October 22nd, 2011
Everything I Need to Know About Finances (and Life, for that Matter) I Learned From Rock ‘N’ Roll
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The great rock legends of yore can teach you a lot of things, like how to be totally awesome wearing silly face makeup. But those who rock also have a few lessons to teach on more serious topics, like our finances. Here are a few I’ve culled from the rock greats.
Song: “What Do You Do for Money Honey”
Lyric: You’re always pushing, shoving, satisfied with nothing.
Lesson: We work hard all our lives, but when it comes down to it, money doesn’t buy happiness. And we probably wouldn’t be satisfied, even with millions of dollars. So next time you’re getting all worked up about making some extra cash, take a chill pill. Money isn’t everything. As long as you can cover the bills, eat and clothe yourself and your family, you’ve got it made.
Band: Van Halen
Song: “Big Fat Money”
Lyric: High rise, high rent, before it’s earned, it’s all been spent.
Lesson: An emergency fund is really important. When I moved across the country from my family to the high-rent paradise of San Francisco, I quickly learned how much of mine and my husband’s paychecks would have to go toward rent in a small one-bedroom apartment. Our money was indeed spent before it was earned. So we quickly learned to put aside some cash for emergencies and all of the plane tickets back east to visit family; a lesson well-learned and definitely still practiced today.
Song: “You Never Give Me Your Money”
Lyric: Out of college, money spent, see no future, pay no rent.
Lesson: Plans change. When I was growing up, I thought I would go to college, decide on a major, and then graduate with a job and a five-year plan. But an English/Spanish double-major coupled with the lack of satisfactory career counseling landed me back at my parents’ house and working in a field unrelated to my degree. Fortunately, after graduate school and a move across the country, I figured it out. (Hooray! I’m a blogger!) But along the way, I learned that your plans don’t always work out, and you have to adjust, even if it means humbling yourself and your wallet and moving back in with your parents.
Band: Pink Floyd
Lyric: I think I need a Lear jet.
Lesson: There’s always going to be something you want that you can’t afford. Like an iPhone. Or a Lear jet. Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t worth it if it means spending more money than you make. Right now, I’m pretty good at avoiding expensive status purchases, although I must admit that clothes and gadgets are my weakness.
Band: The Who
Song: “Young Man Blues”
Lyric: Nowadays, it’s the old man. He’s got all the money. And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days.
Lesson: Being young is great, but it has its disadvantages. Take credit scores, for example. When we had our epic “Battle of the Credit Scores,” pitting the “young’uns” against the “not-so-young’uns,” we discovered that age does matter. And it’s reflected in Credit Karma’s credit score data, too. Consumers ages 18-24 average a credit score of 652, while consumers ages 25-44 have an average score of 658. Consumers ages 45-64 have an even higher average credit score at 678.
Bottom Line: I don’t recommend you live your life—and especially your finances—strictly by rock ‘n’ roll philosophies. You might end up with a few charges for destroying hotel furniture. But I do recommend that you aim for a rockin’ credit score.
However you like to rock out, remember this: You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore.
Have a Karmic (and Rockin’) day,
Bethy Hardeman, Social Media Maven