So, I was listening to the radio the other day and I on came this catchy dance song. I’m sure you’ve probably heard the tune. It’s this little ditty by Pitbull and Ne-Yo called “Time of Our Lives.” They lyrics go a little something like this:
I knew my rent was gon’ be late about a week ago
I worked my a$$ off, but I still can’t pay it though
But I got just enough to get off in this club
Have me a good time before my time is up
Hey, let’s get it now
Ooh, I want the time of my life (mr. Worldwide)
Oh, baby, ooh, give me the time of my life
(Ne-Yo!) let’s get it now
This is the last twenty dollars I got
But I’mma have a good time ballin’ tonight
Tell the bartender line up some shots
‘Cause I’mma get loose tonight
Now, the dance monster in me loves this song. The infectious beat gets my toes a tappity tap tappin. However, the personal finance geek in me gets a little bit, ahem, disturbed. My chest tightens up. My eyes start to water. The vein in the middle of my forehead starts to visibly pulse.
“Boy, that is some bad advice,” I think to myself as I nearly swerve off the road.
Broke Clubbing – I’m Not Above It
Look, I’m not going to sit here and say that I’ve never done this. I’ve made a lot of terrible money moves, especially when I was young. But, multi-millionaires singing a song about it and encouraging others to do the same, as if it is some cool thing to do? That is just some irresponsible hip-hoppin’ gentlemen.
When I was younger, there were many times that I spent my last dollar at the club. I didn’t make a lot of money, and what I did make usually went to take out and the bar. Toward the end of the month, I’d find myself without any money, so I’d be putting my milk and ramen noodles on my credit card (you know, the card with my alma mater’s name tattooed on it). Not smart.
Buying Too Much Apartment
I’ve done some other silly things with my money, too. I wanted to live in a cool neighborhood that was both safe yet close to a lot of exciting things. So, I shacked up with a few friends and got an apartment in a very trendy neighborhood. I loved living there, but I totally paid for it. At the time, I wasn’t making much money. I was bringing home about $1,200 a month and $500 of that went toward my rent. So, I had to use the other $700 a month to pay for groceries, travel to work, and (of course) entertainment. I mean, if I wasn’t going to go out, what was the point of living there, right?
Yeah, it was a bad idea back then and it’s still a bad idea now, even if Pitbull is promoting it.
Balancing My Checkbook with My ATM Balance
Have you ever tried to balance your checking account without actually using a balance register? I have. On multiple occasions, I got myself into trouble by trusting the bank balance listed on my ATM receipt. I knew better, but I still did it.
My roommate, however, didn’t seem to know better. He would constantly get upset that the bank was charging him overdraft fees. “The ATM said I had $74,” he’d complain. What he failed to realize is that he had some outstanding balances. Of course, he’d get charged overdraft fees and be worse off than he was before. Not a smart money move.
What You Can Do
Regardless of how fun spending your last $20 at the club may seem, all you get out of it is a few hours of fun followed by a sustained feeling of panic and guilt. Being young and having fun can be a great, but it is even better when you know how to do it responsibly. Learn how to use a budget. Learn to track your spending. Balance your checking account properly and live within your means. Doing these things will give you the extended satisfaction and contentment you crave.
Trust me, it is a lot more fun to be doing the robot as a celebration dance than it is to be dancing away your problems. I know. I learned this lesson the hard (and expensive) way.
Have you ever spent your last $20 going out to the club? Have you heard the song? What do you think of it? Leave your comments below!