Recently I was driving and listening to Lady Gaga. I’m not really a fan of her work but a few of her songs are on my play list. I happened to be playing her full CD and when the song The Fame came on I found myself thinking, “she’s right.”
“I can’t help myself
I’m addicted to a life of material
It’s some kind of joke
I’m obsessively opposed to the typical”
I thought of myself as I was listening to this part. When I was in my college years, I WAS addicted to the life of material. I had grown up with very little money (and no education about finances) and college was the first time I was able to spend money without answering to anyone. I had credit cards for the first time (and no education on how to use them) and was happily filling my closets with material items.
I don’t think I was that different from most 20-somethings. Being out on our own for the first time, having our own money that doesn’t have to be questioned by anyone before it’s spent; these are powerful times in our lives.
“All we care about is runway models
Cadillacs and liquor bottles”
For many of us, we are trying to forge our own paths, determine who we are and establish our own identity. Unfortunately, many of us do that by purchasing material items that we, erroneously feel will help us in this quest.
“Give me something I wanna be
Retro glamor Hollywood yes, we live for the
Fame, doing it for the fame
‘Cause we wanna live the life of the rich and famous
Fame, doin’ it for the fame
‘Cause we gotta taste for champagne and endless fortune”
Credit cards can sometimes give us the allusion of endless fortune. For me, it always seemed that just as I was reaching the limit on one credit card, another one would appear in the mail or my limit would be raised. I had an (seemingly) endless supply of “fortune.” I know that I am not alone in that thinking. Many people live this way with their credit cards.
“Fame fame baby; the fame, fame
We live for the fame fame, baby the fame, fame
Isn’t it a shame, shame baby? A shame, shame
In it for the fame, fame, baby, the fame fame”
Thinking on those times now makes me so upset. I can not believe how ridiculous I behaved. How did I not see the illogical thought patterns? How did I not see the direction I was going?
The song goes on to about trying to gain fame in Hollywood and while I can not relate to that concept, I wonder. How many people have done something crazy with their finances in an effort to reach their dreams but didn’t have a plan.
Did you know that Spike Lee funded his first movie with two credit cards? He transferred the balances from one card to the next each month so he didn’t have to pay on them. Sure it worked for him, but think of the millions of other people who it hasn’t or won’t work for.
It’s time we start educating the masses on a few important topics that I think we are neglecting.
Follow your dreams.
Forge your own path!
But do those things with a solid financial plan behind you. Our society is not being fiscally responsible and it is time to change that. I plan to with myself and my own children. I hope to with my future career as well. I hope my blog encourages people to make changes and teach their children financial literacy.
“Don’t ask me how or why
But I’m gonna make it happen this time
My teenage dream tonight
Yeah, I’m gonna make it happen this time”
Lyrics belong to Lady Gaga. I found them at MetroLyrics.
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