F.R.I.E.N.D.S is a show that almost everyone is aware of. There are so many things about this show that are iconic, be it Joey’s “How you doing?”, Phoebe’s “smelly cat”, Ross’s “We were on a break”, Rachel’s “no uterus, no opinion”, Monica’s “I know”, or Chandler’s sarcasm or “third nipple”. We laughed, we cried, we fell in love, and, of course, we laughed again. The protagonists motivate an entire generation to enjoy their lives to the fullest. Having watched it so many times, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t teach us anything else! I’m pretty sure the friends already know what I’m talking about. Let’s look at some of the major financial lessons the group taught us:
The one with Joey Tribbiani
Joey is undoubtedly one of the most beloved characters in the show. An aspiring actor who is always auditioning for different roles ends up getting his big break through ‘Days of Our Lives’. He had previously relied on Chandler for rent and other needs. After he got his break, he went on a spending spree and purchased useless items for his new apartment, oblivious to the credit card bill. He soon lost his spot on the show because he irritated the writers. And he’s left with thousands of dollars in credit card debt and no money.
There’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that has ever stopped him from overspending. On the brighter side, while Joey has his flaws, he isn’t also afraid to work as a waiter in Central Perk when his acting career flops and his finances get weak.
- You should live within your financial limits.
- No work is too low to pay your debts.
- Don’t spend money you don’t have.
- Keep an eye on your finances.
- Don’t succumb to lifestyle inflation.
- Don’t make financial decisions rashly.
The one with Chandler Bing
One of the show’s funniest characters is Chandler Bing. Everything he says is tinged with sarcasm. He had a 9-to-5 job that had something to do with WENUS, and he hated it. In his mid-thirties, he switched careers and began working as a marketing intern, even though in his previous job, he was highly compensated. He has been paying for his gym membership for over a year, but he is unable to cancel it because there are attractive women. Finally, he realizes that he is spending his money for nothing and manages to muster the courage to cancel his membership. He ‘pivots’ his strategy and closes his bank account while failing.
Chandler is a resilient and realistic individual. He turned down Monica’s desire for a fancy wedding and explained to her that he had saved all these years so that they may have a lovely future rather than blowing it all up for a party.
- Prior to spending, start saving.
- When necessary, revise your budget.
- While you’re young, take risks.
- Don’t blow your budget by overspending.
- Prepare for the future.
The one with Monica Geller
Monica is the most anxious, immaculate, skeptical, and obsessive-compulsive of the group. Although Monica is usually cautious, the thought of losing her job never occurred to her. Accepting the gift of 5 steaks and one eggplant from one of the vendors was deemed bribery, which was against the company’s rules, and as a result, got sacked. But she hadn’t planned for the possibility of losing her job.
Also, she hasn’t saved up for the wedding she has always dreamt of and had to rely on her parents for her wedding funds. Her parents, on the other hand, spent her wedding budget on a beach house. She should have saved money for her fantasy wedding if she had wished for one.
- Keep tabs on your expenses and financial situation.
- Build an emergency fund.
- Always be ready for the worst.
- Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, whether you like it or not.
The one with Phoebe Buffay
Phoebe is one of the show’s wackiest personalities. But she holds her ground and speaks her mind. After Joey, Phoebe was the only character who didn’t have a steady job or career. She works as a masseuse. However, she repeatedly loses her job. She also has a bizarre singing skill, which comes in handy when she needs a little extra cash.
Also, when she and Monica began their catering business, and their customers resort to drama to avoid paying, she truly digs in and refuses to leave until they are paid. She was never afraid to try new things and career opportunities.
- A side hustle can help you get through difficult times.
- Demand payment for the services you provide.
- Don’t be scared to take chances and experience new things.
- Perseverance until success.
The one with Rachel Green
Rachel is one of the most uplifting characters. She has grown as a person, from cutting her father’s credit cards to working as a waitress and ultimately achieving the position of corporate leadership. Her willingness to be a self-sufficient woman pushed her to elegantly complete even the most menial tasks (let’s ignore the coffee swaps). Rachel learns what her aspirations are and works hard to achieve them. She finds herself and finds her place in the real world. She never gave in to peer pressure and ruined her budget when she couldn’t afford it.
She is the character we all aspire to be one day; because starting from scratch and being able to sustain oneself is a blessing and a skill that only a few people possess.
- Learn to be financially independent.
- Don’t feel compelled to spend money.
- Do not give in to peer pressure.
- Keep a clear head and set priorities.
The one with Ross Geller
Ross is most likely one of the most literate and competent individuals in the group. He became a professor at NYU when he was 30 years old. Whether it was a career or a love affair (I still think he loves fossils and dinosaurs more than he loves Rachel). Change my mind.), he always followed his gut. He is a doctor (pun intended), a rational thinker, and a man with a plan.
Ross always kept thinking about the future. Whether it’s blind dates or lectures, this man plans and prepares for just about everything. When his friends want to buy lottery tickets, he tries to persuade them not to by informing them how slim their chances are. He doesn’t want to take part in the bet, and he also doesn’t want his friends to make a loss. After Monica purchases tickets on his behalf, he tells Joey that he will invest the money if he receives it.
Also, Ross’s behavior in Vermont was, to put it politely, awful. I’m not suggesting that you take away everything from the hotels you stay at, but in his defense, he just wanted to make sure he got the most out of his financial investment by leveraging it to its full potential.
- Do not engage in gambling.
- Always look out for financial stability.
- If you get a windfall, you should always invest it.
- Make the most of your money, make it work for you.
- Make long-term plans.
Written by: Arpita Chatterjee
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