There would rarely be any person who does not know about FRIENDS. Be it the “How’ya doin?” or the famous phoebe’s music, there are so many things FRIENDS has legendary to itself. Plus, there would so many hands-raise to the fact that people have watched it over and over again. Apart from the light comedy and exceptional friendship that this show has to offer, there is a lot more that each FRIENDS character teaches us. Here are a few money lessons that we can unearth from this show;
OVER-SPENDER – JOEY TRIBBIANI
This one thing everyone would have noticed. From spending on his ‘always unsuccessful’ dates to paying rent, Joey has always been a careless spender. He has always been relying on Chandler to finance his rent and necessities but nothing and absolutely nothing has stopped him from spending overly.
Even when he got his big break in ‘Days of Our Lives’, he spent lavishly buying things which he never needed for his apartment and for himself. He never cared about how much his credit bill is building. To his worst nightmare (and credit card company as well), he ended up losing his job or part in the show due to his annoying habits and writers getting fed up of him. All he was left was again the life of mercy and a huge list of bills and credits.
Even if you earn handsomely, make sure you keep a record of things you are spending on. The expenses must be realized and not impulsive. Whatever your family income is, make sure you have a budget and spent according to your pocket.
The expenses part must be the one left after talking out savings and not otherwise.
UNPREPARED – MONICA GELLER
Monica is the most paranoid, perfectionist, skeptical and obsessive-compulsive of the lot. Although in most cases Monica stays proactive but one thing that never crossed her mind was losing her job.
Her accepting gift from one of the vendors was considered as taking bribe which was against the company policy and hence Monica gets fired. Losing her job was something Monica never thought of and hence never prepared for. Had she been following her father’s advice on saving money; she wouldn’t have been as much stressed out plus the wedding was on head waiting to be spent upon.
Monica had to take the help of her parents in order to finance her wedding.
Nobody expects U-turns and rainy days in life but not preparing for them is not right. Life is uncertain and change is the only permanent thing whether you like it or not. Hence, it becomes very important to be prepared for the worst and be financially backed.
Having a budget can help a lot in the same. While you plan your budget, the first and foremost thing to do is to save for your emergency funds. Ideally, emergency funds amount to 3 to 6 months of your salary plus the amount of the last emergency you had.
PERFECT PLANNER – ROSS GELLER
Now this one is a positive lesson; Ross Geller is one of the most learned characters in the show. He is brainy, logical and man with a plan. Be it the Blind dates or his lectures, this man prepares and plans for anything and everything. Such dedication and organization led him to follow his passion for remains and fossils and dinosaurs.
Having a plan always works. Even if the situations go otherwise, you will be left with resources and funds. do not try to take 100% control of the situation but be resourceful enough to handle anything that comes up. Set life goals, financial goals and put in every effort to achieve them.
TALENT ENCASHER – PHOEBE BUFFAY
Phoebes is the most entertaining and consistent character on the show. Her consistency and commitment to her life principles never fail to entertain and keep the excitement on going. Following Joey in the terms of losing a job, Phoebe who is a masseuse by profession always finds some way to make those few more bucks, thanks to her exceptional super-weird singing and guitar playing talent. However bad performer she may be, she always finds a way to finance her needs and never be dependent.
Do not rely on a single source of income. Take time to understand your hobbies and talents and develop them. it can be anything, you can be good at anything like painting, teaching, dancing, etc, make your hobby your part-time profession and generate income from it.
Economic recession, the industry bubble burst, etc. are some of the phenomena which nobody can be insured from, always have a side income.
RISK TAKER – CHANDLER BING
Who does not know about chandler’s big leap of faith in switching from his well-paying job to a marketing intern? Well, that is what is called risk taking. Chandler’s character is very light, sarcastic and a little on the back foot but teaches great lessons with the most ease. While he did not like his well-paying job, Chandler decided to switch to being a marketing intern.
Chandler took a huge risk in his otherwise boring but well-paying career. He may not be earning so well initially but had faith that his decision will prove to be the right one soon. Similarly, taking risk is critical to creating wealth. When you invest your money in mutual funds, you are exposed to a certain level of risk but you have to believe that the risk is going to pay off in some time and make you rich.
INDEPENDENT – RACHEL GREEN
Next to Monica, Rachel is the most strong-headed character. From leaving her father’s wealth to becoming a waitress and eventually up in the corporate leadership role, she has evolved as a person. Her desire to be an independent woman made her do even the smallest of the jobs, gracefully (ignoring the coffee shop). Rachel has her priorities clear and makes sure she works towards them.
Having a financial goal and working towards it is rewarding in itself. Self-reliance and independence are two virtues which everyone cannot afford. Once you get used to it, it is addictive and rewarding as well.
Financial independence is very important in today’s era of inflated living standards and expectations. Being able to fund oneself is no less than a blessing and talent only a few possess.
A show, a book, a story is never only about what is said and depicted. They always have some hidden lesson which you need to read between the lines. Next time you watch a show or read a book, make sure you know what treasure it hides.