Personal Finance

How Do You Afford Your Rock and Roll Lifestyle?

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Youngandthrifty rants about how fellow generation Y's and 20-something spending habits and the excessive spending and instant gratification we are imposing on ourselves.


I’ve heard this song recently a few times on the radio recently and loved it. It’s an older song (1994) by Cake and it’s meant to be a rant to 20-somethings on our excessive “I want it now now now” attitudes. I can’t help but crank it up and bob my head when I’m in the car and hear this song. I vote that they update the video because the video doesn’t do the song justice.

Whenever I hear this song, I think of all my peers, all the fellow generation Y’s and the mentality of instant gratification whether it be a shiny new luxury car and high car payments, a fancy designer handbag, going partying every week, going for expensive dinners and nights out, buying $600 leather jackets etc.  Just like Money Rabbit says (we were thinking the same thing this week despite being on opposite coasts, I guess!), I wonder “how the heck do my friends afford all this?”

I think as 20-somethings, we struggle with so much lifestyle inflation as it is (saving for a wedding, a down payment, possibly chidren..).  We are excited because we are finally making some good money, but at the same time, there are so many choices available to us to spend that money.  Recently, I have a friend who I talked “money” with (though she seemed a bit uncomfortable with it, I think) and she is the epitome of living the rock and roll lifestyle.  I was curious as to how much she was saving per month.

She has a 2 carat engagement ring on her finger, she goes out for $100 per person dinners on weekly basis, has Christian Louboutin shoes (yes, the $1000 shoes with the red sole), multiple designer handbags (I am guessing at least 15), goes traveling a lot, drives a Porsche, and seems to have a different outfit every time she goes clubbing or goes out (judging from her facebook pictures, she doesn’t live near me anymore).  I’m not jealous of her lifestyle, I would not want to go clubbing every week, nor would I want the designer shoes or handbags… I just don’t really understand how she can afford it.  She says she saves 0% of her income if she goes shopping that month, but if she gets a bonus from work that year (she works in the finance industry), she saves the bonus 100%.

I guess it all boils down to being balanced with your money and to make sacrifices.  That’s why personal finance is so… personal.  We are so privileged to be free, not oppressed, and we have so many choices on how we can use our money.  As a generation Y, I think it can be hard to think and plan for the future sometimes- but we must start saving some of that money instead of spending it and instantly gratifying ourselves with concert tickets, shopping for clothes, buying new shoes.  These are all material things that don’t give us happiness (perhaps 2 minutes of happiness admiring your new purchase, but its all downhill from there).  So next time we are tempted to buy the latest gadget (ahem, iPad 2?), we need to stop, put the gadget down, and think about whether we really need it…instead of lining up at Apple to buy it on your credit card.

Phew.  End Rant. 🙂

Here are the (brilliant) lyrics:
Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven’t even heard of.
And how much did you pay for your rock’n’roll t-shirt
That proves you were there,
That you heard of them first?

How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?
Ah, tell me.

How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
One which he’ll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.

Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.

How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?

Excess ain’t rebellion.
You’re drinking what they’re selling.
Your self-destruction doesn’t hurt them.
Your chaos won’t convert them.
They’re so happy to rebuild it.
You’ll never really kill it.
Yeah, excess ain’t rebellion.
You’re drinking what they’re selling.
Excess ain’t rebellion.
You’re drinking,
You’re drinking,
You’re drinking what they’re selling.



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