“Shameless” Saving Tips You Should And Shouldn’t Take From The Gallaghers

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Frank (played by William H. Macy) pretends his son has cancer in hopes of winning premium sports tickets. We're thinking this is a don't.

Frank (played by William H. Macy) pretends his son has cancer in hopes of winning premium sports tickets. We’re thinking this is a “don’t.”

Showtime’s deliciously dark yet completely hilarious series “Shameless” features the six Gallagher children (Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam, from eldest to youngest) trying to survive Southside Chicago.


Their mother is out of the picture and their father (aka Frank) is an alcoholic narcissist. Despite these challenges, the kids have found some scrappy ways to stretch their money—both good and bad. Let’s look at some things we’ve learned from this motley bunch that you should and shouldn’t do to make money.


Embrace Your Talents

Lip is a genius, so at 18, he built a laser beam-clad robot and entered it into a smarmy college robot fighting competition to win money. On the other hand, Debbie is great with kids, so she opened a daycare. Totally different talents; however, both are assets. The lesson? Even if it’s something random, you can find someone who will pay you to do what you’re good at (check out a site like Guru.com).

Sell Yourself

Despite Fiona’s lack of a high school diploma and college education, she gets a chance promoting a night club. How does she do it? She talks to the manager about how managing her five younger siblings and balancing a low-income budget relate to the job. Her passion and ability to sell her past experiences led to a higher paying position (which she ditched, but that’s beside the point).

Be Creative

The Gallaghers didn’t have enough money for a turkey on Thanksgiving so Fiona carved one out of Spam (which they planned on eating until Carl shot a bald eagle). Though the prospect of eating canned meat as the centerpiece of my Thanksgiving feast doesn’t exactly appeal to me, I applaud the Gallagher’s creativity in their money-saving endeavors.



From trucks filled with frozen meat to BMWs and Bentleys, all of the Gallagher children have tried to get their paws on something that doesn’t belong to them. This is a bad idea. This shouldn’t even be an idea. I hope you laughed at the prospect of stealing from a frozen meat truck. If not, I’m not sure what to say. I hope you know this is not a good way to make or save money because it’s unethical and illegal. Also, you probably won’t have the opportunity.

Pretend To Collect For Charities

Despite being goodhearted, Debbie has a habit of going door to door, asking people to donate to charities, and pocketing some of the money. Still, even though she thinks she deserves charity (I think I deserve charity too!), you shouldn’t go around keeping money you say you are donating to the Jimmy Fund. If you really think you’re that deserving, make a sign that says “poor college student sick of Ramen,” put out a jar, and let me know how it goes.

Sell Beer Out Of An Ice Cream Truck

Lip and Kevin do this during the summer. This actually wouldn’t be a bad idea if: (1.) You weren’t selling to minors (one of Lip’s primary mistakes); (2.)  You had your liquor license; (3.) It were legal to walk around with open liquor where you live (may or may not be); and (4.) You owned an ice cream truck.

For more Gallagher do’s and don’ts, check them out on their website or Pinterest.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other thoughts on the Gallagher children’s saving escapades!

(Photo: gdcgraphics)

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