Money Lessons From Friends

Money lessons can be found in all places. My girlfriend and I love to watch cheeky shows on Netflix. We absolutely loved the classics Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Currently, we’re watching The Big Bang Theory. Today I want to discuss some money lessons we can take from Friends.

Save 10% of Your Income

Early into Season 2, Monica loses her job for accepting a kickback from a new supplier. While the plot already mentioned her way too large apartment in Greenwich Village in Manhattan was inherited from her grandmother under “rent control” I can imagine New York to be an expensive city if you don’t have a job.

On the phone, her father reassures her everything is going to be all right. He asked “where does 10% of your paycheck go?” and Monica and her brother Ross replied, “in the bank”.

It seems that for all the craziness of Jack Geller, at least he gave his children some financial education. Now, of course, I advise people to save way more than 10% of their income, but if you have no clue whatsoever then 10% is a good place to start. It will help you build up an emergency fund, which is arguably the first step to financial freedom.

Lotteries Are An Awful Habit

In The One With The Lottery, the gang is going to buy lottery tickets together. By pooling together their money, they can buy more tickets, and thus have a higher chance of winning. Now we know that by buying additional tickets your chance of winning the jackpot might go up, but you’re expected profit (which is negative) stays the same.

Anyway, only one of the friends was wise enough to reject the idea of buying lottery tickets. Ross Geller, who usually comes off as the boring friend, was right this time. The lottery is a huge waste of money.

In my personal life, I don’t participate in lotteries on a regular basis. I do buy a ticket every now and then, sometimes with Girlfriend, sometimes with friends. Usually, this is once a year or even less common.

I think that paying for the lottery on a regular basis is a huge waste of money. If you’re trying to increase your savings rate, canceling subscriptions like the lottery should be the first thing on your mind.

Don’t Borrow Money From Friends

If you have watched Friends, you know who I’m talking about. Joey and Chandler have an amazing bromance going on. As long-time roommates, they’re definitely the best friends of the show.

Unfortunately for Chandler, Joey isn’t good with money. If he were to speak Dutch, he could have listened to a few episodes of the Goed met Geld Podcast, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

Joey can’t really live off of his irregular income as an aspiring actor (in the first few seasons) and Chandler is supporting him financially with almost everything. Some estimates I see online are upwards of 100,000 dollars in financial aid from Chandler to Joey.

How good Chandler handles this, it’s probably not too wise to borrow that much money from your friends, especially not if you spend all of this money. If you borrow money to purchase rental real estate, maybe that’s not too bad, but using it for dates with lots of women, nope. Bad idea Joey. The borrowing part, not the dating part.

What About You?

Personally, I have never loaned money to friends. Once, I loaned money to a family member. I’ve immediately written-off this amount, although I do expect it to be paid back sometime soon.

Have you ever loaned money to friends? Or have you ever borrowed money? Let me know!

4 thoughts on “Money Lessons From Friends”

  1. Once, when I was a kid, I did loan money to my friend. It was 1 euro loan with a 50% interest over the weekend :) I had a business mentality at a very young age..

    Nowadays I mostly use P2P-platforms to loan money, which are great!

    – FN

  2. Hi,
    first of all God bless you for your blog. I now dicided to take iinvesting really seriously (after some investing-gambling mistakes) and just spent 4 hours reading your articles, instead going to party :). I like that you are relevant for me (I am 22), although my income is smaller here in Czech. I am about to write down the strategy and investing policy next week.

    I want to join the discussin to loans to friends. I borrowed money to my ex girlfriend and also to some girl (friend) in need.The yboth tell me they are going to give it to me soon…but I roughly doubt it :D (half of my monthly paycheck) Learned my lesson there. Although I am always open to borrow any amount to my closest friends, which I live with.

    I would like to support you by opening Degiro account by your link, but I already opened one…