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My wife and I love watching Schitt’s Creek when we need a good laugh. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a hilarious sitcom on Netflix that follows the Rose family after they lose all their money and have to start over.

Even through all the comedic silliness, there are some lessons to be learned about managing your money. Here are the top money lessons we learned while watching Schitt’s Creek.

1. Wealth Can Be Fleeting

In Schitt’s Creek, the Rose family had all the wealth they could have ever wanted. Multiple mansions, furs, jewelry, travel, you name it.

The problem started when Johnny Rose trusted his business partner to pay taxes for their video store company. Instead, he embezzled the money and the Rose’s had all of their assets seized by the government. Except for the small town of Schitt’s Creek, which they had purchased as a joke.

Now, this type of misfortune is preventable but it shows that bad things can happen at unexpected times. Poor luck with business decisions, a serious health condition, or a natural disaster could seriously affect your wealth.

Be prepared to weather these types of storms by having enough of an emergency savings fund ready. Think about how you would start over if you lost your job or a sizeable amount of your investments.

2. Find Your Passion

After Johnny, Moira, David, and Alexis moved to Schitt’s Creek, they had almost nothing to their name. They had to figure out how to start over with finding income and covering their cost of living.

Throughout the seasons, we see that all four of them end up following their passions. Instead of trying to find work at any business that will take them, they do what they really enjoy.

David started Rose Apothecary to selling boutique local products, something he really loves. Alexis got into PR because she knew she liked marketing and was good at it. Moira loves acting and continued to find appearances and movies that made her happy. Johnny became a partner in a motel chain, running a franchise business model that he was good at.

Whether you are starting over or just finding your perfect job, look for something you enjoy. Working for a company that doesn’t make you happy will weigh on all aspects of your life. Find your passion and then see how to make money from it.

3. Diversify Your Investments

When Johnny Rose bought the town of Schitt’s Creek, it was purely a joke for the family. Little did he know that it would be the only place they could live after they lost it all.

By diversifying their investments into different types of real estate, they were able to survive. All of their other mansions and assets where confiscated, but not a town that no one thought they wanted. If they had not invested in the town, they likely would have had absolutely nothing.

This just shows that diversifying your investments can be essential to surviving rough times. Split your money across various stocks, bonds, funds, real estate, and non-traditional investments. When one goes down in value, another sector may flourish.

4. Reduce Your Cost of Living

After losing all of their savings and assets, the Rose’s had to rebuild their lives somewhere else. With minimal income, they had to move to Schitt’s Creek and live in a motel. Luckily, since they own the town, they were allowed to stay in the motel for free until they could get back on their feet.

Facing such tough times, the only way they could survive was to cut back on their expenses and reduce their cost of living. This meant spending less on housing, eating at a diner, driving a beater, and making do with the clothes they packed. (Does Moira have enough wigs?!)

Even if you are not starting completely from the bottom, reduce your cost of living to build your wealth. Make more money than you spend and save it in some type of investment that will make it grow. Cut back on expenses by looking for ways to decrease your rent, utilities, and basic living expenses.

5. Partner with Someone You Trust

Johnny Rose was screwed over by his business partner in his video store chain when he embezzled money. While Johnny thought he could trust him, it clearly didn’t work out well for the Rose family.

It’s true that anyone could end up hurting you, but look to form relationships and partnerships with people that you really trust. David built both a business partnership and loving relationship with Patrick Brewer. Johnny formed a strong relationship with Stevie Budd in their motel venture.

By partnering with with people that you respect and trust, you’ll form stronger relationships. Those relationships can lead to more stable income, better businesses, and a happier life.

6. Invest in Education

One of the most powerful tools is personal education. Alexis Rose had made it through the majority of her wealthy life without graduating from high school. When she realized she would have to build her way back up, she went back to school to complete both high school and a college degree.

The marketing skills Alexis learned from school translated to her being able to get into public relations. She started to help market and manage her mother’s acting career, helping them all make more money.

To get ahead, invest in your own education. This doesn’t have to just mean formal education like college. There are tons of online courses that can help make you an expert in any field. Watch YouTube videos or read books and articles.

Spend time learning new ideas and skills, and you’ll become more valuable to employers and be able to better start your own business.

7. Start a Business without Your Own Product

David was able to start Rose Apothecary as a new business but didn’t actually have to sell his own product. Instead, he partners with local vendors who have quality products and rebrands them in his shop. This is a win-win for the local vendors and himself, since they all profit from David’s marketing.

In this case, David brought value in being able to create a brand and a system for selling. He provided a consistent venue for the local vendors to sell to easily instead of trying to make one-off sales.

This shows that it is completely possible to start your own business without needing a product that you have designed and manufactured. If you are good at marketing, branding, and selling, try partnering with other companies to sell their product. No matter your skills, there is a way to make money from them.

8. Drive a Beater Car

When Johnny realizes the family needs a car to get around, they go used car shopping to see what fits their budget. Having Roland Schitt drive them around or begging to borrow a car just didn’t make sense any more. With four people in their family, there are times when they need to get someplace for work and transportation is required.

Johnny tried to negotiate a deal on a car but they ended up walking away with a 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V. While it looks a little ridiculous and certainly qualifies for a “used car”, it was what they could afford at the time. It serves its purpose of providing transportation without breaking the bank.

When you need a new car, it makes sense to shop around for the more economical vehicle that you can find. It needs to match your lifestyle to fit your needs, but buying a certified pre-owned or used car is usually the best way to save money.

Especially if you don’t need to travel very much, you can save a lot of money by driving a used car instead of buying new.

9. Hire Smart People

Stevie Budd inherited a motel but wasn’t in love with running it for the rest of her life. She also wasn’t sure how to best manage it by herself. So, she brought in Johnny Rose to help her with managing the motel before they decided to expand. Johnny may not have been in the motel business before, but his general experience running businesses and franchises helped them all succeed.

David did something similar after realizing that Patrick knew a ton about how to start and run a business. Patrick was able to take the lead on setting up their company, figuring out taxes, and getting licensed. All of which was something that David did not want to do and would not have been very good at.

This just shows that it is a good idea to hire or partner with people who have different skills than yourself. It is a good thing to have smart people on your team and to have different opinions. By working together, you’ll be able to perform better and make more money.

10. Believe in Yourself

Moira has always believed strongly in herself as an actress, even when other residents of the town weren’t so sure. She truly believes that she is an excellent actress and should be winning awards. At times, it’s pretty comical since her acting is a little suspect. However, Moira was able to spin that confidence into getting more appearances, coverage, and acting roles.

Even in the face of tough times, believe in your skills, experience, and what you stand for. That will help you get through and succeed, even if other people doubt it at first. Over the long run, you will be able to pull through and accomplish whatever you set your mind on.

11. Pay Attention to the Fine Print

When Johnny, Stevie, and Roland decide to expand Rosebud Motel and buy another motel, Roland didn’t read the fine print of the contract. If he had, he would have seen that the motel comes with a long-term tenant that refuses to leave. This guest looks pretty shady with a big bag of cash in his room but is a lawyer that knows how to fight being evicted.

If Roland had read the fine print of the sales contract, he would have known about this guest before they bought the motel. That would have allowed them to decide if it was worth it or not to continue buying the motel.

This same principle applies to all things in your financial and business life. It is often tempting to skip through the legal fine print, but you will miss important details that could affect you.

Especially for significant purchases, slow down and make sure you understand the legal fine print. Make sure there aren’t hidden fees or other surprises that could pop up later down the road.

12. Learn How Taxes Work

When David was working for the Blouse Barn, he started spending frivolously on “business expenses” that he thought he could write off on their business taxes. And by “write off”, he thought those expenses would be free and paid back by the government.

Unfortunately, David didn’t understand that tax write offs only lower your taxable income and do not actually get reimbursed by the government. They are not a one-for-one reduction in what you see in your paycheck.

Taxes can be complicated and have many details that are not always simple to understand. Taxes are also one of the biggest business expenses you will have and you can’t avoid them without serious penalty.

Whether you own a business or just doing your personal taxes, make sure you are confident in your knowledge of how much tax you need to pay. Work with a qualified tax expert or use a proven system like Intuit to make sure you are approaching your taxes appropriately.

Understanding your taxes could help you avoid thousands of dollars in taxes that you don’t need to pay. On the flip side, it can also prevent you from getting into serious trouble if you don’t pay enough.

13. Money Isn’t Everything

The Rose family had a ton of money originally. They had multiple mansions, yachts, jewelry, furs, wigs, and could travel anywhere they wanted. Johnny had a sizeable nest egg saved for David’s future wedding to allow him to marry in Bali and charter private jets. They had all the money they could have ever wanted but they didn’t seem truly happy.

It obviously took some time to adjust to their new life in Schitt’s Creek, but they changed after losing their wealth. They started to enjoy each other’s company and made the decision to stick together instead of splitting apart. Alexis and David each had opportunities to go travel with friends, but they decided to stay.

Money and wealth isn’t everything in life. It should be about the experiences you have and who you spend your time with. Use money as a way to gain enough security to do the things you love. Pick up hobbies with your partner, travel, or raise a family.

Whatever you love, money should not be the final goal but just an aid to allow you to do other things that make you happy.

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