Everyone has seen, or at least heard of, the sitcom “Friends.”
It was one of the high points of television during its run from 1994 to 2004 because it encapsulated the quintessential mid-90s experience.
But, if you look at it and other shows from the era and imagine how they’d work today, it raises some questions.
Today and for the next couple of days, I will go over some scenarios from classic shows that would not fly in the ’20s. And most certainly not in the 1920s!
In the first episode of “Friends,” Monica Geller lives alone in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan (Greenwich Village). What does she do for a living?
Monica works as a sous-chef. By the end of the first episode, she gains a roommate in her best friend Rachel, who gets a job at the local coffee shop as a waitress.
In 1993, a chef and a waitress could easily pay for a unit like the one in the show. The average rent was close to $600 a month back then.
With a median annual salary of 24k a person, you’d have no trouble paying for a place like that.
Today a similarly sized two-bedroom apartment with 1.5 bathrooms and a terrace in Greenwich Village would cost around $6,500 per month!
Factor in today’s cost of living and all that coffee they slammed down, their estimated 2020 combined income of $93,000 a year (pre-tax, based on statistics from Glassdoor) and this seems insane.
Questions like this come up often when rewatching old shows. However insane their lifestyle seems, this was normal for the time.
Imagine what people are going to say about today’s sitcoms 20 years down the line.
By then, you should be enjoying the results of a solid financial plan and looking back fondly on a time when you could afford a place in New York for only $6,500 a month.
Wherever the housing market goes by then, we want to help you prepare for it. Give us a shout at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or by clicking here to discuss how we can help bring your TV-worthy vision to life.
Nikki Earley, CFP®