I’m a big music junkie. Whenever my wife and I are listening to the radio, I’ll whip out, “Name that band!” And unless it’s country, I usually get a blank stare. But it’s not the “I don’t know” blank stare; it’s the “You know I don’t know the answer, so stop asking” stare. Eventually I realized that my little game was more about showing her awesome I am rather than actually having fun, so I don’t really do it anymore unless I want to bug her 🙂 Anywho, I especially like songs where I can find real meaning or something I can learn, so I felt inspired to write about my favorite songs about money. I know this has been done before, and you may have read an article or two about it, but you’ve never read an article written by me about it! So sit back, enjoy, and maybe even click on some of the links and listen while you read 🙂
Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
One day while listening to this song on the radio with my dad, he told me that it reminded me of his relationship with his father. He always wanted to be like his dad, even though his dad was a trucker and was gone 90% of the time. But when he was grown and my grandpa was slowing down and retiring, then the roles switched and my dad was too busy. My grandpa died just a few years after he retired and I’m sure it breaks my dad’s heart to hear this song. The Moral: Nothing is more important in this life than your loved ones. Too many people find out too late that the most important as well as the most depreciating currency we have is time. Take some time to think about how you use your time and decide if your pursuit of money is getting in the way of more important things.
Taking Care of Business by Bachmann-Turner Overdrive
I looooove the idea behind this song. To me, it’s an ode to all closet hustlers out there who are enslaved by the man. My favorite line is:
If you ever get annoyed Look at me I’m self-employed I love to work at nothing all day
There’s a way out, my friends 🙂 You just need to realize what you’re missing out on, and then take the steps to get it. For me, I love writing about personal finance and am planning on a career in freelance writing. And even though I’ll still be working my butt off, I’m sure it won’t feel like work, at least not like the work I do now. And according to BTO, it also helps “if you get in with the right bunch of fellows”, which is why this blog is the perfect segue into that field 🙂 The Moral: Let’s take care of business, people! If you hustle enough, you can do anything you want.
No Scrubs by TLC
This one basically speaks for itself, and I couldn’t help but include it 🙂
A scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly And is also known as a buster Always talkin’ about what he wants And just sits on his broke ass So no I don’t want your number, no I don’t want to give you mine and no I don’t want to meet you nowhere, no I don’t want none of your time
The Moral: Don’t be a scrub. Also see Bills Bills Bills by Destiny’s Child and No Pigeons by Sporty Thievz (this one’s a response to No Scrubs and the music video is hilarious, mainly because I’m pretty sure they’re not trying to be funny).
Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
Dire Straits’ lead vocalist Mark Knopfler apparently based the lyrics of this one on the perspective of blue-collar appliance store workers as they watched MTV videos, who are lamenting the fact that they have to move TVs and fridges all day while the guys on MTV are “bangin’ on the bongos like a chimpanzee” and get money for nothing and chicks for free. Not that they didn’t work for it or anything. Granted, the money that entertainers earn isn’t necessarily fairly correlated to the value they add to society, especially when you compare it with that of teachers, law enforcement, etc. But sitting on your butt and wishing you have what someone else does isn’t going to do you any good. At one point the guy’s saying:
I shoulda learned to play the guitar I shoulda learned to play them drums
The Moral: To that, all I’ll say is that if you want a change, there’s no better time than now. Stop coveting other people’s lives and start investing in yours.
If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time by Lefty Frizzell (made popular by Willie Nelson)
This is how I feel sometime 🙂 But seriously, you never really learn the value of money if you’re always using someone else’s. A lot of people get into debt early in life because even though they know they have to pay it back eventually, they don’t have to now. Right now it’s someone else’s money they can spend. The worst offender is the student loan because you don’t have to pay anything until 6 months after graduation. I even met a girl a few weeks back who told me that she got a Masters degree just so she wouldn’t have to pay her student loans back yet. You read that right. She went into more debt because she didn’t want to pay off her debt. #winning The Moral: It’s all fun and games until you reap the consequences of what you’ve sown. Do yourself a favor and don’t do it in the first place unless it’s reasonable and you have a solid payoff plan. What are your favorite money or finance songs? What do you think of my interpretations?