4 Financial Teachings To Learn From ”Friends”

The hidden lessons behind the humour of the Friends TV Show

Today’s article, after our hiatus is a little different from what you’re used to reading from us. Last night, while watching friends for the umpteenth time, I knew I had to talk about this show that I unforgivingly spend my precious time watching over and again.

You’ll agree that “Friends” is one of the most iconic comedies of the 20th century. Everyone I knew who was watching it loved its satirical quality. But after personally recently re-watching nearly all ten seasons, I started to pay attention to other aspects of the show. I started to notice similarities with my life.

The cast of “Friends”(From left to right: Ross, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel)

Like the characters, those of us in our 20s or approaching our 30s are also trying to navigate life in a big city, a new job/no job, figuring out love and even finding our identities. The issues portrayed are now more real than ever. But one thing in particular that suddenly took centre-stage was how the friends handled money in their relationships with one another.

As roommate and best friend, Chandler (a successful data analyst) covered a lot of Joey’s (a struggling actor) bills: his share of the rent, groceries, headshots etc. (By the end of the show, Chandler claimed that he’d spent over $3000 on Joey’s account). But he could afford to, so he did it. Joey’s career eventually picked up and he made sure he gave everyone a treat from time to time. So, lesson one is: look out for your friends as much as your pocket can allow.

In episode five of season two, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe complained that they could not afford to pay for meals at expensive restaurants. When the gang was out together, these three would order just water or a salad to keep within their budget. Lesson two? Don’t try to impress anyone. Stay within your means.

The most versatile Friend, Phoebe worked two jobs, one as a Masseuse, her primary source of income and the other as a musician/songwriter which made her some change on the side. She’d always loved music but knew that at the time, music could not foot her bills. She didn’t earn the most of the six friends but teaches a valuable lesson #3: you can have the best of both worlds. Simply find a way to make your passions profitable.

Finally, the gang regularly hung out at Monica’s apartment, where they pitched in for food and played games together. The fourth and final lesson here is two-fold: find entertainment that everyone can afford and don’t exploit your friend’s generosity.

For a show that aired 25 years ago, it’s interesting to find that we see relevance even in other aspects of our lives. There’s a lesson to learn in the most unassuming of places. We hope that our analogical analysis of this show has taught you something about managing your money.

So tell us! Which “Friends” character do you think you are and why?

Tweet at us @findreach and quote this article so we Friends fanatics can meet ourselves.

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