Now That’s What I Call Financial Independence! 23

First they said it was a fraud.

Then they said it was stolen from them.

Then they went to The Supreme Court and demanded a recount.

So we re-counted and had the results independently verified. And it really is Now! 23

Yes, that’s right…The Escape Artist is back to review more classic songs about financial independence in the guise of a music critic from the NME…armed with earnest prose, psycho-babble and increasingly tenuous metaphors.

Shackles (Mary Mary)

First things first: get out of all expensive debt as soon as possible.

Debt is a form of entrapment. The annual interest rate on bank overdrafts is ~40% per year. Based on the interest alone, the amount you owe will more than double within 2 years. The interest rate on credit cards is something like 25%. This means that the amount that you owe will double within 3 years.

Getting out of debt is an emergency.

Don’t Owe You a Thang (Gary Clark Junior)

Here Gary Clark Junior describes the great feeling of being totally debt free and happy with a minimalist lifestyle. The banks and the credit card companies can never take his home or kick him out on the street. He is truly free and in charge of his own life.

Gary also has some good advice on diamond rings.

Good Times (Roll Deep)

Occasionally we cross over onto The Dark Side to see what The Enemy is up to.

Here we see the idiocy of consumerism where clowns are encouraged to go late nite shopping followed by tacky night clubs in the West End splashing the cash on overpriced fake shampagne and ersatz glamour. It’s all sizzle and no steak.

Roll Deep deliver their message with all of the sophistication of a Benny Hill sketch from the 1970s.

What A Fool Believes (Doobie Brothers)

We’ve all made money mistakes. I wasted plenty of money in crappy nightclubs back in the day.

We live and learn. And, like me, you may want to help other people learn. Everyone can get better with money. But not everyone is interested or wants to be improved. And that’s OK.

All we can do is help people that want to be helped.

Little Lies (Fleetwood Mac)

At some level, we all know that advertising and marketing is smoke and mirrors.

But at some level, we want to be told the little white lies of consumerism. This is the tragedy of the human condition.

Lovefool (Cardigans)

Here, The Cardigans make the same point as Fleetwood Mac above.

Repetition is a feature not a bug on this website.

Blue Monday (New Order)

After leftover turkey comes more seasonal re-cycling for journalists: the annual Blue Monday stories. It’s claimed that this Monday is the most depressing day of the year with Christmas gone, bad weather and the Sunday night / Monday morning back to work blues.

That may be true but consuming The News is not gonna help anyone’s mood. It’s debatable what the intention of the news media is, but it’s increasingly clear that the effect of consuming too much news is damaging people’s mental health.

Outside (George Michael)

Maybe we will look back at 2020/21 as the years we went a bit crazy?

I’m not convinced that locking people down at home to watch a drip-drip-drip of blood-curdling bad news was entirely conducive to everyone’s mental health.

As I explained in Let’s Go Outside, spending time outside in nature is good for your soul. It’s calming on a level that no retail therapy or anti-depressant can ever manage. Spending time outside in nature may be free…but it’s not a cost-saving…it’s a lifestyle upgrade.

Things Can Only Get Better (Howard Jones)

First there was the virus. Then there was the batshit-crazy politics of The Culture War.

Is it too much to now hope for better times and better conversations both online and in real life?

When I see Howard Jones’ hairstyle and shiny orange suit in this video, it’s a reminder that things can only get better.


  1. So true, The problem in life is that we don’t realize what’s important or what we should have done until it’s too late. Most of us don’t ask/get taught/experience life at a young age. We’re too busy having a good time. Also if you mention finance to most young people they adopt an expression like I would have if I’d just binge watched a box set of The Great British Sewing Bee! Each to his own.

    Maybe life would be so much better if we could be born like Superman. During his birth on the way from Krypton everything he needs to know is implanted, making him instantly ready for life.

    Sound good,but maybe we would then miss out on his youth. I’m rather glad I didn’t.

  2. Great selection of tunes, I particularly loved Gary Clarke Junior with his advice for his girlfriend!

    My favourite at the moment is Steven Wilson – PERSONAL SHOPPER Steven warns about the danger of easy credit and buying stuff you don’t need:

    “Buy now, buy now, have a better life
    Close out transactions without remorse
    Apply for credit, it’s your given right
    Buy it all then buy some more”

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