What NKOTB Should Have Taught Me About Personal Finance

March 22, 2012

ahhh I loved those boys!


Many of you may know this already, I may have mentioned it once or twice (a frillion times) that I was a HUGE obsessive massive stalker fan of New Kids on the Block.

It all began in 1988 when I went to see a Tiffany concert and these five adorable boys came bouncing out on stage in their coordinating spandex outfits.

I fell in love with Joey, Jordan, Jonathan, Donnie and Danny that day. My love affair lasted for the next four years.

I was reunited with my true loves in 2008 when they came together after 15 years apart and started touring again.

I made some of my little girl dreams come true. I have met all of them multiple times. I have had front row tickets, including front row, dead center in Boston (where they are from). I have hung out for hours on end with one member who very much became a friend to me.

I learned a lot from these guys but what I didn’t learn was how to save my money! From early on the New Kids on the Block were a merchandising machine! I, like millions of other young girls, bought into it big time. I had walls covered in posters, t-shirts galore, every album they made in multiple copies and a ton of other items that had their faces on them. I happily forked over whatever money I could scrape together to buy the newest Big Bopper magazine or order a pay-per-view concert.

It wasn’t much different in 2008 when they reunited. Only now, as a grown woman, I had credit cards and no one to tell me “no.” Instead of magazines I bought plane tickets. Instead of posters I bought Meet & Greet passes. I still bought t-shirts, although not as many. I still happily forked over thousands of dollars to my favorite band.

NKOTB may have been there for me in many ways as a teen and again when I was going through a divorce but what I didn’t get from them was the ability to manage my finances. I really wish their songs had different meanings, might I suggest some alternatives to their hits?

Hangin’ Tough – “And if you try to keep us down, we’re going to come right back.” This one is actually pretty on target. While getting out of debt has been difficult this is exactly the way I’ve needed to be to stay on track. I have been kicked down but I’ve been working hard to “come right back.”

Gratuitous Picture Time: The first time I met NKOTB. I'm in the white tee with a hot piece of man candy standing next to me.

You Got It! The Right Stuff – “All that I needed was you. Oh girl, you’re so right. Said all that I wanted was you. You made all my dreams come true.” I was singing this to my credit cards. They made all my dreams come true…until they didn’t.

Please Don’t Go Girl – (my credit cards were female!). “Please don’t go girl. You will ruin my whole world.” And when those 4 inches of plastic disappeared from my life (because they were maxed out), it felt like my life was ruined.

I don't care who you are, when your favorite band laughs at something you said while ON STAGE that's a big deal!!

I’ll Be Loving You for Ever – “I count the blessings that keep our love new. There’s one for me and a million for you.” It may not have been a million, more like fifteen thousand but there was a time when I was counting my blessings when there was a credit card to save the day.

Step By Step – “Step One, we can have lots of fun.” And fun I did have, unfortunately it was with my credit cards and not money I earned. “Step two, there’s so much we can do.” Sometimes it felt like the sky was the limit. Fly to Boston for the weekend? Sure. Head over to Houston a few weeks later? Why the hell not? “Step three, it’s just you and me.” Once I stopped using my credit cards and traveling, I seemed to lose a lot of friends. It was just me and my debt sitting at home. “Step four, I can give you more.” Capital One has certainly always said that to me. “Step five, don’t you know that the time has arrived.” Indeed, Jon it has arrived. The time for me to grow up and take control of my finances arrived more than 2 years ago and not a moment too soon. I’m proud of where I am and the strength it has taken to say “no” to myself so many times.

One of the best days ever! The story behind this day would take thousands of words and I won't bore you with them but it was an amazing day! (That's me and one of the members, Jonathan Knight if you didn't know.)

There’s many more songs that now remind me of my personal finances, not just New Kids on the Block songs. What about you? Can you think of a song that should be about personal finances instead?



PS. Do not take this opportunity to be cliche and make fun of me for liking this group. I’ve been dealing with it since I was 14 and I won’t deal with it on my own site. Your comment will be deleted.

I also blog at A Five Star Life. I write about anything that comes to mind but try to focus on finding the good in daily life.


14 Responses to What NKOTB Should Have Taught Me About Personal Finance

  1. Jackie Walters on March 22, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Jessica – I love how you related a musical group to your finances! Great job. Bravo! I love to read blog posts that have a personal story to them. I really wasn’t a music groupie when I was growing up but I recently saw NKOTB on the Today Show (I believe with another band) and I thought they were great!


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on March 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      They have been touring with The Backstreet Boys. They are about to head off to a Euro/Asia/Aussie tour. They are great. Very grounded and not Hollywood at ALL. Very humble, normal guys.


  2. Dana on March 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

    This is such a great blog :) of course, I’m writing this as I listen to “The Right Stuff”. Your post inspired that!


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on March 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      hahah I love it. And thank you.

      Check out their album The Block from 2008. It’s really good. Hoping they put out another one this year. It’s needed.


  3. John | Married (with Debt) on March 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Very cool that you became close with some of your favorite stars. There’s probably many lessons here that go even deeper than money.
    John | Married (with Debt) recently posted..Stress at Work? Take an Office Vacation


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      It has been very cool. And very surreal. I’d LOVE to have a time machine and go back to my 14yr old self and tell her to chillax that one day her dreams (well most of them) will come true.


  4. Kacie
    on March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Oh, it drives me nuts when people give fans a hard time. You are allowed to like whatever music you want! And that’s amazing that you got to meet them. Woo hoo!
    Kacie recently posted..Sorting through our clothes and creating a spring/summer clothes shopping list


    • Jessica The DebtPrincess on March 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      It’s been an amazing ride! I can’t believe the childhood dreams that I made come true. Sometimes I just wish I could go back to my 14 year old self and tell her that it’s going to be ok, I WILL make those fangirl dreams come true.


  5. Bethy @ Credit Karma
    on March 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I love this! I’m a big fan of posts taking lessons (money and otherwise) from pop culture and music. NKOTB holds many special memories for me as well, though I’m definitely not the super fan you are!


  6. Arani on March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

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  7. [email protected] on March 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Funny! I loved NKOTB too, though I was always afraid to admit it. However, I never saw them in concert. Love all of your photos and the financial comparisons.


  8. Daline on March 26, 2012 at 8:56 am

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  9. ShortRoadTo on March 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    You have many years ahead of you. The best time to start is now!


  10. Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals on March 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is the SINGLE BEST PF ARTICLE I HAVE EVER READ! I am a huge NKOTB fan (it nearly killed me that I couldn’t go to the NKOTB/BSB concert last summer because, darn it, I’d just had a baby!). Step by Step is one of my favorite songs – now I’ll never think of it the same way!
    Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals recently posted..Hey, Jealousy: A Case Of Professional Envy