The series seems especially silent on the topic of money and purchasing. Does magic simply allow Brakebills students produce products that otherwise they'd have to purchase in the muggle economy? Or do they typically have some source of income with which to purchase things outside of Brakebills?

There are some examples in the series of magicians acquiring money. Julia once robbed an ATM using magic. Sheila found a box of money via quaeromancy (but she wasn't a Brakebills student.) Also, there was the episode where a gr oup of Brakebills students robbed a bank to acquire gold. But those seem like special cases, not "I need a few bucks to buy a cinnamon churro" money.

Meanwhile, students seem to consume quite a bit of alcohol and are occasionally shown eating food that wasn't mentioned to have been acquired via any magical means.

Basically, do Brakebills students participate in the muggle economy, and if so, how do they acquire money with which to make purchases?

  • Are you referring to the show, the books, or both together? They handle things a little differently. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


My thoughts are based on both the book and tv show:

Although it seems like there is definitely a magicians economy (ie in the most recent season it shows them paying rent in magical items) I do think that they somehow have to participate in the muggle economy. Like you mentioned, they clearly buy things in the muggle world and we know some of the magician families are super wealthy and support Brakebills. However I think you are right in that it is unclear exactly how they make money. If it’s so easy to steal money from an ATM machine, then why wouldn’t all magicians just be super wealthy? I guess there are probably magical regulatory forces (like the hired security magicians working at the bank). It seems like there are a bunch of other jobs where magicians work in muggle businesses, but sometimes for reasons only known to other magicians. These people probably get paid by the places they are employed.

But aside from that, seeing as many of the students don’t have magician parents, I am assuming their parents would be supporting them while they are in school.

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