Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I would earn a little money with no extra cost to you. The opinions expressed are my own. Read my disclaimer to learn more.
“My car is worth less than your pants”. – Stevie Budd
Schitt’s Creek is full of unbelievable one-liners.
“Ew, David!” pretty much tops the list.
But it’s also full of great money lessons and a beautiful story about the Rose family recovering from financial mistakes.
In the award-winning show Schitt’s Creek, the insanely-rich Rose family sees their fortune wiped out. They’re evicted, all their lavish possessions are taken right in front of their eyes, and they’re stuck in an utterly hopeless position.
To survive, they rely on their final asset, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere call Schitt’s Creek where they’re forced to live in a dumpy motel.
Through determination and cooperation, however, the family rebuilds even better than before.
Not only is the show hilarious, but it also embodies the spirit that any of us need when recovering from financial mistakes.
If you’ve ever gone through tough financial experiences, let the themes from Schitt’s Creek help you learn important money lessons and overcome your own financial mistakes.
Of course I’ll give you plenty of your favorite Schitt’s Creek quotes too.
Be Aware of Your Financial Situation
The Rose family spent lavishly. They didn’t watch their finances, and as a result they didn’t realize their business manager was ruining their finances behind their backs.
And hopefully recovering from financial mistakes you’ve made aren’t that intense or dramatic.
But it’s important to recognize your financial mistakes and missteps so you can make better choices in the future.
It might not always be exciting to confront your financial situation honestly, but it’s SO IMPORTANT to assess your current situation so you can take steps forward.
Maybe you’re like David and “very uninterested in that opinion”, but trust me, there are simple ways to become more aware of your money situation.
Here are a few quick tips so you always know what’s happening with your money:
- Always keep an eye on your accounts – checking and savings
- Use banking apps like Qube Money to track your budget and manage your money
- Sign up for text and email alerts from your bank so you know when odd transactions occur
- Get in the habit of logging in every week to give your accounts a once over
The most common accounts most of us track are checking and savings accounts, but to recover from financial mistakes remember to keep track of ALL of your accounts. This includes retirement accounts, utility bills, and credit card payments.
When you know where your money is going and how much is coming in, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions.
For example, if you’re only making minimum monthly payments on your credit cards, then it’s going to take you longer to pay off the debt.
Study your finances, and understand them inside and out. It might lead to a stronger desire to be debt free. A sweet way to organize your debt and get out of debt faster is with a debt snowball spreadsheet.
You could even grab the Debt Free Playbook to set up your debt snowball spreadsheet faster with more tools to pay off your debt. It’s a short video course that makes the debt snowball method easy to set up and use.
Avoid Credit Card Debt and Build Your Credit Back Up
“I don’t skate through life, David. I walk through life, in really nice shoes.” – Alexis Rose
I’d say it’s a safe bet that Alexis bought her really nice shoes with a credit card. And she’s not the only Rose who had problems with a credit card.
A credit card is not a money-printing machine. Unfortunately nobody told that to David, so his father Johnny Rose had to break the news.
After the Rose family fortune was gone, David bought super expensive eye cream with one of his credit cards that was still miraculously working.
Johnny Rose: “Oh, you’re charging things to your credit card? How are you gonna pay for it?”
David: “I don’t think you understand, I already have it.”~Schitt’s Creek
Johnny goes on to explain how you actually need the money to pay off the credit card.
Anyone recovering from financial mistakes would likely cringe at the thought of buying expensive, non-essential items on a credit card.
Like imported eye cream. (ahem, David)
A great way to avoid more debt is to stop using your credit card irresponsibly. You need to have the money on hand to pay it off or you’ll be back to making more bad financial decisions.
Of course you could go cold turkey and stop using your credit card completely. That might be a good strategy for a little bit so you can build your budgeting muscles.
But like it or not, strong and healthy credit is important for financial success. And the best way to build credit is to use credit. Using a credit card and paying it off is a great way to build credit.
How can You Rebuild Your Credit
The good news is, there are ways to rebuild bad credit.
For example, a secured credit card can rebuild credit. The credit line is based on an initial deposit. That way, you control how much credit you use.
You can use it for common, routine items, such as groceries and fuel, and only buy what you can afford. Once you make a purchase on the card, pay it off to avoid added interest. Keep that up, and you’ll begin to see an improvement in your credit score.
Start small and build your budgeting muscles slowly over time.
Make a Budget to Recover From Financial Mistakes
Once you have a basic understanding of your financial situation, the next step is being intentional about where your money is going every month.
That means starting a budget.
And if you’re wondering, you can definitely maintain a budget on a low income.
Not knowing where your money is going makes financial recovery much more difficult. With a zero based budgeting template, you can track every dollar and therefore better determine how to spend your money. After all, a budget is just a plan for how you want to spend your money.
I absolutely love this monthly budget spreadsheet. It’s fully customizable to your financial situation. You can color code it and make it as fancy as you want.
I haven’t bedazzled anything since I was twenty-two.” – David Rose
Budgeting makes a lot of people nervous. It can be overwhelming to track all of your spending, set intentional goals, and limit spending. Using a budget might make you feel like Moira.
“I’ve been gutted. I’ve been stripped of every morsel of pleasure I’ve earned in this life.”Moira, Schitt’s Creek
BUT, a budget can be one of the most powerful tools to help when you’re recovering from financial mistakes, big and small.
How do I Start a Budget?
To help you get started, I recommend using a common budget rule. There are several budget models to use, or you can create a system for yourself. Common rules, such as the 30-30-30-10 budget rule allow you to break down your spending and savings to match your lifestyle.
Here’s a great example of the 30 30 30 10 budget at work:
- 30% goes to housing expenses
- 30% goes to financial goals
- 30% goes to all other needed expenses
- 10% goes to entertainment and other fun spending
With a zero based budget, you can ensure that your finances are working for you, and you can trim where you overspend the most. Cut the expenses that you don’t need and stop spending money on things you don’t care about.
If you want to DIY, you can make a budget from scratch in google sheets or excel with this video.
Drop the Spending and Increase the Savings
Saving money wasn’t the Rose family’s strong suit.
“I totally get that.” – Alexis Rose
But you don’t need to fall into the same trap of never saving money. Your budget is your best friend to focus your spending on your biggest financial goals.
Let me tell you how to save more money. It’s actually easier than you think.
Go to your zero based budgeting template and add a new expense category. Call this new expense “savings”.
See, when you intentionally add “savings” to your budget and treat it like an expense, you’re guaranteed to save more money. You can even create an automatic transfer every month.
There’s an entire blog post on how to save more money every month, but here are a few simple changes you can make to your budget:
- Buy generic options instead of name brands
- Plan and prep your meals to avoid waste
- Get rid of money-sucking subscriptions, especially ones you don’t use
There are plenty of other conveniences that can be cut so you can save more, at least until you’ve completed your recovery from past financial mistakes.
Remember, you can always add subscriptions and expenses back into your budget when they become a higher priority.
Most importantly, turn all of that money saved into debt payment and savings. You’ll be surprised at how much you actually have on hand to pay off debts. By using a budget and sticking to money saving strategies, you’ll see your debt start to disappear.
Master Preventative Maintenance
When you take care of your stuff, it’ll last longer. Even the Roses took care of their belongings—and their health! If they can, so can you.
Can we just talk about Moira and her wigs for a minute?
Moira’s wigs are one of the highest priorities in her life and she will go to the ends of the earth to preserve them. My guess is her wigs are hella expensive, but I’m also guessing they last longer because she takes care of them.
Make small repairs before they turn into big financial disasters. And practice routine maintenance on your home, vehicle, and other essential possessions to keep them in good shape.
Even if you have to call in experts for repairs, the cost will be minimal compared to an emergency replacement of your home’s furnace, for example.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to tracking your maintenance schedule, create maintenance checklists for all of your needs. Here are a few items to include on your checklist:
- Changing HVAC filters
- Testing smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors
- Routine car maintenance (like oil changes and tire rotations)
- Yearly health check-ups (preventative maintenance for your body)
These and other tasks will help you avoid unforeseen expenses. If you and your possessions operate in top form, they will last longer and cost less.
More Resources for Recovering from Financial Mistakes
Schitt’s Creek is a truly masterful show that’s not only funny, but full of wisdom in all areas of life.
One BIG lesson to remember is this:
Everyone makes financial mistakes. No matter what money mistakes you’ve made, there’s always a way to financial recovery. It takes small, consistent steps to keep moving forward.
But you can do it.
Actually, Moira says it much better.
“One must champion oneself and say, ‘I am ready for this!’”
You just need the right tools, motivation, and consistency to keep trying no matter what.
Here are a few of my favorite budgeting tools and my recommended next article:
Once you grab your budgeting tools, take five minutes to read about Qube Money digital cash envelopes and budgeting system.
Article written by Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life