Top Ten 80s Songs About Money

2010-01-24T00:19:56+00:00 Shopping|

I came home this weekend to help my parents permanently purge my old crap. I officially moved out of my family home 15 years ago. My crap never officially moved with me. Perhaps my mom is having a fit of feng shui. Perhaps she’s just sick of all my 80s s$it. Either way, it’s time to purge my 80s paraphernalia.

The 80s were an awesome decade. There’s nothing more wicked than leg warmers, Cabbage Patch Kids, Pac-Man, and the dreaded Rubik’s Cube. After locating my old record and tape collection, I’ve also rediscovered the coolness of hair bands, Brit Pop, Electronica, and classic Madonna.

Since the 80s mostly revolved around money and wealth accumulation, I thought it fitting to relive some of the bestest songs about magnificent money in my very own mix. So get your shoulder pads in place, tease up your tresses, and get acidic with those acid wash jeans cause it’s time to get back to the future and rock on with some head banging 80s money music.


Here are the top ten 80s songs about money:

1. Material Girl – Madonna (1985):

Nobody out materialized Madonna in the 80s. Her heavy hitting mass marketed money musical on MTV broke the budget and filled her bank account by documenting the decadent decade. “You know that we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl”. Indeed, Madonna mastered the art of money in the 80s, and we loved every material minute of it!

2. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi (1986):

Tommy and Gina are half way there. They are down on their luck, not making more than a buck. It’s so tough. Despite their hardship, we rocked it hard to this mega hair band hit. Looking back, I don’t get how this blue collar band got away with their makeup, slinky spandex pants, and chaps. I’m surprised they didn’t get their a$$es kicked.

3. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits (1985):

How can I argue with some animated dude installing microwave ovens and moving refrigerators? Especially since the animated dude was Dire Straits singing the praises of earning passive income on MTV! “Now that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it. You play the guitar on the MTV. Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free.”

4. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton (1981):

The bodacious Barbie that is Dolly Parton hit it big in 1981 by reaching out to challenged working women on the job from 9 to 5. This country classic hit home by empowering acrylic nail-clad girls typing on typewriters to pour themselves a cup of ambition and dare step on the boss man’s ladder. I secretly love this song even though all of my finger nails are totally natural.

5. Working for the Weekend – Loverboy (1981):

Who doesn’t love the sound of an 80s anti-work rock anthem? Especially when Canadian rockers Loverboy belt out the advantages of reaching the weekend with a little romance. Indeed, after working 9 to 5 we’re all goin’ off the deep end. You want a piece of my heart? Come on baby lets go!

6. Manic Monday – Bangles (1986):

The weekend is over. It’s 6 o’clock Monday morning and its time to awaken from a romantic dream. Why were you kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream anyways? It’s time to get to work cause otherwise you won’t get paid. Hurry and figure out what to wear, catch a train, make the bed cause it’s Manic Monday! No, it’s not Sunday, the fun day, the I don’t have to run day. Just don’t tell your friends you have “a case of the Mondays,” since this expression doesn’t hit home until the 1990s with the movie (or documentary) Office Space.

7. Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) – Pet Shop Boys (1985):

I’ve got the brains. You’ve got the looks. Let’s make lots of money! There’s nothing like a little white collar computer crime ditty sung with a perfect pop persona to get you thinking about money making opportunities. Kinda sums up the 1980s, non?

8. Money Changes Everything – Cyndi Lauper (1986):

Ever get dumped for someone with more money? Dang, that sucks Cyndi. We all know money changes things, but does it change everything? Cause maybe it’s your funked out hair? Or maybe the man had an issue with all those girls having fun, or the “she bob” issue. Anyways, relationships do crumble when money isn’t properly discussed. Dang, this song is a downer. I think I liked Madonna more in the 1980s anyways. My sister was more of a Cyndi fan.

9. Rent – Pet Shop Boys (1987):

The Rent vs. Buy issue is a contentious one in the personal finance world. But who cares about real estate ownership if you’ve got someone paying your rent! Ka-ching! The lyrics in Rent are kind of contentious too since the narrator is in a financially one-sided relationship as either a kept man or woman. Anyways, I’d love you too if you’d pay my rent. Just don’t call me your “puppet”.

10. She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer (1983):

You better treat her right cause she works hard for the money. So hard for it honey. Hey, is this song about prostitution or the tax man? I can’t figure it out. Part of me wonders how 1970s disco queen Donna Summer snuck in a 1980s hit? Perhaps cause the tune contains some disco fusion with a flavor of rock mix. Anyways, this ditty is another good example of working hard in the 1980s.

Well, there you have it. My brain mixed on 80s songs about money. I should go looking for my old Sony Walkman now cause I know that’s where I’ll find my favorite Depeche Mode tape. Hey dude, did I miss your favorite 80s money music ditty? What’s in your music mix?


  1. lpkitten March 31, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    cute idea! nice list!

  2. Ryan April 1, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Great list, I was reading it expecting to see “The Flying Lizards” version of “Money” and when I didn’t see it I had to Google it and see why not. I now see it was released in 1979…so not quite…still a great song though 🙂

    “The best things in life are free
    But you can keep ’em for the birds and bees
    Now give me money, (that’s what I want) that’s what I want.”

  3. fox April 1, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Ipkitten: Building the list was fun. I seriously cannot get over how many mixed tapes I made as a teenager!

    Ryan: I soooo wanted to put “The Flying Lizards” on my listy. But I had to stay honest and keep with the 80s. Dang, now that song is stuck in my head…. (that’s what I want)….

  4. billspaced April 1, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Great post! Love 80s music…

  5. […] Top Ten 80s Songs About Money by Squawkfox […]

  6. Beth April 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Hooray for “kids” who remove their stuff from their parents’ houses! (and 80s music, particulary Bon Jovi). So many parents (mine particularly) are faced with a ridiculous amount of clutter because of things that their kids have left behind that they don’t feel comfortable getting rid of. Horseback riding ribbons, baseball trophies, old stuffed animals, notes from Physics 12, yearbooks…the list goes on. What parent could just turf these things? It’s not fair to have your parents hold onto your clutter for you simply because they have a house that your clutter fits into.
    Kudos, Foxy, your parents must feel delighted to reclaim some space!

  7. Monroe on a Budget April 7, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Awesome list! And, yes, most of them are on my iPod. Yes I am an 80s girl.

  8. […] Squawkfox – Top 10 80s Songs About Money – This was a fun read.  The scary thing is that I know most of those songs word for word.  I can totally feel the mixed-tape flashbacks…(nightmares?)  Good times! […]

  9. […] writes an entertaining post outlining her Top Ten 80s Songs About Money.  I will officially endorse U2 as the only good band to come out of the 80s…yet somehow […]

  10. Sam April 11, 2008 at 7:35 am

    You forgot “I want money, lots and lots of money. I want it high in the Sky. I want money”

    Calloway – I wanna be rich!

  11. telly April 16, 2008 at 9:08 am

    There must be something in the air. Being the middle child , my parents didn’t keep a lot of my “memoirs”. Still, my mom recentely gave me a stack of grade school report cards to take home.

    Even then I was told I talk too much. 🙁

  12. nancy (aka money coach) April 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    and the cassette tape! I bet half the blogosphere doesn’t even remember those.

  13. Sotis June 18, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Great list mate…

  14. PATRICK boyle March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    What’s the Colour of Money _ Hollywood Beyond
    How to be a Millionaire – ABC
    Money Talks – AC/DC
    Money – Michael jackson
    Livin on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
    Workin for the weekend – Loverboy
    Manic Monday – The Bangles
    The vast majority if not all (Have not done full on research) are 80s
    Hope this is a valued contribution.
    Cheers, patrick Boyle

  15. Andrew Weiss February 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Where is The Big Money by Rush

  16. TomL July 2, 2016 at 11:06 am

    ABC – How to be a Millionaire?

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