Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thoughts on Living Within One's Means: From Jill Scott???

File this under "how to be a personal finance doofus..."

Maybe you know you have a warped perspective on life, the kind of perspective only an obsessive personal finance blogger can have, when you start finding financial symbolism in unlikely places. I've been listening to my ipod more than usual lately, and suddenly found myself mulling over these lyrics:

I'm taking my freedom
Pulling it off the shelf
Putting it on my chain
Wearing it 'round my neck
I'm taking my freedom
Putting it in my car
Wherever I choose to go
It will take me far
I'm living my life like it's golden...
I couldn't help wondering if this was somehow about taking money that should be earmarked for future retirement savings, which to me is "freedom," and squandering it on jewelry and an expensive car and/or gasoline. Could "living life like it's golden" refer to living beyond one's means, and enjoying some kind of gilded existence that is only illusory?

The song is called "Golden," by Jill Scott, and you can read the lyrics yourself here. After doing so, I'm sure you'll agree that my initial impression was wrong, and that it's just a song about living freely and joyfully, without any particular embrace of materialism despite the first verse. It's a great song, actually, but I'm afraid it won't make it into my next "Money Music" playlist.

And yeah, I'm a doofus.


Anonymous said...

I actually look at it a different way. Having your freedom on the shelf means you are locked in debt and therfore can't use your freedom. Taking the freedom off the shelf means your are now out of debt and can use your freedom how you see fit, and this is living your life like it'd golden (cherishing it).

Anonymous said...

Hey doofus ... in the most polite way to say it ... how's the best way to evaluate personal enjoyment, charitable giving, and living well while trying to be fiscally responsible and planning for retirement? Frugality can be an illness and as much as most of use applaud the "millionaire next door" tightwads, there is a balance. Sadly many reading your thoughts and trying to get their acts together are going to end up dead before retirement anyway ... so where's the balance?

RacerX said...

I agree with the debt=chains thing and just did an article about that on my blog.

Disturbing thoughts about just living for today from Anon#2. The question I alway ask is this...what if you/I are wrong. If I am wrong by being responsible the worst that happens is that my kids inherit more. If you are wrong you are eating Meow Mix for 20-years and talking about how "the man" held you down.

You da Man!

SandyVoice said...

Use your freedom -- get out there and enjoy life now -- don't wait!

Saving your money, and investing it wisely, will let you do that a lot longer.

MEG said...

ha ha - you are a finances-obsessed PF blogger, aren't you? :-) It's OK, so am I. I actually stayed in Saturday night and...wait for it...did my taxes!! And I had a blast doing it!

Yeah, "doofus" doesn't begin to describe the madness. :-)

Moneymonk said...

You are a extreme pf thinker. LOL

You know you are obsess with money, when you cannot listen to a song w/o thinking about money ! LOL

Don't worry I sometimes look at license plates and think about stock symbols based on the first 3 letters on the plates. LOL

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica..I love when people look deeper in the lyrics of songs. Though I thought that Jill Scott was talking about her happiness and freedom. It's a great song and I think there is a music video.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica..I love when people look deeper in the lyrics of songs. Though I thought that Jill Scott was talking about her happiness and freedom. It's a great song and I think there is a music video.

Single Ma said...

Uh, yea. You need help. I'm committing you to the PF blogger ward right now!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry...you are not the only freak among us. I've always thought about financial freedom when I hear the lyrics to one of my favourite Powerfinger songs, "Passenger"...
"Chained, so many places you'd prefer to be, then framed by a picket fence and salary"
Great song, great band...but yes, pf nerdy on my part. ;)

Tired of being broke said...

Wowwwww, LOL...now you know you have been blogging about finances too long when this happens.

I absolutely love Jill Scott....never thought about finaces when listening to that song. LOL think has more to do with being happy with oneself, and not depending on another person or relationship for happiness. Enjoying your life.