The year is almost over, which means that radio stations will retire the Holiday tunes until next November and broadcast their versions of “Top However Many Songs We Deem Appropriate Countdown” for 2013. I am not one to be left out. I, too, have curated the top financially savvy songs that rocked the charts and am counting them down for the benefit of your nostalgia and financial education. You’re only going to get five though. Apparently, love remains a perennial hot topic among musicians, and money significantly less so.
Here are the top five financially savvy tunes of 2013 and what you can learn from them:
5) Lonely Island (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar) – YOLO
Notable lyrics – Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances. 401K, make sure it’s low risk. Then get some real estate (how much?) 4.2% thirty year mortgage. That’s important, that’s a great deal. And if you can’t afford it, don’t forge it on your last bill.
Obviously the song is satire and burying your bills in the backyard is a terrible idea. But if you only live once, you oughta look out so you don’t spend the latter years stressing about your finances. Invest wisely, manage your risk and don’t spend what you can’t afford. You can thank Kendrick Lamar from your retirement home in the Keys.
4) Kacey Musgraves – Merry-Go-Round
Notable lyrics – Same checks we’re always cashing to buy a little more distraction.
In Kacey Musgrave’s poignant illustration of small town life, she touches on the sad truth about retail therapy. The Journal of Consumer Research reported that people tend to shop when they’re sad. But some sad shoppers become more depressed when they can’t afford the things they want or purchase. Moreover, no amount of Mary Kay or boxes of shoes can compensate for human connection. Think twice before your next emotionally-driven shopping spree and determine if there are better, more direct ways to fix what’s hurting you.
3) Britney Spears – Work, Work
Notable lyrics – You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion? Party in France? You better work, work.
This track truly encompasses the spirit of the American dream. Want a Bugatti? Perchance a Maserati? A membership at the fancy gym with the scented towels so you can achieve a hot body? Then you better work. Granted, working doesn’t guarantee you the Bugatti. But understanding the integral role you have in your own financial success should motivate you to work for the things you want. And setting that empowering message to a catchy dance beat never hurt anybody.
2) Lorde – Royals
Notable lyrics – Everybody’s like “Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.” We don’t care. We aren’t caught up in your love affair.
Most of us will never be royals. It doesn’t run in our blood. But that doesn’t mean that happiness is out of reach. You just need to crave a different kind of buzz. Michael Norton, co-author of Happy Money: the Science of Smarter Spending, told Boston Magazine, “Even something small, like going out for a meal or little shifts in how you spend $5 or $10 can bring more happiness to people… because experiences are more emotionally involving” than purchasing material goods. So if you’re not all about gold teeth, Grey Goose, or trippin’ in the bathroom, count your dollars on the train to the party, or find other budget friendly ways to connect with the people you love. You can always drive Cadillacs in your dreams.
1) Macklemore – Thrift Shop
Notable lyrics – They be like, “Oh, that Gucci – that’s hella tight.” I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt…” I call that getting swindled and pimped. I call that getting tricked by a business.
After hearing countless hip hop artists list the designers they are wearing and bottles of champagne that I can’t afford, it’s refreshing to hear Macklemore cheekily rap about being fiscally responsible. Thrift shopping is a fantastic way to look fresh on a budget. Buying designer brand apparel you can’t afford is a great way to go broke. If you’re trying to save, opt for the former. If you’re a newbie to shopping at consignment stores, check out these great tips from fellow Money Blogger Susan Johnston.
As a special year-end bonus, I leave you with a hit created by the eHow team. Jello is all the rage these days. With the many Holiday and New Year’s Eve parties you are sure to have on your calendar these next few days, we encourage you to Get Your Jiggle On.