What I’m Listening To: The Good Life

Ah, the good life. Since the great recession, the markets have gone up, the economy has bounced back, and the future looks a little rosier than it did in 2009. Of course, as good personal finance experts will tell you, recessions and downturns are no time to panic. People who took their money out of the market in 2009 missed out on plenty of market gains these past few years. However, since things have turned around, you might expect people being a little more cavalier with their money. The 80s and 90s were prosperous and defined in history by excess in the United States. Even after the tech bubble popped in the early 2000’s, as a country we bounced back and started over-leveraging and buying more and bigger houses than we could really afford.

This recovery feels a little different though. As much as people bash the Millennial Generation, there are little hints that they have learned their lesson. One of these indicators can be found in popular music. Of course, Macklemore’s Thrift Shop was a big one. J$ over at Budgets Are Sexy wrote about Royals by Lorde recently. And today, I’m adding another one to the list: The Good Life by Rock Mafia featuring Lauriana Mae:

The first time I heard this song, I didn’t think about it much. I thought it was catchy and worth another listen. The second time I listened to it, I was wearing my headphones, walking through New York on a gorgeous Spring day a couple of weeks ago. When the chorus came on, I was already in a great mood, so the positivity of the song resonated with me. When I got home, I looked up the lyrics, played the song again and actually paid attention to it. Whaddya know – another song that seems to take a look at priorities and distance itself from the flashy, ostentatious living described in so many pop songs. Here are a few of my favorite lyrics from the song.

I might not have all I want,
But what I got right here and now
It’s perfect, yea!
The sun feels warm and I’m alive
Let’s play that old ’45, and church it

Yup – just walking down the sunny streets of New York. That sun does feel warm! There’s always more to “want” in life, but, as you’ve been told, time and again, it’s best to appreciate what you have. Just because it’s so often said, doesn’t make it less true!

I pray for all the human beings
That we all know what it really means
To care about somebody else more than you do for yourself
Your family, your friends

Personal relationships are important! Yes – I couldn’t agree more, Lauriana!

Credit, jets, dead presidents, all of that is total utter bullsh*t

I’m still on board with her here. But wait, isn’t this a blog all about money and personal finance? Yes, but the money habits you create are there to serve the parts of your life that make you truly happy. So, I will definitely never own a jet. Of course, credit and dead presidents are something that I think can be used to improve your life, but money and credit for the sake of money and credit itself IS total utter bullsh*t!

Empty pockets help me jump higher,
Smiles from kids comes fresh out the dryer
Water this clean and food in my fridge
Most of the world just can’t get with This Good Life

This part of the song is where she loses me just a bit. She has her priorities in the right place, but I don’t think she’s aware that, when used properly, money can help you achieve even more of “The Good Life”. Not through spending on ridiculous jets and bling, but through giving you free time to focus on family, friends, and your passions.

Overall, I am encouraged that the music of today seems to indicated that Millennials are starting to “get it”, even as the stock market bounces back and people are starting to feel wealthy again. Plus, just try not to be happy listening to this catchy tune out on a balcony sipping your favorite beer, or drink of choice!


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12 thoughts on “What I’m Listening To: The Good Life

  1. DC @ Young Adult Money May 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Can’t listen to the song at the moment but I will definitely give it a listen later on. While there are some encouraging signs that millennials are starting to view finances differently, I think our cultures is consumer-driven as ever, especially among millennials.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted: 5 Things Young Professionals Should be Doing (But Probably Aren’t)My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Overall, I think you are right in saying that we are completely too consumer-driven as a culture. But I dunno – it seems to me that millennials aren’t quite the Boomers or Gen Xers that movies like “Wall Street” were made about. There is a shift towards social thinking – a small shift, granted, but a start.

  2. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life May 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I have to agree that she loses me at the end. Just cause I don’t want to waste money on fancy and unnecessary purchases doesn’t mean I don’t want it filling my pockets.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: Budget Travel: RidesharesMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Haha – absolutely. She gets the first step, but doesn’t understand (sadly) that money can be useful to help you attain the things that DO matter and bring happiness. She can have way more time with family, friends, and interesting projects with some money – as long as it isn’t the end goal.

  3. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply May 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    The description of the nice spring day where you were listening to the song reminds me of a day when I reflected on my good life. One afternoon, I went to an event at someone’s huge upper west side apartment…out on the penthouse terrace…I was feeling some envy there. But that evening, I was sitting outside on my tiny balcony with my then pregnant wife watching the sunset…and I realized a nicer place and fancier stuff really isn’t what makes for a good life. Anyway, when I read this post it made me think of an article I read recently: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/cars-not-for-us-the-cheapest-generation-explains-the-freedom-of-not-owning/261516/#comments
    Not sure if millenials are shunning consumerism or maybe there’s just no other option because they’re underemployed.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: Why Do You Live Where You Live?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I love this. Something about a gorgeous day gets me so hype! And it’s something that anyone can experience, no matter what type of balcony, roof, etc you have. Anyone can take a walk outside!

      Also, great article – and sure, I imagine that Millennials are less consumeristic because they were FORCED to be that way, but regardless of the path, they got there, which is kind of heartening.

  4. Even Steven May 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Any song title with “The Good Life” has a chance with me, then again I’m all over the place on music, I can listen to Johnny Cash one minute and then switch to Ludacris.
    Even Steven recently posted: Are Your Parents Rich-Small Town LifeMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Ha! I am the same way! Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to music for me.

  5. Broke Millennial May 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Nice move drawing the correlation between our generation’s music and our sentiments towards money! It will be interesting to see how we — as a generation — end up in a decade or two. I think far more people save and embrace the minimalist lifestyle than we’re given credit for.

    I’ve never heard “The Good Life” — so thanks for the introduction.
    Broke Millennial recently posted: Frugal Find Friday: UberMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      No prob – I am hoping to inject a tad more music into this blog – it may or may not have to do with money every time, but I enjoy it too much!

  6. Marie @ Financial Debauchery May 27, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I had a chance to listen this song and one of my favorite line is “Money comes, and money goes
    But the love we have always grows, It’s a holiday when I’m in your arms”. Yes, definitely we can make money and we spend it but the more important is the love that we give to out family, friends and relatives.
    Marie @ Financial Debauchery recently posted: How to Get Rich Young and Live a Work-Free LifeMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 27, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Thanks Marie – and agreed, it’s all about personal relationships!

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