This post was written by Molly Barnes over at Digital Nomad Life. Molly left her desk job in 2018 to travel the world. Her and her partner now life a full time digital nomad out of their trailer traveling the US.
In the 2020 award-winning TV comedy Schitt’s Creek, the wealthy Rose family experiences life anew after losing their fortune. And though it might not seem likely, the show provides plenty of broad, but important financial knowledge.
Luckily, you can leave the fortune-losing to the actors. Instead, it’s time for you to focus on recovery and economic growth! Through hilarious scenes and often-poignant meanings, the show highlights how to improve your financial habits.
Here’s how Schitt’s Creek teaches us to reinvent ourselves and recover from past mistakes.
Find a Budget That Works for You
Gaining control of your finances starts with understanding them. The Rose family never believed that their fortune would disappear, and there was little spending tracking being done.
Don’t be like the Roses: you must know where your money is going. A budget is thus a great way to study, and take hold of, your finances.
There are several methods of budgeting that work for many. Most common budgeting methods involve splitting your monthly finances into different major categories.
For example, 50% of your monthly income would go to needs. Another 30% would go to savings. The final 20% would be used for wanted items, including subscriptions or luxury products.
A budget can also help you see where you can eliminate unnecessary spending. It imposes strict guidelines and helps you stop spending money. Once you have spent your 20% on wants, then you’re done.
As long as you follow your budget, you can resist the temptation of emotional spending. A budget can also help you stop:
- Eating out and/or using delivery services
- Impulse shopping and emotional buying
- Credit card spending (debts are more important than wants in any budget)
You can adjust any budget to fit your means. For example, you can personalize it to meet your financial stipulations.
The key is to stick with it and learn to change your spending habits. Learn to focus on repaying debt or increasing your savings. This will help you increase your financial well-being.
Reevaluate Your Spending and Saving
The Roses quickly learned that catastrophe can strike unexpectedly. And when left with next to nothing, they had to adapt to survive. Like creating a budget, evaluating where your money is going is essential for financial wellness.
Learn how to live frugally. You don’t have to turn to the cheapest options, but you should know how to look for deals on quality products. Also, it always pays to know how to find discounts.
Being smart with your money starts with proper research. This includes:
- Researching the quality of products, as you often get what you pay for.
- Understanding what you need vs. what you want.
- Learning to track items over time for their best prices.
- Price hunting between models, makes, and designs.
In short, learn what you’re spending your money on. You’ve worked hard for it, so you should get the most out of your earnings. Besides, that research translates into money saved and used elsewhere.
Once you’ve improved your spending, you can reinvest the extra cash into savings. When it comes to maximizing your savings, start by deciding what is important to you.
Some people love cooking, so they might commit more money to their food budget, and take public transportation to save on car expenses. Someone else might love traveling, so they eat simple meals and work from home to take dream vacations.
Whatever you decide, make sure it empowers your life. By understanding how to spend and save properly, you can take control of your finances and your life.
Never Neglect Your Credit
In a memorable episode of Schitt’s Creek, eldest son David was relieved that he could buy his Parisian eye cream with his only still-working credit card. Of course, he had no idea about the concept of paying back the debt. David committed a fatal basic error as a credit holder: he forgot to pay it off.
Credit allows for many important financial decisions. Good credit can be the difference in approval for a mortgage loan. Credit can also lower monthly car payments.
Likewise, bad credit will reduce or even eliminate opportunities. Plus, bad credit is expensive, as interest rates and extra fees will add up.
If you need to build (or rebuild) your credit, consider a secured credit card. These will report to the credit bureaus to build your credit like a standard credit card. Unlike a standard card, however, the limit is based on your initial deposit. Because of this, you have greater control over your spending and monthly payments.
As with any kind of credit, there are guidelines to follow to ensure best use. For example:
- Make all payments on time. This is the most important aspect of credit.
- Keep your spending low. Aim to keep your credit utilization below 30%.
- Look for cards with low or no fees. Many secured cards now have mobile app support.
Building and repairing credit can take time. With some knowledge and planning, though, you can use a secured card to start improving your situation.
Even though Schitt’s Creek was fiction, its lessons are anything but. We may not all have fortunes to lose, but we can still learn and grow from the Rose family’s mistakes.
In sum, stay on top of your finances with budget creation. Learn how you spend, trim the excess, and capitalize on increased savings. In the meantime, make sure you’re building your credit.
When it’s time for a big purchase like a car or house, you’ll need a sound credit score for the best rates. It’s okay to take inspiration from fiction. Let it lead you to a greener financial future.