What We Learned From How The Kids on Shameless Do Money

2 min to read


With the addition of Shameless to everyone’s Netflix queue, we can’t help but be constantly shaking our heads at the Gallagher Family’s financial habits. Between Carl’s “entrepreneur” spirit and Fiona’s spotty work history, the Gallagher’s aren’t whom we would normally suggest you model your finances off of. However, the characters on Showtime’s Shameless typically manage to get by and occasionally make some pretty smart choices.

Like Fiona: Budget where you can

The Gallagher’s are constantly juggling bills between property taxes and grocery bills. Fiona runs the finances for the struggling family, and rarely does the family actually starve or have the lights turned off… for long. There are plenty of scenes where Fiona discusses what gets paid and what they can live without, which is actually pretty smart. We aren’t recommending going on a money-saving spree by not paying your bills. But we can learn from Fiona is to take a look at your finances and bank statements and see where you’re spending money and if you’re not spending it smartly.

Like Debbie, Lip and Ian: Work extra when you can

Each summers, Gallagher’s are expected to get summer jobs while off from school. Some jobs are more respectable than others, but at least every summer the kids recognize that for a season it’s time to work hard. Once in a while, whether it’s due to extra free time or a new fun project, there is an opportunity to work extra to save some extra money. The Gallagher kids work all summer to add to the Squirrel Fund, and recognize that they need to heads-down work in order to save what they need.

Like the entire family: Create a squirrel fund

Our biggest take-away is that the Gallaghers know they need to save their money for later. While the family works through the summer and takes on extra work, money goes into the family’s Squirrel Fund. Named after the animal in order to get through the winter. As a family, they save their money toward something later in the year. Stuffing money into an empty oats container proves to not be the more secure storing place, but they do know it needs to be put aside for later.

Unfortunately, while Carl’s business ventures seem to be lucrative, we are not going to recommend selling handguns to the entire school. And Frank is the worst-case scenario of how finances should look. While Frank constantly has a drink in his hand, he is constantly chasing and then immediately spending any money he earns, finds, or steals. And while the Gallagher’s seem to always get by, we recommend taking these tips in stride for trying to find positives in a rough financial situation.