The Time of Our Financial Lives, Or: Some Failed Financial Advice

By Markets Fool.com

"I knew my rent was gonna be late about a week ago/I worked my a**off/but I still can't pay itthough."

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In this clip from Industry Focus: Financials, Gaby Lapera, Mark Reeth, and Jason Moser talk about Pitbull and Ne-Yo's hit song Time of Our Lives. Listen in to find out more about budgeting for rent and bills, the pros and cons of renting and buying, some rules of thumb for when you'd be better off renting an apartment instead ofgetting a mortgage, and more.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Aug. 1, 2016.

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Gaby Lapera:We thought that for Financials this week, what we can do is we could listen to some pop songs, some popular culture songs, because I don't know that any of them are actually still popular anymore.

Mark Reeth: It sounds like you know about as much about pop culture as Kristine Harjes does.

Lapera: Songs that were once popular that I had heard of ...

Jason Moser: They live a much shorter life these days.

Lapera: ... and then just talk about whether or not they give good or bad financial advice. So I think just to open up, I think that what I'm going to do here is, I'm going to read lyrics to you -- because as mentioned in our pre-production meeting, which was two minutes ago, we don't have enough money to actually buy clips to play the songs for you, so we will just be reading them and self-censoring them if necessary.

Moser: Self-censoring, I like that.

Reeth: I'm not very good at that.

Moser: Sounds like trouble ahead.

Lapera: Yeah, well just, yeah. Bear with me. Ready?

"I knew my rent was gonna to be late about a week ago/I worked my ... toochus ... off but I still can't pay it though/but I got just enough to get up in this club/have me a good time before my time is up."

Reeth: Way to stick to what people really meant there. You got the message across. I think people would be proud.

Lapera: So just in case you've never heard of the song, this is Time of Our Lives by Pitbull and Ne-Yo. Way to get that reference, Mark Reeth, and/or read the notes.

Moser: If he knew his rent was going to be late a week ago, this guy is obviously not very good at planning for the future, right?

Reeth: He's already in the water at this point. He might as well just go out. It makes sense to me.

Moser: My girls are listening to this stuff on the way to school, and I'm going to have to have second thoughts here. ... Maybe he's working his a** off, but I don't know -- if you don't have the money to pay your rent, does it really matter?

Reeth: He's telling you to live your life. He's telling you not to be just chained to your wallet at all times.

Lapera: I think he's just trying to say "Money doesn't buy happiness." But what I'm actually more concerned about is the last line that I read, which is: "Have me a good time before my time is up." A little bit ominous. It sounds like he might have medical bills to pay as well.

Moser: Distinctly possible.

Reeth: He should pay those first. Well, you should pay your rent first. What do you pay first? Pay yourself.

Moser: Well, I think ...

Reeth: Have some fun.

Moser: Well, I think you better pay the rent or the mortgage or else you're not going to have any happy place to sort of have those dreams about your aspirations and whatnot. At least pay the rent or the mortgage. You've got to have a roof over your head.

Reeth: Sure, sure and just for actual financial advice for the show, it's common to spend 25% to 35% of your income on rent.

Moser: Sure.

Reeth: But that's not always feasible.

Lapera: Yeah. That's a rule of thumb.

Reeth: It's a rule of thumb, but here in the Washington, D.C., area, one of the most expensive housing markets out there, you can always make rent, but you always want to go clubbing.

Lapera: Sometimes you need a couple thumb's worth of rules. Definitely pay your housing bill first would be the second thumb rule.

Moser: I think also if you think of it -- you talk a lot about rent versus own and I think for a long time, maybe 2000, the early 2000s into the middle 2000s where it seemed like everybody was taking advantage of the low interest rates and trying to buy a home, but buying and owning a home isn't necessarily always the best option for people out there.

The way today works as far as the employment picture, you can work off location, so to speak, and you're probably not at the same job for as long as maybe was the norm a decade or two ago, so it's kind of helpful be able to say, "Well, I got this new offer somewhere else so I can just pick up and move, and I don't have to worry about selling a house or buying a house," because there's a lot of money that's wasted in that process unfortunately. Sometimes, renting actually could be the better way to go.

Reeth: OK, so I rent, personally. I don't see myself becoming homeowner any time in the near future. It's just how my financial situation is. It's also being a part of that generation that you just talked about. I value mobility, and mobility comes with not putting down my roots by buying a home. But, of course, there's the security that comes with buying a home. You're a homeowner. I have to imagine a large portion of your wealth, either now or at one time, was tied up into your home, and you can rely on that for future expenses. If push came to shove, you could always sell your home and take that money back. So I see where you're coming from and certainly, renting is definitely something I see myself doing for very long time for a variety of reasons, but there are definite of damages to being a homeowner as well.

Moser: Sure, and you made a very good point there with the word "value," and I think that goes back to what you mention, Gaby -- that money doesn't necessarily buy happiness. It is a matter of what each individual really values in their life, what stage of life they're in. Fortunately, we live in a country where you can have a number different choices at your disposal.

Lapera: Definitely. I think that just to sum up the point, make sure that you pay your rent and/or mortgage.

Moser: I like that.

Reeth: We give real advice here, ladies and gentlemen.

Lapera: And, if you are going to move in less than three years, then maybe choose to rent, because you're going to lose a lot of money on closing costs otherwise.

Reeth: That's for sure.

Lapera: Also, millennials tend to move around a lot. I think those were all the major points that we covered for that song. Thank you, Pitbull and Ne-Yo, for inspiring that deep conversation.

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