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The Tricky Spending Balance The American Pickers Have To Keep In Mind When On The Road

If you've seen any episode of "American Pickers," you have a pretty good idea of what it's all about. Mike Wolfe and someone serving as his right-hand man will travel the country looking for interesting finds. This can be anything from an old, beat-up car to a vintage sign. Basically, it's anything Wolfe thinks he can make money on after he restores it and turns it around to sell. It sounds simple enough, but there's a genuine art to picking. 

For starters, Wolfe typically has to scrounge around a bunch of junk to find something worth making an offer on. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but Wolfe has no qualms about getting dirty if it means scoring big. But it's important to remember that Wolfe can be out on the road for a long time before making a pit stop back at his store, Antique Archaeology. As such, he needs to be precise with how much he buys because that van can fill up quickly. 

Mike Wolfe has to be mindful of how much he's spending

Since "American Pickers" is a TV show, it's natural to assume some liberties are taken with reality. While certain things definitely get edited out for time, there are still real-world constraints Mike Wolfe and the team have to work around. Notably, they have to be careful about how much they spend at each stop, as Danielle Colby told Famous Interview, "You have to understand those guys are grassroots guys. They don't have a ton of money. When I send them out, I send them out to several locations. So, if you blow all of it in one place, then they have nothing for the rest of the trip."

It's something many viewers probably don't think about, but it's unlikely Wolfe is ready to Zelle anyone at any time. These transactions tend to be through cash, so Wolfe has a limited supply he can get through each round. And he needs to make sure there's enough for each stop because he never knows what could be around the corner. Colby went on to say, "You never know when you're gonna find a great, amazing 1912 Harley. You're gonna come across something that's the ship and then you've spent all your money. They're pretty savvy in that regard too."

The show's been going on for well over 20 seasons, so it's safe to say Wolfe has probably figured out a good financial system at this point.