Pop stars don't just boast about "Beamers" and "Benzes," flashy diamonds and couture clothing. Hit songs can actually have some solid and practical financial tips. Whether you're a fan of girl groups, rock bands or rap music, personal finance is a topic that can be found in any genre. So adjust your playlists, turn up your headphones and rock out to some hit songs that could surprisingly teach us a thing or two about our finances.
1. Destiny's Child, "Bills, Bills, Bills"
"Now you've been maxing out my card/ Gave me bad credit, buying me gifts with my own ends."
Looking to help a spouse, friend or relative raise their credit score? You might be thinking about adding them as an authorized user on your account. Be cautious and aware of the pros and cons of adding an authorized user. Adding someone permits them to use your account, but, as far as your credit goes, you will remain responsible for paying the bill incurred.
If you're worried about ending up like Destiny's Child, consider a joint account as another option. A joint account allocates more of an equal responsibility between the two parties. In a joint account, both parties are expected to share the bill and repay any debts.
2. Macklemore, "Thrift Shop"
"I am stunting and flossing/ And saving my money and I'm happy/ That's a bargain"
Statistics show that a low credit utilization rate is correlated with a higher credit score. Although credit card utilization is not the sole factor in determining a credit score, it is one of the more important influences to getting you to where you want to be.
Credit card utilization is a way to show how disciplined a person may be with their money. So although limits may be high, don't be tempted into raking up large balances. Take Macklemore's advice and try bargaining and thrift shopping to keep your utilization low.
3. Drake, "All Me"
"I've been taught to never loan somebody what you need right back"
Whoever taught Drake this financial lesson may have had a bad co-signing experience. Applying for a loan can be tricky and co-signing a loan can be terrifying. Once you're a co-signer on a loan you ultimately agree to pay off any debts if the borrower does not. A loan that you co-sign for also shows up on your own credit report as if the loan is your own. In this way, co-signing a loan for somebody is almost like loaning that person your own money.
Don't co-sign for a loan if you aren't financially stable. Decide whether you can accept the responsibility of payment if in fact the loan doesn't get paid off by the initial borrower. Keep in mind, late fees and collection costs may come along with the debt. If you wouldn't agree to loan that person money, you should probably think twice about co-signing for them.
4. Blink-182, "MH 4.18.2011"
"Hold on, the worst is yet to come/ Save your money for hired guns/ Hold strong when everything you loved is gone."
Saving money is not an easy task but even the famously immature Blink-182 understands the importance of saving for a rainy day. Creating an emergency plan allows you to stash away a set amount of money for unexpected life occurrences. Don't let surprises ruin your financial health. Stay organized, make on-time payments, establish a realistic savings goal and decide on a part of your income that can be specifically deposited in your emergency account.
5. Gwen Stefani, "Luxurious"
"Working so hard every night and day and now we get the pay back/ Trying so hard saving up the paper/ Now we get to lay back."
As Gwen tried to teach us, it's never too early to start planning for retirement. It's important to understand what your employer offers for retirement savings plans, such as a 401(k). It's often worth it to take advantage of these plans, especially if your employer offers a matching program. Set a goal for your retirement plan and from there you'll be able to figure out how much to contribute. Plan carefully based on your necessities and lifestyle.
By the time retirement is knocking at your door, plan to have your mortgage and other debts paid off. Then, like Gwen Stefani, once you lay back, you'll be getting some pay back.
Staying financially healthy is an everyday job. Take your money tips from anywhere you can get them, and you'll be able to keep your head in the game and emerge victorious.
About the Author: Tresha Lim joined Credit Karma's team in October 2013 as a Member Support Specialist. She holds a BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Prior to joining Credit Karma, she worked as a sports information intern and is now diving into the financial tech industry. When she's not answering questions about all things Credit Karma, you can catch her cheering on her favorite sports teams.
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