5 Lessons ‘Gilmore Girls’ Taught Us About Money
We’ve seriously been missing our dear New England town, Stars Hollow, home to eccentric, lovable characters — especially our favorite mother/daughter duo, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. I know I am not alone when I say there was gallons of ice cream devoured after the beloved show ended. (Good news is the reboot is coming soon-ish, so get your coffee-filled vats and junk food ready for the epic binge-watching that will occur as soon as it’s released.)
Gilmore Girls taught us more than how to talk faster than the speed of light; it also taught us about love, family, and especially money — what it’s like to have it, not have it, borrow it, and lend it; the show taught us major lessons about finances.
1. Always Strive for Self-Sufficiency
Lorelai was a great role model who taught girls to take control of their futures and stand on their own two feet — preferably in stylish cowgirl boots.
We see her struggle with financial independence throughout the series, and witnessing this struggle, we learn that being economically independent doesn’t happen overnight or by a certain age. What’s important though is to keep working toward independence no matter how old you are.
She pays back what she borrows even though her parents (Emily specifically) would prefer that she didn’t; it’s important for Lorelai to preserve her self-sufficiency.
This should be important to you too, especially as a woman and an adult, and as Lorelai reminds us, never apologize for wanting complete control over yourself and your finances — because having that control can be liberating.
2. Live Below Your Means
When she ran away from home as a teenager, she also ran away from that extravagant, privileged lifestyle where dinner is served every night at 7:00 p.m. and a maid is fired as quickly as she is hired. Lorelai continues to reject privilege as an adult, often butting heads with Emily who doesn’t really understand Lorelai’s frugal and sensible lifestyle.
Remember how Emily wanted to buy Rory five skirts for Chilton and Lorelai said two was fine, because fortunately they know how to use a washing machine? Or how Lorelai makes Rory a dress for the Chilton dance instead of buying one? Or even how the girls backpacked through Europe on a budget, doing the whole hostel thing?
But Lorelai isn’t the only one who shows us we can live below our needs. Case in point, Luke lived in his father’s old office above the diner and only had one outfit: jeans, a plaid shirt, and a backward hat . . . Okay, maybe he had two plaid shirts.
3. Borrowing Money = Obligations
The Gilmore girls make a loan shark look like a cuddly kitten sleeping on a bed of Kleenex compared to the emotional mess that borrowing money from family can cause.
Emily uses money as a way to manipulate Lorelai into spending time with her, so for Lorelai, borrowing money means obligations.
When Lorelai borrows money for Rory’s education, she realizes she is now obligated to do what her mother wants, handing over the independence she works so hard for. This decision was made only after thinking through all her options — you know, like finally opening that Coyote Ugly lemonade stand.
It’s a good reminder for us to fully understand what borrowing money means and what is expected of us as a borrower before accepting money.
4. When in Doubt, Go to the Bank
As Lorelai shows us, going to the bank, as opposed to involving family, is the more adult thing to do.
When she finds out termites are treating her house like an all you can eat buffet at Souplantation, she is told it will cost her $15,000 to get rid of them. Emily finds out and wants to make it easy on Lorelai by writing her a check, but in Lorelai’s typical stubborn fashion, she turns down the offer and plans to take care of it herself.
Once again, this teaches us the importance of taking care of our own financial problems instead of running back to our parents. It means being in debt to the bank, but it also means you’re able to remain financially independent from your parents and solve your problem on your own.
5. Invest in Yourself
Here’s a little bit of Gilmore wisdom for you: An education is the most important thing in the world, next to family . . . and pie.
Education is a central part of the show. Lorelai goes to night school for her business degree, making it possible for her to own the Dragonfly. Rory’s education costs thousands of dollars for both high school and college, but even though it was expensive, it was important for her future.
We recognize that the majority of people are not going to be able to attend a pricey private school or even a pricey college, but what the show does teach us is that it can be important to invest in yourself for your future. How you do that is up to you.
Featured image via GilmoreGirls
Last modified on November 9th, 2016