Katy Perry and Personal Finance: Maxing Out Those Credit Cards

After hearing a popular song a few times recently, I’ve been thinking about how Katy Perry relates to personal finance.

What? How are Katy Perry and personal finance related? Well, I’m sure she’s making a ton of money, so her financial situation is much different than any of ours, right? Well, that’s my assumption anyway. If I’m wrong and you’re pulling in millions per year, then that’s great for you:)

The real reason I think of Katy Perry and personal finance is her song “Last Friday Night”.  In case you aren’t into that part of the music scene, that song is one of 5 from her latest album that reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. This feat tied Michael Jackson for the most songs from the same album to reach #1. It’s a song where she talks about a crazy night out, including a line about maxing out credit cards!

Here’s the sequence in the song.

Last Friday Night

Yeah we maxed our credit cards

And got kicked out of the bar

So we hit the boulevard

Last Friday Night

Later in the song, after talking about a bunch of other wild and crazy antics from that night out, she says

This Friday Night

Do it all again

It’s a fun, catchy song many might agree. Clearly, it hit #1 on the charts.

It also apparently includes, in the narrative of the fun night out, maxing out credit cards as a part of it.  I’ll bet very few people thought twice when hearing the lyrics to the song, with respect to that line. It seems like it signifies part of a great time, maxing out credit cards. There are other memorable lyrics in the song anyway I suppose. “Maxing out credit cards” probably won’t raise too many eyebrows, right?

Well,  it didn’t get by this personal finance writer.

This maxing out credit cards for fun stuff is the type of behavior that gets people in all kinds of trouble. It’s too bad that these sorts of choices are glorified, especially for younger, impressionable people.

Of course, who in the world would enjoy lyrics about a fun night out that involved being frugal instead of saying that they maxed out their credit cards? Yeah, not many people. I know. Well, in any event, how about something like this:

Last Friday Night

Didn’t touch our credit cards

Saved our cash when at the bar

Fillin’ up the penny jar

Last Friday Night

Ok, I know. You don’t have to say it:)

I wonder if saving money will ever be cool? What do you think?


    • Squirrelers says

      101 Centavos – yep, almost everyone finds it boring to squirrel away money and have fun without spending. “Almost” isn’t eveyone though:) Of course, it’s people like me that don’t want to spend anyway, so that proves your point I suppose.

  1. says

    I’d like to think saving will be cool someday. It’s pretty cool in my house!

    I wonder if Katy Perry got some kind of kickback from mentioning credit cards in her song. Probably not – I’m sure the songwriter just wanted to make it rhyme – but it amazes me that anyone would talk about maxing out credit cards in the financial times we live in. Especially someone like her who can buy anything she wants.

    • Squirrelers says

      The idea that it’s cool in your house is great! In my house, it’s just me who thinks its cool:)

      It is interesting how maxing out cards could be talked about in our times. Maybe it’s something that sounds appealing to people because they wish they could do that and not face the consequences? Maybe it’s an escape to hear these lyrics? Who knows. I’m probably the only person out there that would like a song about micromanaging pennies:)

  2. says

    Personally, I doubt that saving money will ever be cool. Look at the lyrics of the song as they truly are and the fact that it is #1. It is simply a commentary on our society which I doubt will ever substantially change since it is human nature.

  3. says

    Don’t worry if it is cool or not, it fits with your personal goals. School is not cool, but it is a requisite for success. There are a lot of things we should do that are not cool.

    • Squirrelers says

      krantcents – oh, I don’t care about the coolness factor in terms of inluencing what I do. I know that it’s not at all cool, but will do it anyway.

  4. says

    One of the reasons why I leave my credit card whenever I go out shopping, dine out, or simply have fun with my friends… I am afraid to max out my card! LOL.

    BTW, the suggested lyrics are good. You can be a good songwriter.

  5. says

    One of the reasons why I leave my credit card whenever I go out shopping, dine out, or simply have fun with my friends… I am afraid to max out my card! LOL.

    BTW, the suggested lyrics are good. You can be a good songwriter. Good luck on your new career!

    • Squirrelers says

      Mom’s Plans – Glad you got a kick out of it. I can see how the actual song’s words could drive many people crazy.

    • Squirrelers says

      Nicole – interesting link. Yes, the more one listens to the song, the more it’s clear that there are plenty of wild things going on in that ficitional night out. I picked out the personal finance part as it jumped out at me in particular – due to be so into personal finance. In reality, there are clearly other lyrics that would bother people a lot more.

    • Squirrelers says

      Glad you like the lyrics! You should check out the blog thousandaire (www.thousandaire.com) for some entertaining money-oriented songs.

  6. says

    Haha, I always notice that line and it bugs me when I hear it – it’s like subliminal ads – it just makes having maxed out credit cards that much more “acceptable” in our culture. Love your re-written lyrics – you should release a parody song of a responsible Friday night, haha.

  7. says

    I have heard that song so many times since I have 3 teens, but my gosh, I never even listened to the words!

    How do you max out your credit cards in one night? Maybe the song needs to explore that a little more. Could make quite an interesting song.

    I don’t like though how this song is popular with young people and it makes credit card spending sound so darn fun!


    • Squirrelers says

      Everyday Tips – I know what you mean about maxing out credit cards in one night. Seems crazy, right? Of course maybe one’s balance could be near the limit before the crazy night of fun. I too agree that it’s not good that this song makes credit card spending sound fun. There’s nothing to glorify when it comes to that. Having fun is great, but being reckless is stupid. I know I sound old like a parent (which I am) :)

  8. says

    Look out Katy Perry and Thousandaire! Creative stuff Squirrelers! Saving is not cool, but it wins in the long run. Similar to football jocks and cheerleaders. They ruled in high school, but where do they end up? Slow and steady wins the race. Bad Buck, am I sharing too much of my high school issues?

  9. Abigail Solis says

    Katy Perry should become a spokesperson for Visa or MC! Saving is not cool, but it wins in the long run. Could make quite an interesting song.

  10. says

    Yeah, Katy Perry isn’t the best source of information on how to handle credit cards, or deal with parties that leave passed out DJs or fallen chandeliers, for that matter. Sadly, her maxed out credit card is probably one of her lesser concerns. Not that I would recommend taking advice on any subject from a young lady who sung ‘California Gurls’ and didn’t even spell ‘girls’ correctly, but I digress.

    • Eddie says

      The “u” in the title of “California Gurls” is in tribute to the band Big Star (of whom Perry’s manager is a huge fan) and their 1974 song “September Gurls.” The spelling was changed when the band’s lead singer, Alex Chilton, passed away.
      Even if Katy Perry was stupid enough to spell Girls with a u, I’m sure the hundreds of other people behind the record would have caught it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>