Now that’s what I call financial independence! 8

Reader’s voice:

What’s that sound I hear? 

It sounds like someone scraping the bottom of a barrel… 

No…its Now That’s What I call Financial Independence! 8

The Escape Artist is back once again in the guise of a music critic from the NME…armed with earnest prose, tortuous metaphors and psycho-babble to review more classic songs about financial independence.

I’m On A Boat (The Lonely Island)

In There Is Always Some Clown With A Bigger Boat, we looked at the arms race to have the biggest boat / house / car so that you can then show it off on Fakebook and Instaglam.

The whole boat scene always struck me as silly. And not cheap either. If you’re overcome with the urge to go sailing, a more cost effective way to achieve the same result would be to put on some white flares and a sailor hat and then stand under a cold shower ripping up handfuls of £50 notes and occasionally stopping to swallow some salty water.

There is only one way to win this game. And that is not to play it.

Bills (LunchMoney Lewis)

People often struggle to join the dots between their own life choices and the fact that they are not as rich, healthy and happy as they could be. Here LunchMoney Lewis gives a demonstration of the perils of poor life choices.

Large, detached houses are expensive and come with higher maintenance costs than an apartment or townhouse. Sprawling suburbs are an environmental disaster and a personal finance disaster. They encourage reliance on cars.  And cars are Money Incineration Units….the bigger they are, the more money they burn.  But its not just cars, this way of living encourages all aspects of over-consumption…including food.

We all have blind spots. LunchMoney can’t see any scope to cut his spending. But could there be a clue right there in his name?

Fuck You (Ceelo Green)

This song starts with Ceelo getting dumped by his girlfriend and he feelz hurt and angry. He’s sulking.

But not everything revolves around Ceelo…his girlfriend was an independent human being with her own hopes, dreams and aspirations. You never own another person. Ceelo tells himself and anyone who will listen that the issue was his lack of money:

If I was richer
I’d still be with ya
Yeah I’m sorry, I can’t afford a Ferrari…
I guess he’s an X-box, and I’m more Atari
But the way you play your game ain’t fair

But when Ceelo compares himself to an Atari, we see the real problem.  Ceelo has low self-esteem and his values have become tainted with consumerism.  Ceelo gives this away with a resounding cry of Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!…Whyyyy??

Focus (Ariana Grande)

Getting to financial independence takes focus.  

The world is full of distractions like advertising, peer pressure and the news. For anyone wavering, Ariana Grande belts out some advice on how to stay focused:

Ariana reminds us that its going to take hard work to get to a life where work is voluntary. Sure, other people may criticise us. The Man will try to hold us down.  That’s life and no, it’s not fair.

All you can do is focus on what you can control…and that means you…your thoughts and your actions.

There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis (Kirsty MacColl)

One of the funny things about writing a blog about financial independence and then sharing the “secrets” of how its done is that you know that a lot of people won’t believe you.

That’s OK. A bit of caution is in order when you stumble across someone on the internet promising the secrets to riches.  I still remember finding MMM and forensically searching through it for “the catch”…before concluding that it was actually true.

In this classic from 1981, Kirsty MacColl reminds us that not everyone follows The Escape Artist’s policy on honesty.

Dance wiv me (Dizzee Rascal)

There are some things you can do to get lucky more.  One thing you can do to is to put yourself out there and take some intelligent risks. When blogging or pursuing financial independence, starting does not guarantee you will succeed. But not starting guarantees lack of success.

One of the things I often help my my coaching clients with is that to build an industry reputation or freelance career or side hustle, you need a shop window where people can see your work and find you.  This could be as little as a LinkedIn profile or it could be your own website with your business / portfolio / service / CV showcased on it.

In the words of Dizzee Rascal:

put yer skillz on show.

Back to Life (Patawawa ft Roman Pouder)

Sadly, you don’t make much money from telling people to get some more sleep, cut down on the booze and processed carbs, get outside in the sunshine and go for a walk.

Which is a shame because this stuff is a more effective health intervention than any anti-depressant drug.

This is ironic when you think how many billions of £ / $ / € are being spent on anti-depressants.

Drop Out (Jack LNDN)

Financial independence is definitely about turning on and tuning in to what’s really important.…removing the noise and figuring out how the system works.  Once you’ve done that you can pursue freedom and optimise for happiness.

But I don’t see financial independence as dropping out of life.  You don’t have to retire once you reach financial independence. I still work…its just that work is now no longer compulsory.

The Greatest (Sia)

Other than in sport and business, its generally a waste of energy to compete with other people. There’s always someone richer / taller / smarter than you.  But competing with yourself is one of the most productive things you can ever do.

If the point of financial independence is not to drop out, then what is it? Maybe it’s to be the best version of you that you can be?


  1. Have you done Placebo ‘Slave to the Wage’ yet? Seems pretty apt.

  2. SuffolkShandy · · Reply

    Great selection as always – one for NTWICFI9 for you……

    Iron Maiden – El Dorado, track 2 from The Final Frontier album from 2010

    Bruce seems to be harping on about fees and nasty greedy financial ‘advisers’ here, among other post 2007-8 crash type stuff. Particularly like the line ‘I’m a clever banker’s face, with just one letter out of place’. Something different for you, a little metal.

  3. TheLuckyOne · · Reply

    ooh eck I’m going on my first cruise (The SS Ridiculous Consumption) in Sept and I know I’ll be singing “Look at me, I’m on a boat mf” bit of an earworm that one.
    Recently followed your advice about getting paid to be on TV after being contacted by a production company. Guess what? They only wanted people who work for free …. so I’m out of that. On a different front I’ve signed up to some paid extras work on a local soap. See where that one gets me, I’ll let you know my screen timings.
    Doing an hours market research interrogation tonight, getting paid £40, that’s more like it ! I think there’s tea and biscuits too.
    You’ve nailed it with daydreaming, napping, exercise & food all so much easier to do when you control your own schedule.

  4. Polar Bear · · Reply

    Good luck on your spot in “How to retire at 40”. Seems to have spun off a couple of articles in the Daily Mail and the Independent

    Not sure using the main focus on a couple earning a combined wage of £90k will endear early retirement to the masses … maybe that’s the underlying theme – Channel 4 would have as much as most to lose from lost advertising revenue if people started taking this seriously!

    1. Thank you…I think you’re right…the comments section of that Daily Mail online article is not a happy place 😉

  5. Polar Bear · · Reply

    Ho ho … judging by the comments in the Independent article there’s a lot of people in denial. Strange that this article doesn’t mention the young family managing to save on a part-time teacher and a postman’s wage!

  6. Andy K · · Reply

    Just came across ‘A Lady of a Certain Age’ by the Divine Comedy ( Hope to see it on NTWICFI9!

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