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5 things the TV programme Friends taught us about money

Published 1 June 2015 by

Managing your money can be tricky, especially if you haven’t drawn up a budget or started to save for any short or long term goals that you have. But it’s never too late to start, and we’ve taken some inspiration from the world-famous sitcom FRIENDS to come up with a few helpful tips for you:

1. Don’t spend beyond your means

If like Joey, when he landed his big break on Days of Our Lives, you tend to spend, spend, spend, as soon as your wage is in your account, you should always remember to try to save for a rainy day. Even if you just put a little bit of money away as soon as your wage comes in every month, you’ll be better prepared for an unexpected bill should one appear.

Joey learns this the hard way when he loses his job and is faced with paying off a large Visa bill that he can’t afford.

2. Not everyone will earn the same amount

You should always be considerate when it comes to your friends and what they can afford, as the gang found out during a particularly expensive social period. In ‘The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant’ episode, the group come to blows over money and seemingly divide into two groups – those with lots of it vs those without.

If like Phoebe, all you’ll be able to afford is a ‘cup of the cucumber soup’ when out socialising with your mates, then have an honest chat with your pals. You could suggest a cheaper place for you all to dine at, or even invite them over to your place for a home cooked meal and you can all chip in. If they’re true friends, like the gang we all know and love, then they’ll surely understand.

3. Re-think what you’re spending your money on

Remember the episode where Chandler was paying a fortune for a gym membership and ended up closing his bank account just to get out of paying for it? Well, it doesn’t have to get that drastic, but if you’re paying for something unnecessary that you never use, then cancel it!

The gym, or whatever company you’re cancelling with, may try to persuade you not to by offering attractive offers or discounts but stick to your guns. As motivation, think of the more useful ways that you could use the extra money!

4. Come to an agreement over a budget

If you and your partner are planning for a big expense like a wedding, then make sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to the budget. Your fiancée may be more like Monica, wanting to blow all of your savings on the big day, while you think more like Chandler and believe that you should save for the future and not just blow everything that you have on ‘some party’.

Do as they did and meet in the middle, that way you’ll both get what you want!

5. Lending money to friends can be tricky

As Joey found out, lending money to friends can be more hassle then it's worth. In a rare moment when Joey is in a better financial situation than either Monica or Chandler, both go to him separately and ask for a loan.

You probably won’t find yourself in a similar situation, but if a friend does ask you for money, look at your budget first and see whether you’ll be able to afford it. If you think you will, make it clear how you would like the money to be paid back (in full or in instalments) and when. After all, there’s no point losing a good friend over money now is there?

Image source: YouTube