Money. We all need it, we all want it, but it seems like we never have enough. We work hard, we study hard, we pay bills, we save money. But what do we get in return? Stress, anxiety, boredom, and maybe a few moments of happiness here and there.
That’s why we like songs about money. They remind us that we’re not alone in this crazy world of cash and credit. They show us the good, the bad, and the ugly of money.
So here I’m presenting a list of the best songs about money ever written to inspire you all to keep rocking. Whether you’re feeling rich or poor, happy or sad, greedy or generous, you’ll find something to relate to in these tunes.
1. Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) by Pet Shop Boys
Album: Please | Released: 1985 | Genre: Synth-Pop
Who doesn’t want to make money, right? And to make money, you need lots of opportunities, just as the two losers in this song seek. Unfortunately for the duo, their schemes are all doomed to failure.
The song was created when fellow band member Chris Lowe challenged Tennant to create a song around the “let’s make lots of money” hook, with the latter drawing inspiration from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman’s relationship in Midnight Cowboy.
The popular number from the duo’s debut album has its fair share of fans who’ve interpreted it literally and those who view it as a satire—whichever way you look at it, this song around money is an earworm!
2. Billionaire by Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars
Album: Lazarus | Released: 2010 | Genres: Pop Rap, Pop
This was not Bruno Mars’ first song, but I associate it with the start of his career because it was the first time I heard him. The song was, however, Travie McCoy’s first round in the ring, coming from his first album Lazarus.
Travie had a hard making the song politically correct, given that the US was going through a recession, and he didn’t want to come off as smug. To curb this, the lyrics balance playful things like playing Basketball with the President and more charitable things like helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
3. Gold Digger by Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx
Album: Late Registration | Released: 2005 | Genre: Pop Rap
This song was released in the 2000s, the period I consider Kanye’s best music era. Whenever this song comes on, I will drop everything and sing it word for word, ad-libs included.
It is a fun song about money and greed where a lady only wants a man for his money, as told by the unforgettable hook, “Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger, But she ain’t messin’ with no broke niggas.”
The hook was meant to be sung by a woman, but Kanye thought a man would do it better. It won Kanye the Best Rap Solo Performance at the 2006 Grammys.
4. C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang Clan
Album: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) | Released: 1993 | Genre: Hip-Hop
I believe that money is the key to some happiness. The Wu-Tang Clan agrees with me in this song about getting the dollar bills. They rap about the struggles of surviving in low-income neighborhoods and trying different dangerous things to survive.
It is a criticism of how you can only do or be so much without money, or as they aptly put it, CREAM – Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Although it wasn’t so successful commercially, it became a social and hip-hop landmark, with numerous rappers sampling the song and Cream becoming slang for money.
5. Material Girl by Madonna
Album: Like a Virgin | Released: 1984 | Genre: Dance Pop
The video to Material Girl borrows from a movie scene where Marilyn Monroe performs Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Madonna sings that no amount of kisses, hugs or pleading can get through to her unless they all come accompanied by some cold, hard cash.
I don’t blame her; love can only take you so far, right? Although people associated the song’s message with who she was as a person, Madonna said in an interview that nothing could be further from the truth. She isn’t attached to material things and could do fine without them.
6. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
Album: Brothers in Arms | Released: 1985 | Genre: Pop Rock
I often hear myself saying, “That ain’t workin! Besides, what I do is real work, not that!” when I stare at music artists perform on TV. Knopfler stumbled upon a man working in an appliance store who had the same thoughts. Knopfler tried to keep the lyrics as close as possible to the man’s sentiments.
“Money for Nothing” was also a song of firsts. It was one of the first music videos to use animation instead of actual people. It was created by Ian and Garvin using a program called Paintbox. It was also the first video that MTV Europe played.
7. Bills Bills Bills by Destiny’s Child
Album: The Writing’s on the Wall | Released: 1999 | Genre: Pop
This song was released in 1999 but has recently been a trend courtesy of TikTok, where people have been creating content with the chorus lyrics. I used to think it was a song about women wanting to be taken care of financially.
As a guitarist and music lover, I appreciate the catchy melody and clever lyrics of “Bills Bills Bills” by Destiny’s Child. This pop song is about a guy who takes advantage of his girlfriend’s money and expects her to pay for everything. Kandi Burruss, who wrote the song for the group, said she was inspired by a real-life experience with a moocher boyfriend.
8. Mo Money, Mo Problems by Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy and Mase
Album: Life After Death | Released: 1997 | Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap
Back when P. Diddy was still Puff Daddy, he and Mase featured in Notorious BIG’s iconic track that, in hindsight, reflects just how money caused big problems for the latter.
“Mo Money, Mo Problems” talks about how complicated, tricky, and sour relationships can become when a person starts making more money, and it resonated in more ways than one if the MTV Video Music Award, Grammy Award, and Soul Train Music Award nominations are anything to go by.
9. Got Money by Lil Wayne feat. T-Pain
Album: Tha Carter III | Released: 2008 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
From gold-and-diamond-studded teeth to fancy cars to homes that could house half of New York, Lil Wayne and T-Pain love exhibiting their handsome paychecks and the lavish spending habits that these afford.
“Got Money” exhibits these habits in song form, with all the girls in the club fawning over Lil Wayne and his sizeable wallet (it was never going to be anything else). While you and I may not yet be there (and may never), the catchy hip-hop number is a worthy addition to a playlist of the best money songs.
10. Money, Money, Money by Abba
Album: Arrival | Released: 1976 | Genre: Baroque pop
When Benny and Björn were crafting this song about the search for money, they must have been foretelling my future. The lyrics speak of the harrowing cycle I, and probably everyone else, go through trying to make a living.
I work hard only to spend my small fortune paying bills, feel sorry for myself, and then daydream about living in a rich man’s world or making it big in Vegas.
“Money Money Money” was the second to be released from the album Arrival, following up on the success of Dancing Queen. Originally named Gypsy Queen, this song topped the charts in six countries.
11. Moneytalks by AC/DC
Movie: Live at Donington | Released: 1990 | Genre: Rock
Back in the day, you could offer me all the fancy suits, the mansion, and the five-star rooms but I would turn you down, ’cause money can’t buy me love. Now I’ve seen the hard times and the bills that never end, so I might think twice before I say no to your money again.
Unlike in their other songs where Brian Johnson took the lead in composing the lyrics, Angus and Malcolm wrote this hard rock song about money and love.
The band created fake money, known as Angus Bucks, which they threw to the crowd during performances.
12. A Milli by Lil Wayne
Album: Tha Carter III | Released: 2008 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Lil Wayne dropped this hip-hop song about a milli and how he’s the top dog in rap. He said he’s on the same level as B.I.G., Jay, 2Pac and André 3000. He also wondered where Erykah Badu was, the rolling stone of R&B. Who’s gonna mess with him? Nobody. The song was a hit with fans and producers for its simple and pure hip-hop vibe.
Renowned producer Bangladesh sampled the song “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” and layered it with a simple bass line and snares to make a beat that any rapper could flow with. Everybody started making songs that mirrored A Milli.
If you liked A Milli, you should check out Money on My Mind, another Lil Wayne song where he raps about his hustle, his ambition and his love for money over a catchy beat by The Runners.
13. Money by Pink Floyd
Album: The Dark Side of the Moon | Released: 1973 | Genre: Rock
I have heard this hit song before, but only when curating this list did I fully understand the amount of creativity that went into it. Money by Pink Floyd, and The Dark Side of the Moon, the album to which it belonged, became music industry standards for the creative use of sound.
They used the sound of a cash register and looped it. They also recorded the sound of bags of coins being thrown into a mixing bowl. It is a rock song about the evils of money.
The lyrics show even though everyone wishes money was shared equally, everyone will always be guarded and selfish about their money.
14. Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina
Album: Sittin’ In | Released: 1971 | Genres: Country, Folk Rock
Also known by the lengthier title “Even Though We Ain’t Got Money (I’m So in Love with You, Honey)”, “Danny’s Song” is a folk-rock gem that talks about how love, among other things, is more important than money.
In all that hustle to earn more and live better, fancier lives, this simple, heartwarming number is a much-needed reminder that try as you might, there are some things that money simply can’t buy.
15. Rich Girl by Hall and Oates
Album: Bigger Than Both of Us | Released: 1977 | Genre: Soft Rock
I have often been told that if I look carefully, I can differentiate old money from new money. Old money is subtle.
It affords luxury on a whim, and according to Daryl Hall, it can get you out of whatever situation you may be in, “You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far, ‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway, you can rely on the old man’s money.”
This soft rock song about money was borrowed from a real-life story, but the person was a man. Daryl only changed it to a lady to fit his perspective.
16. It’s All About The Benjamins by Puff Daddy & The Family
Album: No Way Out | Released: 1997 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Puff Daddy returns to my list with The Family with this Billboard-topping number that reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
If you agree with the sentiment, you’ll enjoy this song and the fancy life that it talks about. Diddy’s done being poor and lists the many, many things that he’d do, from “three-course meals of spaghetti, fettuccine, and veal” to leaving his “east coast girl with the Bentley”, with this money.
Sure, life isn’t all about the Benjamins, but as they say, crying in a Ferrari’s more comfortable any day.
17. She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summer
Album: She Works Hard for the Money | Released: 1983 | Genre: Disco, New Wave
Yet another chart-topper whose lyrics were quickly scribbled on a piece of toilet paper. In the second verse, the woman named Onetta, who wonders why some people have everything, is the real-life blue-collar worker who inspired this song.
Donna found Onetta worn out and asleep while working as a bathroom attendant. She wrote it to salute women who do all they can to keep making money. It was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1984 Grammy Awards.
19. Take The Money And Run by The Steve Miller Band
Album: Fly Like an Eagle | Released: 1976 | Genre: Rock
This song was the Bonnie and Clyde anthem of the 70s. It is a rock n roll song about stealing money.
Two lovers who are bored and stoned decide to commit a burglary. Despite a detective’s honest attempts at stopping them, they get away with the money.
Although Steve Miller has been criticized for trying to rhyme Texas with “what the facts is,” I think the simple rhymes and sing-song nature of this song are what make it so great.
19. If I Had A Million Dollars by The Barenaked Ladies
Album: Buck Naked (Demo Tapes) | Released: 1988 | Genre: Folk Rock
Although a million dollars is not what it was when Page and Robertson wrote this song, it could still go a long way. I like this song because of the funny and comical way it is delivered, making it feel like a conversation I would be having with my friends.
It is also one of the group’s favorite songs, as they have performed it at almost every show. The song talks about everything you could do with a million dollars, including heartfelt things like a house and furniture and lavish items like a monkey and a Picasso art piece.
20. Million Dollar Man by Lana Del Rey
Album: Born to Die | Released: 2012 | Genres: Pop, Rock
This gorgeous jazz-influenced, bluesy ballad with Del Ray’s low vocals and piano accompaniment is centered around a man the singer thought was the one for her—kind, handsome, caring, and loving—only to find out that he runs an illegal business that proves to be his downfall.
As she rightly asks—you got the world but, baby, at what price?
All the feels, y’all.
21. Make The Money by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Album: The Heist | Released: 2012 | Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap
This one’s a reminder that making tons of money to end all your struggles doesn’t work—struggles are an integral part of being human and more importantly, these struggles can be beautiful because they show you just what a warrior you can be.
That doesn’t mean you don’t make the money—make it, but don’t let it make you. Stay true to yourself and those you love and who love you, and don’t give money the upper hand.
22. Money (That’s What I Want) by The Flying Lizards
Album: The Flying Lizards | Released: 1979 | Genres: Dance, Electronic
This song by the new wave band The Flying Lizards is a weird and wonderful ode to money. The weirdness is in how the lyrics are spoken and not sung, how the instruments are mixed to sound borderline noisy, the slightly off-beat rhythm, and the chaotic guitar and synth sound that spring up in the middle of the song.
The lyrics are short and straight to the point, “I want money, that’s what I want…I want lots of money, In fact, I want so much money.” It’s a song that makes you want to have money in your hand, or as they say, mo money.
This cover song of the Motown Hit climbed to #5 on the UK Chart and was originally recorded by Barret Strong.
23. Money In the Bank by John Anderson
Album: Solid Ground | Released: 1993 | Genres: Country
This rather sweet, romantic country song is in the same vein as “Danny’s Song”, with Anderson talking about how his honey’s love is better than any money in the bank.
No bass boat and Z-28 for our man no matter how much he wants them—that stuff will have to wait because he’s saving for a wedding ring, but in the meantime, he’ll give the love of his life everything she wants because nothing’s too good for her and there’s no price too high to give her what she needs. Sigh.
24. For The Love Of Money by The O’Jays
Album: Ship Ahoy | Released: 1973 | Genres: R&B, Soul
Some people will do anything, sink to any depth to get their hands on money, and nothing says it better than the O’Jays’ “For the Love of Money”.
Money changes people and in frightening ways, sometimes, so don’t let greed overtake you—it isn’t worth it.
The song, drawing from the popular Biblical verse, 1 Timothy 6:10, was also used (rather perfectly, IMO) as The Apprentice’s opening theme song.
25. Free Money by Patti Smith
Album: Live at the Bottom Line (FM Radio Broadcast) | Released: 1975 | Genre: Rock, Folk
“Free Money” is a tribute to singer Patti Smith growing up poor, with her family going through times that saw them lose their home and hide behind closed blinds to avoid debt collectors.
Smith’s mother often dreamed about winning the lottery—even though she never bought a ticket! She would simply imagine winning and then list down the things she’d do with the money, from donating to charity to buying a grand house by the sea for her children, which the song reflects.
Well, dreaming about money is free, and this song is the perfect background score for those moments.
26. Money Trees by Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay Rock
Album: good kid, m.A.A.d city | Released: 2012 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Widely regarded as one of Kendrick Lamar’s best songs, “Money Trees” is from the rapper’s good kid, m.A.A.d city album. The whole album chronicles Lamar’s growing years in Compton and the harsh realities he faced during this time.
“Money Trees” follows this narrative and talks about the many things that Lamar did while living in his native city, including dreaming about living life like rappers do, his uncle’s death by shooting and the distress that it caused him, and coming to the realization that after all that hustling, “money trees” provide the best shade to rest under.
27. Dirty Sexy Money by David Guetta and Afrojack ft. Charli XCX and French Montana
Album: 7 | Released: 2018 | Genres: Electronic, Pop
When names like this come together, you know you’ve got one of the most popular songs about money on your hands.
This powerhouse track is the record that Guetta had been trying to make all his life, and the result is a delectable mix of retro, pop, modern, and the characteristic styles of each artiste involved.
28. Beer Money by Kip Moore
Album: Up All Night | Released: 2012 | Genres: Country
“Beer Money” by Kip Moore is a classic country song about the simple pleasure of having just enough money to take your friends out for a night of beer drinking and partying. The song is full of cheerful country twang and lyrics filled with references to beer, friends, and fun.
Ultimately, the song is a reminder that sometimes having just enough money to enjoy life’s small pleasures is exactly what you need. So next time you have a little bit of extra money in your pocket, remember Kip Moore’s words and use it to buy yourself a round of beer. Cheers!
About the Author
Fabian, a Brazilian guitarist now based in Dublin, Ireland, has passionately played the electric guitar since 2003. As a luthier and product specialist, he boasts nearly two decades of collaboration with top musical instrument brands. Fabian is a sought-after expert, sharing his extensive knowledge with fellow guitar enthusiasts.