7 Money Lessons To Learn From Schitt’s Creek

Canadian sitcom darling Schitt’s Creek has touched the hearts and homes of thousands as it follows the Rose family’s adventures in being broke. After their fall from great wealth, the Rose family has to learn a new way of life. Along the way, there are plenty of valuable money lessons you can apply to your own Schitty life.

1. Be aware of your finances, even if you hire somebody 

We learn pretty early on in the show (episode one, in fact) that not being familiar with your finances can have dire consequences. Johnny Rose — the male head of the family — left all of his personal finance management to the family business manager, Eli.

 The result — he had no clue that Eli had been embezzling money from the Rose Video company instead of paying the taxes. The government consequently repossessed all of the Rose assets and left them with nothing except the town of Schitt’s Creek. Even if you hire out some of your money management, it’s important to keep close tabs on your finances.

2. Save for an emergency fund

After assets and income were confiscated from the Rose family, they didn’t have anything set aside. They may have landed in a much better place if they had set some of their income aside in a separate savings account (bonus points if it has a high APR.)

[ Read: The Best Savings Accounts

Having an emergency fund, especially in a year like 2020, is an essential savvy skill. A good rule of thumb is to save three to six months of expenses.

3. A “write off” doesn’t mean it’s free 

In season two, David gets a job at a boutique (Blouse Barn) and proceeds to spend copious amounts of money on “business expenses” that he believes is free. He explains away his frivolous new massage chair and bedding by saying “it’s a write off,” which David defines as “when you buy something for your business, and the government pays you back.” 

While you can deduct business expenses when it comes time to do taxes, that does not mean you’re reimbursed for the items by the government. A business expense write off reduces your taxable income. There’s a good chance that reduction will lower your tax bill, but not at a dollar for a dollar amount. 

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    4. Education is an investment

    In order to champion her own success, we see Alexis invest her time and money in completing her high school education and pursuing a college degree. Alexis puts her hard-earned money towards an associate’s degree to further her professional career and support herself financially.

    Investing in your education can help grow the amount of income you can earn. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average an associate’s degree can increase your weekly earnings by nearly $100. If you’re looking for ways to earn more money or grow in your career, a college degree is often worth that investment.

    5. Money doesn’t make you happy

    The Rose family had every material desire fulfilled and endless money to spend for most of their lives. And when they lost it all, they were happier. Despite opportunities to leave presented to varying members of the family, they choose to stay with their family in Schitt’s Creek. They grow closer together, grow as people and develop deeper relationships.

    It’s important to seek financial stability and building wealth is nothing to scoff at, but at the end of the day, you’ll need more than just an American Express card to make you happy.

    6. Invest in yourself

    Each member of the Rose family bets on themselves in their endeavors. Alexis starts her own PR firm and creates opportunities to demonstrate her talent, like Singles Week. David opens a unique store — completely confident in his taste and ability to cater to fine goods in a small town. Moira won a spot on the city council, with full faith in her ability to govern.

    [ From Trent: How to Make Money From Your Hobbies

    Johnny is a serial entrepreneur, often looking for ways to take advantage of his business expertise eventually helping reinvent the motel they live in. We can learn from the Rose family that believing in your passions and abilities can lead to a successful life. 

    7. Diversify your investments — if all else fails, buy a town

    Sourcing your income and storing money in multiple places is a wise way to build wealth and secure your finances. Consider investing in stocks, save for retirement with a 401k account and invest in assets like real estate. Basically — don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If something happens to one segment of your money, you have other segments that are stable. 

    We see this method save the Rose family when their purchase of a town ends up being the only asset the government leaves them to own. If you’re looking for a similarly extravagant gift this holiday season, there are plenty of towns for sale in real life. Tiller, Oregon has a $3.85 million price tag while Hell, Michigan has a much more modest cost of $900,000. If you’ve got a tighter budget, you can purchase Garryowen, Montana for $250,000

    We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Image Credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images

    Danika Miller

    Personal Finance Reporter

    Danika Miller is a personal finance reporter at The Simple Dollar who specializes in banking, savings, budgeting, home insurance, and auto insurance. Her reporting has also been featured at CreditCards.com, Reviews.com, and elsewhere.