Lyrical Lessons from “Money (That´s What I Want)” by Barrett Strong
The money-themed song Money (That’s What I Want) performed by Barrett Strong was released in 1959. The song written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford became the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown enterprise. Lyrically, there are only two lines of verse, but they can have an important impact on your financial security.
The first line of verse is “The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees.” The best things may be free, but one must recognize that there are very few free things. Finding a fiver in a parking lot would be great but it won’t help my financial security. It’s knowing what the cost is of the items you desire versus those that you need. Then it comes down to deciding if it’s worth the cost. One way to view this is to ask yourself how many hours do I have to work to buy it? If you want that new $1,600 TV and have a net hourly income of $20, is the new TV worth 80 hours of your time?
The second line of verse is “Your love gives me such a thrill, but your love don’t pay my bills.” I’ll go out on a limb and say maybe this isn’t true. Just maybe you love your Sugar Daddy or Sugar Momma. The rest of us will have to get by without the assistance and accept that love won’t pay the bills. Discussion of money matters in a relationship may not be easy. Problems can arise from low dollar or high dollar expenses or how much to save versus invest. See this CNBC article for a few pointers on how to communicate: How couples can overcome financial incompatibility.
Is the money discussion important in a relationship? I had a friend who found out after getting married that their spouse had purchased a car on a credit card. Imagine their surprise at seeing a $13,000 bill. They eventually divorced, which may or may not have been money related. Once married, you’re probably on the hook for any debt your spouse has.
There are several studies that indicate financial compatibility is important to a lasting relationship. If my friends had asked these simple questions from USA Today maybe they’d still be married. After 23 years of marriage, my wife and I still argue (discuss) about certain expenses and that’s okay, at least we’re communicating.
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