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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  ‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry passes away: Five money lessons to learn from Chandler Bing

‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry passes away: Five money lessons to learn from Chandler Bing

Chandler Bing of Friends offers money lessons as unforgettable as him. Rest In Peace, Matthew Perry!

Matthew Perry as Chandler BingPremium
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing

“I’m not great at giving advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" Despite him saying this, Chandler of Friends offers money lessons as unforgettable as him. Rest In Peace, Matthew Perry!

The news of Matthew Perry’s death has saddened millions of fans across the world. But he has left a lasting legacy and a permanent place in our collective hearts as Chandler Bing, the sharp, sarcastic, self-deprecating hero of ‘Friends’ sitcom that ran on NBC from 1994 to 2004. The show is currently on Netflix in India.

Perry made his debut as a 25-year-old who has grown up defending himself from his selfish parents, falls in love with his neighbour Monica and marries her. The show even shows Bing as a dad.

He pays for his flatmate Joey Tribbiani who needs acting lessons and never has money for rent. There are many websites dedicated to figuring out how much money Joey actually owed Chandler. This is our first money lesson:

Lesson One: Lending money means never getting it back

Joey is not the only one who is always without any money. Ross Geller - an intrinsic part of ‘Friends’ borrows things too.

Ross Geller: “Can I borrow your blue tie? Emma spit on mine."

Chandler Bing: “Okay, but you’ll have to give it back when I get a job. Of course, by then, ties will be obsolete and we’ll all be wearing silver jumpsuits."

If you can afford it, then by all means lend money to family and friends. But be like Chandler then. Know that the money is never going to come back to you. According to the net, Joey owed Chandler $115,000 over the years.

Also Read: How to become rich: Five money lessons you should teach your child

Lesson Two: Chandler is ‘frugal man’ who saves, saves, saves!

Among the friends, only Chandler seems to have his head screwed right on his shoulders. He has a nine to five job. He lives in a decent apartment which has just about decent furnishings. He doesn’t get distracted by ‘nice things’ (even Ross, who seems to have the most boring job in the world does get involved in having a pet monkey). He saves up money in a shoebox when he knows he’s going to have to buy Monica a ring. In fact, the only time we have all seen him spend money is when he pays for his friend’s acting lessons and his rent. As he says, “I can handle this. ‘Handle’ is my middle name. Actually, ‘handle’ is the middle of my first name."

Lesson Three: Chandler can afford risk-taking

Chandler has a corporate job which is so nondescript, they dedicated a thread that runs through the show where people try to figure out what he does and how he manages to save money. So after years of working as a ‘Transponster’, when he realises that he needs to work in a creative field he is able to spend months looking for a job because he has saved up enough money to tide him over. And when he joins an advertising firm as an intern, he doesn’t have to look for a handout to survive in New York.

That’s the money lesson right there. Do things you must without complaining. So when you must follow your passion, you will manage to without having to ask your parents for help.

Lesson Four: Weddings cost money

As far as weddings go, Chandler will tell you, ‘You’ll be carrying their baby and giving them a Sony PlayStation.’

But when it comes to his own wedding, he sees Monica begin to panic because her parents have spent all the money they had kept aside for her wedding on a beach house, he assures her that she won’t have to spend her nest egg because he has saved up. We never really know how much that is, except that Monica exclaims loudly, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" he has saved enough for Monica to afford the dream wedding she always wanted.

In India too, weddings are expensive and the logic that most people will offer is: “We were invited to their son/daughter’s wedding, so we must invite them." It becomes more of a social obligation than a celebration between two families and their closest friends. More and more couples are choosing to save up for a home, or invest together rather than have a lavish wedding. Do what you think is right with your money. Even though Chandler comments wryly at his own wedding: “I am glad we are having a rehearsal dinner. I rarely practice my meals before I eat."

Lesson Five: Manage money online

As Chandler says, “So it seems like this internet thing is here to stay." You too can take heed and learn to invest online. If you are smart, you will of course need a money manager too who will point to the right instruments to invest in. But if you read about different schemes and plans, you will make smarter decisions.

We will miss you Chandler Bing. And all the wry funny lines you delivered. Each time I am about to ring a doorbell, or even open the door, his quip comes to mind: “I’m funny, right? What do you know? You’re a door. You only like knock-knock jokes."


Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.

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Published: 29 Oct 2023, 11:50 AM IST
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