We Will Never Be Royals

Today’s post is dedicated to one of my newest favorite songs: “Royals” by Lorde. Who’s ONLY 16 btw, if you can believe that, but who’s taking over the air waves like crazy right now. If you know the song, you’ll understand why completely (and if you don’t, you have bad taste in music! Haha… j/k. But you should probably get your ears checked just in case ;))

Take a few seconds real quick and hit play up there to check it out, or click here to watch it if you’re reading this in RSS or email. Though fair warning it’s pretty catchy and liable to get stuck in your head for the rest of the afternoon ;)

Now what does this have to do with personal finance?? EVERYTHING. Or, nothing at all, if I’m completely skewing the meaning behind it which I very well may be about to do (and also very well don’t care ‘cuz that’s the point of art, right? To be left for our own interpretations?)

Here are the words from the first part of the chorus:

But every song’s like:

Gold teeth
Grey Goose
Tripping in the bathroom
Ball gowns
Trashing the hotel room

We don’t care…. we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams

AKA the “Joneses!” Look at them go and blow their money to fit in with the rest of their peers – gold teeth, grey goose, ball gowns?? That’s totally what our neighbors are doing ;) If they were royals of course. Or, rappers.

And she doesn’t care! She’s like, “I’m just gotta go out and dream about that stuff – that works for me. I don’t need it to feel special – I’m down with my bad self.” And then she continues on:

But everybody’s like:

Diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes
Tigers on a gold leash

We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

Again, this love affair of fitting in with the royals/Joneses/most definitely the rappers. (I’m pretty sure every legitimate rapper has once owned, or spoken, those words on a track at one point – no joke). And again, she don’t care… Kinda like Psy on Gangnum – remember him? What is popular music coming to?!

At the end of the day…

“That kind of lux just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz…”

BAM!!! Personal finance all over that lyric – YES! Luxury is for money haters. We don’t need that junk to be happy – we’re totally cool with our place in life. We crave a different kind of buzz like love, and family, and savings accounts/401ks/retiring at a decent age. You know, “boring” stuff ;) We’re not caught up like all those royals are flaunting their cash and lifestyle – we don’t want to be like them!!!

Am I right? Oh wait, no? You DO want lots of money to do as you please? Yeah, me too. No doubt. BUT we can do without the crazy binges and trashing hotel rooms/getting bloody and bragging about it on Facebook for sure. What’s so great about bloodstains anyways?? Am I missing something?

The point is – Lorde gets it. And she’s only 16. She knows what the herds are doing in their lives, and she’s cool to be doing it in her *own* way. A much less extravagant/crazy way, at that. She doesn’t want to be one of the Joneses – she’s confident in herself and how she wants to enjoy life.

(And speaking of which, not that I want to get off track here, but MAN do the “Joneses” get a bad rap these days… Can you imagine how the REAL Joneses feel?? Like, what if that was YOUR last name?? Haha… And all YOUR neighbors are telling everyone they don’t want to BE you? ;) That’s not too nice of them, is it?

I suggested on Twitter the other day that we should come up with a totally NEW name for these guys as to not offend anyone anymore. Kinda like they’re (yet again) suggesting with my Redskins, even though the talks never seem to go anywhere… Only in this case, there’s a slight chance of it catching on ;) As long as you guys help spread the word!!!

Are you ready to hear my suggestion?? It’s a good one!! The new name I think we should all replace the “Joneses” with is….. the “BookieBoos!” Haha… seriously! Who would ever have *that* name?? And better yet – who the hell would WANT that name? ;) They wouldn’t, which would then give them even MORE ammunition to stray away from the “norm” and go create their own lifestyle like Miss Lordes up there seems to be doing… I’m telling you, the Bookie Boos are where it’s at. And now I’ve TOTALLY strayed away from today’s post, haha… sorry about that.)

So there you have it. “Royals” by Lorde – the best new song out there,and which I nominate to become personal finance’s theme song. Either that, or we vote to change the Joneses to the Bookieboos – your choice ;)

In the meantime, I’m going to go Google what’s so freakin’ exciting about being bloody… Is it cuz your blood is so rich that you can afford to offload some of that too?? I believe this calls for another posting of this gif right here. Just swap out the cash with blood – it’s all interchangeable.

baby throwing money

PS: Here’s a cool interview Lorde did with the Huffington Post recently, if you’re interested in learning more. She’s been in the music game since she was 12, if you can believe that.

***UPDATE*** OMG – I *know* of a Bookieboo!!! Haha…. My friend Leah, from my Love Drop days!!! OMG that’s too funny… So sorry boo! You still love me?? :)

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  1. Scott @ HomeBuyer Nation October 11, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    I can’t stop watching that baby making it rain! :-)

  2. Aimee October 11, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    I can’t stop watching the baby make it rain either! Is there a subliminal message in that clip?

    I became obsessed with Lourde a couple months ago (I even have my boyfriend calling me Queen Bee… yesssssss) and read an article at that time explaining that Royals is written about how rap is the most popular music of lower-middle class teens but it is completely unrelatable. Queue blood stains and ball gowns (intense partying) and tigers on a gold leash (lavish rapper living). The point is still the same… do your own thaaaang!

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      HAH! Really??? So it IS about rap? That is too awesome… and that also means I must be smart :)

  3. Sense October 11, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    What up, NZ is making it happen! :) She blew up here many months ago, I am so glad she’s made it mainstream. She deserves it, what a talent! The only thing is…I was talking to a friend about this tonight: due to her song about not needing lavish things, she is now in a position where she will be living that lifestyle (or can, at least)! Irony.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Indeed :) As long as her music kept promoting good stuff though it wouldn’t bother much if she went down that lifestyle. I don’t see anything wrong w/ being fancy if priorities are being met.

  4. Lance @ Money Life and More October 11, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    I know someone with the last name Jones but I sincerely doubt she cares because I highly doubt she reads person finance sites. If you don’t do that you probably rarely hear about keeping up with the Joneses :)

  5. John S @ Frugal Rules October 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    That kid is awesome! We actually saw an interview of Lorde a few days ago on TV about her song and they were getting on her case about the lyrics. She handled it well and pointed back to her experience in music and what she has always listened to. But, I didn’t think of how it could relate to PF and I think you’re spot on. And “Bookieboo”….it has a ring to it!

  6. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life October 11, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Bookieboo sounds a little to playful and fun. Maybe it should be some kind of ominous name. Keepin’ up with the X’s can lead to doom…:)

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Haha… or just, “The Devils”

  7. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel October 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Hopefully she stays that way after she starts getting a little of that cash :) It’s always easy to talk that way when you’re on the outside looking in. On the other hand, maybe their blood is like that guy’s in Limitless and they’re just sharing the wealth :)

  8. Romona @Monasez October 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    I have never heard that song but the lyrics make me want to check it out. Who wouldn’t want a tiger on a gold leash? Lol

  9. Brian October 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Catchy song! Every time I flip past it on the radio I stop for a listen. Heard she was young. Nice breakdown on the lyrics makes me like the song even more now!

  10. EL @ MoneyWatch101 October 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I have done a few money and music reviews on my site, I think music influences the listeners especially the younger generations. Just like thrift shop 6 months ago, it gave a powerful message. I hope the kids who listen to this song can translate the meaning behind the lyrics of this song. I don’t like the bookieboo’s, how about keeping up with the Nobudgeter’s or Splurger’s.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Indeed – I don’t think you can hear too much positiveness growing up, esp since you need a ton to combat all the nonsense out there!

  11. FF October 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    That’s pretty good, thanks for posting. I’m also confused about the bloodstains. Seems like if you’re rich most of the people you hang with would be safe, clean, and healthy…

  12. Marissa@Thirtysixmonths October 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Love it! my friend’s sister kept on singing this over and over a few weeks back. It got stuck in my head!

  13. Cat @ Budget Blonde October 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    I can’t figure out who her voice reminds me of, but it def. has such a cool tone to it and I love the song all hatin’ on bookieboos. PF for the win!

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      I first thought it was Fiona Apple when I first heard it – maybe that’s it? When I shared it w/ my wife she thought it was Lana Del Ray :)

  14. Katrina H October 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I actually call my best friend bookieboo on occasion! HA! You’re right though.. who would want to keep up with the BookieBoo’s? I literally lol’ed when I saw that! Love today’s post!!! (First time commenter!)

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      SCORE! I love sucking out first-time comments :) Thanks so much for jumping in today!

  15. Brian @ Stocks and Cents October 11, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I’m telling you guys, NZ is such a cool place. The people there have a completely different way of living. For them, they don’t work crazy long hours just to retire at 65 broken and tired. They work with the purpose of having a good life, without excess. When I lived there, all the kiwi’s would say that they work just enough so they can go skiing or boating on the weekends and hang out with close friends and family at night. Simple kind of life there. I’m glad that Ella Lorde, at 16, gets it better than most people in the US do! Definitely a case of the people around her not caring about it.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      I definitely like the idea of that, yes :) What happens during emergencies/when money runs out when they retire though? Do they have national healthcare there? That’s the big way we get in trouble here in the later years :(

      1. Brian @ Stocks and Cents October 12, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        They DO have national health care. It’s actually pretty amazing. I was living there for a little bit back in 2007 and it worked out pretty well. I had friends from the US that got reasonably injured and were able to get fantastic health care free of charge. Makes life pretty great :)

  16. Kate October 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    The first time I heard this song, I thought it said “you can call me green bean.” Needless to say, I was a little confused. Haha.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM



  17. Micro October 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I just noticed right at the end of the gif, the baby’s eyes turn to the dollar that didn’t make it over the windowsill. I can only assume what follows is that dollar getting tossed out to join it’s brothers and sisters.

    I do wonder though, is that leash made out of pure gold? If so I feel for the tiger, gold isn’t light.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      That’s a very good observation, my friend. You pay attention to detail :)

  18. Slackerjo October 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Today I returned a library book and then walked down the street to buy some milk. I saw a Ferrari parked illegally on the street. I guess the Royals thought is if you own a Ferrari, you don’t worry about an $85 parking ticket.

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      If they’re like my old boss they do. He’d park wherever he damn well pleased because it was *always* worth the cost of convenience no matter how much the ticket was.

      Somewhat-related, this reminds me of a daycare story I once heard where parents were always coming too late to pick up their kids, so the daycare thought they’d be smooth and charge extra for every half an hour they were late. It backfired and only got MORE people to leave their children there later because the cost was worth the convenience to them! Haha… Once you can pay for something, it’s a whole other mindset :)

      1. Slackerjo October 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        My old boss said the cost of being late at his day care is $40/hr.

  19. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen October 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    BookieBoo’s! Sounds like baby name. We might want to keep it to the Joneses or else we’ll sound like we’re talking to babies or dogs. Haha. This song has been playing nonstop in LA for over a month. I like it and didn’t know that she’s so young!

    1. J. Money October 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      True true… come back to me on Monday for a replacement name :)

  20. charles@gettingarichlife October 12, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Great now that song is stuck in my head. I’m all about the bubble gum song.
    It is true the song is al about wasting money on useless things. The Jones though are you who decide to surround yourself with.

  21. FrugalTeacher October 12, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    GREAT post. Seriously, this is awesome stuff. A couple days ago was the first time I actually had to take a step back while listening to this song and realize

    A: it’s too catchy and I’m going to overplay it too quickly
    B: the lyrics are awesome… and I hope people realize the meaning behind them which you broke down so well

    The music video really hammers it home too. There’s no gold chains, no cadillacs, no crystal. The quick cuts to a metal chain, a busted old TV, the torn basketball net, the ambivalence of how she sings “in our dreams.”

    The art of this song and the video will get lost to the catchiness of it, I fear.

    1. J. Money October 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Yeah, very true – but a good problem to have over the opposite (aka no one ever hearing the lyrics/song). So we gotta enjoy it while we can! :)

  22. Dear Debt October 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    I had this song stuck in my head all day! So infectious. Love the message. Some people don’t need all that jazz to be happy.

  23. Karen October 12, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    This song has been dominating the airwaves for quite some time. Every time I hear it, I never get sick of it and it still hits home every time. It’s just such as amazing song and she’s an amazing person to realize that at such a young age, living that lifestyle is silly.

    I , too nominate that song as the official personal finance song.

  24. A October 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I have a friend, she and her husband are the Joneses. They won a lawsuit and now live like the money won’t ever stop. They both have professional careers, lawyer, vice president of development for non profit. Just bought a home for $560,000.
    Both drive new cars, wants to dabble in real estate and flip a house before the end of the year. She is flying to New York for her birthday to shop. Wanting to know if we wanted to go. Ummm no, can’t afford it at the spur of the moment. Joneses make me sick. Then I look at my 401k statement and I feel better. lol

    1. J. Money October 15, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      Haha… 401k statements DO make things better for us, indeed ;) Sometimes I wonder if the Joneses are just putting on a show for the rest of us, and in actuality they’re squirreling away a ton of cash but they don’t want us seeing it, haha… Like, it’s some sort of cult and they’re outsmarting all of us ;)

  25. May Bohon October 21, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Great job on this post, J.! Love that song for all the wrong reasons! :) Haha


    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

  26. Kevin H October 30, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Reading through this post and comments I was suddenly reminded of Weird Al’s “Whatever You Like”. A rather nice “real world” parody of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like”. ;)

    1. J. Money October 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      Oooh haven’t heard of that one yet! I love the original, so I’m sure Al’s version will be nice and crazy as always ;) Thx for stopping by, my man.

    1. J. Money December 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Nice! Catchy as hell song, I agree.