Money According to FRIENDS!
There’s been lots of talk lately about the Friends 25th anniversary lately. I got to thinking about my own experience with “Friends,” which I watched devoutly as a child. I would rush home from Brownies on Thursday nights in order to watch the show. My mom let me stay up to watch it because I loved it so much. I also love to catch the reruns when possible - if I was home sick from school as a child or now, if Link lets me multitask and play Hall Ball while watching Netflix.
So, I got to thinking…. Let’s see if we can determine what Friends teaches us about money! Below are a few of the lessons I can remember. Can you think of any others?
1. Rent control is a beautiful thing – Monica and Rachel’s apartment was amazing and the purple colour really spoke to me, but, can you imagine what rent on a place like that in New York would cost? Event in the 90s? Thankfully, Monica had was able to inherit a rent-controlled apartment from her Grandmother making her city living “breezy.” The key here is if you are looking to move, see if you have any friends or relatives who will let you sublet or take over their homes.
2. Neighbours with bottomless fridges are gold – Speaking of things to consider next time you move, try to pull a Joey and Chandler. Did they ever buy groceries other than pizza? They lucked out (especially Joey) by being able to cross the hall and steal from Monica’s fridge whenever the urge suited. You can save a lot on your food bills by eating other people’s food. (Note: you could also learn this from pigeons and seagulls.)
3. Be sensible with spending. – This show has so many varied examples of this. Joey overspending when he makes it big, Ross being cheap and not wanting to pay for sofa delivery (PIVOT!), and Phoebe not wanting to go to pricey restaurants she can’t afford are just a few examples. Be reasonable with your dollars and keep yourself in check. Don’t be super cheap all the time, as it can actually end up costing you in the long run. But, also don’t put yourself in situations where you are constantly spending outside of your means and making yourself (or others) uncomfortable. Similarly, don’t shame others for making more or less than you.
4. Think outside the box for careers and life – Not everyone needs to be a doctor or a lawyer. Do what you enjoy doing – as long as you can survive. And if you can’t survive off that, find something that pays your bill and keep your passion as a side gig/hobby, but DO it. Chandler and Phoebe were especially great at this. Chandler, for taking the plunge to find a career he really enjoyed and excelled at later on (marketing internship). Phoebe, also, was the epitome of “be yourself.” Smelly Cat wasn’t going to be a chart topper, but she kept on giving it a go!
5. Deal sites may earn you a quick buck – or lead you to a dangerous situation. Don’t risk your safety for a few bucks. – Think Joey and the being locked in the cabinet incident. Do you really need that $20? Enough to risk your life? Ever heard of the Craiglist killer? If you are going to engage in transactions over deal sites like Kijiji and Craigslist, etc. make sure you meet the buyer/seller in a public place! 😊
6. Don’t loan a friend money and expect to be repaid – If watching Joey and Chandler’s adventures taught us anything, it was this. This goes for family members too. If you are considering loaning someone money, only do it if you are okay with not having that money. Or the friendship. People get weird with money. It can be awkward to keep asking for the money back – especially if you see them going out and doing things. Excuse me, but, how can you afford that new Ferrari when I needed to loan you money to pay your cell phone bill last month?