day for articles huh?

  17. Renaldow says:

    Wow. WTF Consumerist? Popkin leaves and your IQ drops to 80 points? I’m sorry i read that, I really am. One more article of this caliber, and you are off the bookmarks list for good.

  18. gedster314 says:

    Come on guys, be a little forgiving. It’s like the day after Thanksgiving for online sites, CES just finished up this weekend. Just because Consumerist doesn’t provide CES coverage, it doesn’t mean their sources don’t.

    Never heard of this show before this weekend. I got 5 minutes of it trying out the TimeWarner app on the iPad. Loved the show so much that I deleted the app and thought about canceling my TW subscription. Amazing the crap that gets made into reality shows.

    And whats wrong with the Canadian Mr Fix it Right, Holmes on Homes? The show practically scares you into being a renter for life. I got hooked for a season till I started getting cold sweats when ever I had to call a tradesman to do repairs.

  19. Battlehork says:

    Everything I know about Repo Men, I learned from Barry Darsow.

  20. foofie says:

    Nothing about not financing your organs? I am disappoint.

  21. dush says:

    Repo guys actually check the VIN and address?

  22. mcgyver210 says:

    Sorry but all I think Repo-thieves are is SCUM. Had one try to climb my fence claiming he had the right to. Since I didn’t owe anyone for a vehicle I knew he had no right to be on my property at all much less climbing my fence.

    I almost shot this fool as an intruder & all he could say was he wasn’t scared of a gun