Macklemore, Eminem, Selena Gomez & Others Teach 8 Important Money Lessons in Their Lyrics

Personal finance site investigates the hidden financial messages in today’s top pop hits, revealing eight songs from popular artists like Macklemore and Selena Gomez that teach smart money lessons consumers can adapt to their own financial lives.

EL SEGUNDO, CA (April 30, 2013) – As a driving force behind the record industry, money is an ever-present topic in lyrics across genres. Most of the time, lyrics about money are the artist’s chance to brag about how much of it they have and spend. Sometimes, however, songs about money can provide some thought-provoking insight to how we interact with and manage our money.

Here are our top picks of song lyrics that teach valuable money lessons.

Songs About Money

1. Look for Bargains: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz

I’m gonna pop some tags
Only got $20 in my pocket
I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is .. awesome.

Savin’ my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain

Among all the rap songs about droppin’ hundies at a strip club, it’s refreshing to hear one that actually focuses on how fun and awesome it is to be frugal. While the lyrics are about looking for deals in a thrift shop, there are tons of other great ways to save money. Whatever you are shopping for, from a new car to groceries, it always pays off to find a bargain.

2. Keep Spending Habits in Check

They be like, “Oh, that’s Gucci — that’s hella tight.”
I’m like, “Yo, that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.” …
I call that getting tricked by a business.

The lyrics in “Thrift Shop” also poke some fun at the consumerist mindset that can trap shoppers, the need to have the latest and great or the biggest name brands. But as the lyrics point out, that need is falsely created through marketing and branding messages.

3. Be Generous & Give Back: “Billionaire” by Travie McCory ft. Bruno Mars

I wanna be a billionaire so frickin’ bad,
Buy all of the things I never had…

I’ll probably take whatever’s left and just split it up
So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks…

And not a single tummy around me
Would know what hungry was
Eating good, sleeping soundly

“What would you do with a billion dollars?” That’s the question this song is all about, and it’s surprising to see that among fun suggestions like “Play ball with the president,” McCoy also has some more altruistic urges.

This song is the embodiment of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 7, Build Wealth & Give Back. The focus on generosity allows givers to find happiness and satisfaction in their success. And even if you aren’t a billionaire, you can still find simple ways to make the world a better place, either through charitable giving or volunteering.

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