If you’re serious about finding the path towards financial freedom, chances are you’ve already consumed many books, blog posts, and podcast episodes that peddle advice on how to keep your finances in check.
To be frank, some of those jargon-filled texts are pretty intimidating, right?
So if you’re looking for some sound but chill money advice, why not consult the Billboard charts?
All right, I can almost sense your eyes squinting in doubt through the screen, but you read that right. Over the years, a lot of artists have transitioned from talking about making it rain — to teaching us how to save for a rainy day.
Today, we are ranking popular song lyrics according to the validity of the financial lessons they offer — from the terrible, the acceptable, all the way to the God-tier advice that deserves an encore!
Sit back, chill, and let the music — and the money advice — fill your soul.
12. Billionaire – Travie McCoy (feat. Bruno Mars)
Let’s kick things off with Bruno Mars laying out plans for when he would become a billionaire.
I swear the world better prepare
For when I’m a billionaire
Setting financial goals is good, but first, they must be realistic.
Given that only 2,095 of the world’s 7.9 billion people are billionaires, it’s a wee bit unlikely for our pal Bruno Mars to become one, as talented as he is.
I guess winning the lottery is always a possibility, no matter how small, and dreaming is free, so we’ll let it pass.
However, what Bruno Mars is planning to do with such a fortune is giving us mixed feelings.
In one verse, he talks about sharing his blessings with orphans, which is great.
I’d probably pull an Angelina and Brad Pitt
And adopt a bunch of babies that ain’t never had shit
Later on though, he literally talked about throwing away millions — for fun.
Toss a couple milli’ in the air just for the heck of it
While this sounds like such a rockstar thing to do, tossing out dollar bills like green confetti isn’t nearly as cool outside of a music video.
You might think you’re all set for a comfortable and luxurious life when you score a billion dollars, but we’ve seen billionaires lose it all over bad financial planning. So sorry, Bruno Mars, we love you and all, but we don’t all have a similar dream.
11. National Anthem – Lana Del Rey
Next up, we have this instant classic from LDR.
Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it’s a fact-kiss, kiss
Truer words have never been spoken. Money is not everything, but we’d all be lying to ourselves if we said we don’t need it to survive.
We’re on a quick, sick rampage
Winin’ and dinin’, drinkin’ and drivin’, excessive buyin’
So after lecturing us about the importance of money, LDR proceeded to sing about overspending on things that she doesn’t need.
If you want just one piece of solid financial advice, this is it: don’t indulge your every whim.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at all. Set aside a small percentage of your monthly income for entertainment. As long as you don’t go over it, it’s totally cool to splurge every once in a while.
10. Get Your Money Right – The Game (feat. Dr. Dre & Jay-Z)
Get your money right
Make sure your business tight
Finally, we get some useful advice around here — from the world’s third richest rapper, whose net worth currently stands at a whopping $770 million.
You gotta get your money right
Be an international player
His advice is right on the money — you gotta diversify your investments by increasing exposure to international equities. At least I think that’s what he meant.
9. Trust Fund Baby – Why Don’t We
A lot of people overlook this, but a huge part of achieving financial success is finding a partner who shares similar goals.
While there’s nothing wrong with being born rich, Why Don’t We warns us about the hassles of dating ‘trust fund babies’.
I don’t want no trust fund baby
Save your money, don’t spend it
And I say to people, “that’s my lady”
When you commit to a special someone, you may decide to join finances at some point. And if your spending philosophies don’t mesh well, you may both be in for a tough ride.
Just listen to this next song to understand what I mean.
8. Memories – P!ATD
When money lost momentum
And the bills were piling high
Then the smile had finally faded
From the apple of their eye
They were young and independent
And they thought they had it planned
Should have known right from the start
You can’t predict the end
This song tells the story of a couple whose love didn’t survive a tumultuous financial journey. Contrary to what Eagles will have you believe, love will not keep you alive.
Take this heartbreaking song as a reminder of how fast things can go awry if you don’t watch your spending habits as a couple.
7. Spine Breaker – BTS
Even after seeing your parents’ curved spines, you’re so coldhearted
You complain that all your friends have it and that they should buy it for you
(Ayo baby) stop being so immature
You won’t freeze just because you don’t have that jacket
Fill your head with good sense before it’s too late
You can keep your swag on but how about your parents?
Now, we have K-pop sensation BTS calling out those who feel entitled to their parents’ constant financial bailouts. Harsh lyrics aside, they do have a point.
It’s understandable to live at home when you’re young, unemployed, or destitute, and contribute to the household however you can. It’s not cool to demand that your parents buy you all the gadgets your friends have, once you pass the age of 12.
You cannot achieve financial independence while financially depend on your folks forever.
6. Low Budget – The Kinks
Cheap is small and not too steep
But best of all, cheap is cheap.
Circumstance has forced my hand
To be a cut-priced person
In a low-budget land.
Times are hard, but we’ll all survive.
I just gotta learn to economize.
It is almost inevitable for all of us to experience financial setbacks at some point in our lives — an untimely retrenchment, a bad investment, or perhaps, uh, I don’t know…a global health crisis?
The Kinks remind us that it’s okay — we just gotta learn to economize.
But how exactly do we do that?
Here’s how, for starters:
5. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Wanz)
They be like, “Oh, that Gucci – that’s hella tight.”
I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”
Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition
Fifty dollars for a T-shirt – that’s just some ignorant ****
I call that getting swindled and pimped
I call that getting tricked by a business
Not only can thrifting save you a lot of money over time, it has become cool again, in part thanks to this 2012 smash hit.
Business Insider found that between wholesale and retail, eyeglasses can be marked up by as much as 1,000%, jeans 350%, and furniture, 400%. Unbelievable, right?
Macklemore hits the nail on the head when he said it’s akin to getting swindled and pimped!
And if someone with a net worth of $25 million dollars can be proud of shopping at thrift stores, you sure could do it, too.
4. Cheap Thrills – Sia
Baby I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight
(I love cheap thrills!)
Did you know the average Brit spends about £71 on a single night out? That’s got to hurt in the long run! So this piece of money advice from the one and only Sia holds a solid #4 spot on this list.
You truly don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight, or any night. There are plenty of fun things to do that don’t break the bank.
3. All Me – Drake (feat. 2 Chainz & Big Sean)
I learn from what I’ve been through
I’m finna do what I didn’t do
And still waking up like the rent’s due
Drake sits comfortably at #3, because his single ‘All Me’ is practically a money advice gold mine.
When people start making more money, they also tend to spend more. In effect, savings remain stagnant regardless of the number of raises and promotions they get. This phenomenon is called lifestyle inflation — one of the toughest hurdles you might encounter on your #RoadToFinancialFreedom.
Luckily, we have Drake to remind us to keep hustlin’. Even when you’re doing a little better — it will serve you well to keep the same frugal mindset you had when you were just trying to make ends meet.
2. Everything – Xzibit
Diversify your millions, you can live off the interest
Make every revenue street flood to where it took me
And make that money stack higher than giraffes
Here’s one of the most asked questions in financial literacy seminars: is it really possible to live off interests and dividends?
This song answers ‘yes’ — and even tells us how.
Now, as for stacking money higher than giraffes, all I have to say is that you’ll need a pretty tall ladder to do that — if you really want to. No judgment.
1. YOLO – The Lonely Island (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)
Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances
401K, make sure it’s low risk
Then get some real estate (how much?), four point two percent
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
Renting is for suckers right now
A dependable savings
And you’ll retire with money in your account
All right, we’ve come to the end of the list and we have The Lonely Island topping this chart.
Okay, trust me: I normally wouldn’t recommend anyone to seek financial advice from a comedy trio whose battle cry is ‘YOLO’ — but this time I have no choice.
It’s like The Lonely Island got a sudden influx of financial awakening, decided to write a song that doubles as a financial literacy crash course, and got Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar to sing it to make sure we’d all listen.
Seriously, I wanted to quote the entire song for you here, but I figured it would be better to just leave you to listen to it.
You’re welcome. *mic drop*