I kind of feel that Henry telling Betty that he didn't want her taking money from Don, that he would take care of her AND the children was a ridiculous expedient to cut down on Don's expenses and have him continue as a rich man even as the new agency struggled.
On top of that, she has her own money from her father's estate. Her brother tried to buy her out of the house (for what her Dad paid in the 1930s, ha) but she clearly insisted on selling and splitting the profit. That isn't enough to live on, alone, but probably is a nice little egg for her.
I agree that it is an example of Don mostly avoiding consequences of his actions. Yes, he had to get a divorce. A divorce from someone he didn't want to divorce but whom he had always cheated on both physically and emotionally. And it is the emotional stuff that really put the distance in his marriage. So, I don't think in the long run he sees that divorce as bad.
I think Don was ok with spending money when he saw the PR benefit for him. Nice clothes for Betty so she looked good on his arm, etc. betty's "at home" clothes were nothing special. The house was not decorated lavishly and he didn't see the usefulness of air conditioning. He was happy to have indoor plumbing!
I think, really, Don was always pennywise and pound foolish. With his constant "I'm not Mr. Edison" comments to Sally. But when he got his big bonus from Bert he was going to spend it all on a trip to Paris with Midge. We would see him spend in the city. As Betty said, he didn't really seem to understand how to have money.
I also think that now Don isn't actually actively squirling money away for when his Dick Whitman deception is uncovered. At least, less so. I think he feels more comfortable in his lies now than he once did. He keeps telling people and the world keeps not ending.
He may have gotten a windfall but if he is supposed to be, say, paying for Sally and Bobby's (private) schooling, he paid out a ton of money for Pete's share of the agency when the partners needed to pitch in, and as he himself has said the clientele the agency has been taking on is kind of small change. Yet we're never meant to question his financial health. I do. He's only forty. He hasn't been partner long enough to have set-for-life money or to have no impact on lifestyle during the more struggling times of his business.
Yeah, I think about this but I think his being quite wealthy makes sense. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (what he got from the SC buy out) is a lot of money at that time. That is something like $3.4 million today. And he was making huge numbers (for the time) at SC prior and after the buy out. He also sold their old house. Considering what the housing market was like he probably sold it at a profit. I am sure he still does pay some child support (regardless of Henry's wishes) but Henry still pays for most of the day to day upkeep of his children other than school (food and such). He had to put $150k into SCDP. Other than that SCDP hasn't been making them money but it hasn't really lost money either. It has been steady since the loss of Lucky Strike so he hasn't had to put more money into that. So even if he only had the 500k buy out of SC he would still be doing pretty well. But that isn't all he has because he did so very well prior to getting that buy out and had good bonuses (not to mention the money from the house). And Don didn't spend too lavishly prior to meeting Megan. I think the idea of him still being quite wealthy makes a lot of sense. That apartment is expensive but not 350 thousand dollars in 1966 money expensive.
Plus, I am sure Megan buys all of her own clothes. She worked up until very recently and I doubt she contributes much to the household so her money was to spend as she wished.
On top of all of that, this is all assuming his money is just sitting in a bank account somewhere. But we know from his talk with his accountant and from Don saying that his accountant has done a lot of good work for him that he actually has most of his money invested. So he is probably growing his money not letting it sit stagnant.
Edited by Cherith, Jun 10, 2012 @ 1:48 PM.