From quick comebacks to obscure pop culture references, Gilmore Girls gave me everything I needed to survive being a bookish 16-year-old. Re-watching the series as an ~adult~ has proven that the comedic wisdom of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore is not only evergreen, but also bleeds into the very thing that many 20-somethings worry so much about: Money. Lorelai and Rory are an interesting case because they dealt with the tension of living on a frugal budget, but having to stick to Richard and Emily’s wealthy standards. As a mother, Lorelai pushed to make sure her daughter had a strong work ethic and never got caught up into the entitled mindset of her grandparents.
With all this in mind, here are 9 times Gilmore Girls reminded me how to be smart about money:
1. Lorelai bought school supplies for Rory on a budget, despite Richard and Emily’s complaints.
Like the time Lorelai insisted to her mother that Rory only have two Chilton skirts, instead of five. Lorelai may be a fan of excessive caffeine in her system, but certainly not excessive things.
2. Lorelai made Rory’s dress by hand, instead of buying her an expensive one.
The time Lorelai almost broke her back (literally) making Rory a blue fit-and-flare dress for her first Chilton dance. Being frugal doesn’t mean you don’t have style.
3. Sookie and Jackson always lived below their means and were great examples for couples who are dating, and for parents.
As in when Sookie and Jackson had their first date and decided to ditch mussels at a fancy French restaurant for burgers at Luke’s. A reminder that when you’re in the company of those you like, opting for the cheaper experience could be just as fun (or even more) than the expensive one.
4. Rory did Europe on a budget (and waited until after college to travel, thus saving money on study abroad).
The time Rory told her grandfather she wanted to backpack across Europe on a budget after high school. Grand adventures may not always be a feasible way to celebrate milestones, but when you’ve got the itch, it’s good to scratch it with cheap travel alternatives
5. Lorelai resisted her mother’s constant attempts to opt for the pricier option, when the inexpensive option would easily suffice.
When Lorelai convinced her posh mother, Emily, to buy Rory a cute set of $12 bracelets instead of a double string of pearls. It’s almost too easy to pick out an expensive gift for a friend and let that be the yardstick for how you value your friendship, but much harder to find or make a thoughtful present that screams “this is so you.”
6. Rory and Lorelai often decided to stay in, rather than spending on going out.
All the times Rory and Lorelai stayed in for a movie night instead of hitting the town. Yes, the XL pizza will cost you, but it’s still way cheaper than buying a new outfit, paying for overpriced drinks, and taking a cab at the end of the night.
7. Lorelai adopted a no frills attitude in terms what her and Rory needed around the house.
That time Lorelai refused Emily’s offer to install DSL Internet in the house. Translation: You don’t need all the whistles and bells of the latest gadgets in order to live.
8. Lorelai side hustled for 7 years on Gilmore Girls.
That time Lorelai catered an event for Emily on the side, despite hating every moment of it. A side hustle that pays good money is never a job to be ashamed of.
9. Lorelai and Sookie saved to make their dream a reality.
When Lorelai and Sookie finally bought their own inn. Financial freedom comes in many forms and one of them is becoming your own boss.
Images via Flickr and The WB