Plot hole: In Series 1, Episode 7, "The Dumpling Paradox, " Sheldon makes an oblique reference to his financial status: "Frankly, if I could afford the rent, I'd ask you [Leonard] to leave, " meaning he cannot pay the rent on his two bedroom apartment by himself - not that he doesn't want to, he can't. However, in "The Execlsior Acquisition, " we find that he does not even cash his pay cheques. He doesn't even deposit them into a bank account - he leaves them in a drawer in his desk. In Series 2 Episode 14 "The Financial Permeability", he lends Penny a large amount of money from a huge bankroll he just happens to have lying about - again, without cashing his pay cheques! He is obviously independently wealthy. Either he doesn't have enough money to afford the rent or he has enough to work without being paid while practically giving large amounts of cash away. Can't be both.