Personal Finance Lessons From “Shameless” TV’s Most Irresponsible Family

cast of TV show "Shameless"

If you have seen Shameless I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth you would take any sort of advice from the show, BUT this is more of advice of what they should have done. For those who don’t know, Shameless is a show about the Gallagher’s, a low-income family of six children and their hopeless father, Frank. Pretty much every episode ends up in situation where they need money that they don’t have or finding ways to rectify whatever Frank has done. (Don’t let this description fool you, the show is hilarious). While this show is significantly more over the top than events that happen in most families day-to-day lives, there are some tips that can you help you out financially.

Squirrel fund

First and foremost, the squirrel fund. A squirrel fund is basically creating a stock hold of cash with the purpose of using the money for later in the year. All of the family members contribute to the “squirrel” fund by working extra throughout the summer months in preparation for the winter months when most children are in school and unable to contribute and expenses are higher. This is a fantastic idea. Seasonal positions that are only available certain times of the year are a great way to add additional funds to your savings. Unlike the Gallagher family, put your money in a bank account that accrues interest instead of a jar in the kitchen cabinet.

Only invest in success

Fiona (eldest daughter and matriarch of the family) foolishly invests some of her hard earned cash into a nightclub against her better judgment. While the club was a success, Fiona receives no part in the benefits. Investing can be daunting even for those with experience, so it’s best to seek advice from professionals before putting your money at risk.

Plan for the future

Planning for those inevitable “life” moments can help you stay out of a position where you have limited options for money. The Gallagher’s, and a lot of lower income families, are so focused on getting through the present, that they aren’t anticipating the future. Building up a savings account can seem impossible when you’re making every last penny count, but your future self with thank you for it. Start small by only adding $5 – $10 with every paycheck to an interest building savings account. If you don’t trust yourself, limit access so you can only use this for emergencies. Slowly but surely, you will build up a backup plan for yourself without relying on credit cards.

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