Country music may be best known for songs about women, trucks and alcohol, but country songs about money also make up an enduring part of this genre. Here are some of the best country songs about money from the last few decades.
“9 to 5” by Dolly Parton
Song Year: 1980
Dolly Parton is one of the most famous country singers, and “9 to 5” is easily one of her most recognizable songs. Written for a film with the same name, it won two Grammy awards despite its brief runtime.
The lyrics focus on the struggles of making a living with a full-time job, including how people can often fail to get credit or promotions after putting in the work. That’s something that resonates with a lot of people, which may explain why this song is so famous.
“(This Thing Called) Wantin’ and Havin’ It All” by Sawyer Brown
Song Year: 1995
The title song for an album by the same name, this song from Sawyer Brown tells the story of a wealthy man at the end of his life. He realizes that all of his money can’t buy him the things he truly wants. His children are just waiting to inherit, so the man decides to will his money to a poorer family who helped him.
It’s a stark reminder in a money-focused society that pursuing money may be a route to security, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee happiness in life. It’s a message all too many people are ready to forget.
“Ka-ching!” by Shania Twain
Song Year: 2003
Co-written by Shania Twain and Robert Lange, this song focuses on consumer culture and the way the world often revolves around money. It also features a few uncommon sound effects, including the noise of a cash register, which some people may overlook with the rise of digital payments.
“Ka-ching!” performed well in Europe despite its focus on American culture, hitting #1 in Portugal and #2 in several more countries for the weekly charts. It also departs somewhat from traditional country sound, mixing elements of pop while building on the legacy of Twain’s previous work.
“Fancy” by Reba McEntire
Song Year: 1990
Reba McEntire is easily one of the most famous country singers of all time, famous for a mix of sharp wit and biting lyrics. However, she didn’t write this one herself, as it’s a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s 1969 version of the song.
The lyrics focus on a woman escaping poverty by selling her body and doing well for herself. They admit that some people would dislike her actions, but they also tell how the title character achieved her mother’s hopes for a better life. It’s uplifting but complex, just like much of life.
“Shuttin’ Detroit Down” by John Rich
Song Year: 2009
This song is a direct commentary on the 2008 recession. In it, John Rich (an apt name if there ever was one for a song about money) talks about his father’s views of working hard and taking responsibility, then contrasts that to wealthy people looking for bailouts when the economy imploded.
Who gets the money is arguably a central element of life, so it’s no surprise that songs occasionally focus on it. While some tunes beat around the bush, this one isn’t afraid to say what it means and go on from there.
“Money Isn’t What Really Matters” by Kenny Rogers
Song Year: 1998
A somewhat unusual Christmas country song, this tune from Kenny Rogers is another reminder that wealth isn’t the only thing that matters. Instead, he argues that love is a more important thing, though the lyrics also admit that not having enough money can lead to sadness.
However, Christmas songs tend to be fundamentally optimistic, and the entire album this song is from focuses on uplifting tunes. If you’re looking for something bright, you could do a lot worse than this.
“Hard Workin’ Man” by Brooks and Dunn
Song Year: 1993
A classic country song, “Hard Workin’ Man,” celebrates hard work out in rural areas but acknowledges that effort doesn’t necessarily translate to financial success. However, in this case, some of that is on the man in question because he quickly spends all he earns and doesn’t bother saving up.
That’s not a bad thing for everyone, though. He’s satisfied with how life is going, and since he’s good enough at getting by, he doesn’t feel like he needs more. It’s a good reminder that money isn’t everything, and it’s a view that many longtime Country listeners can relate to.
“Money in the Bank” by John Anderson
Song Year: 1993
Country songs about money can also be country songs about love, and “Money in the Bank” by John Anderson is no exception to that. The lyrics discuss the singer’s view that love is ultimately better than money, along with his willingness to spend what he has on the relationship.
This specifically includes forgoing some other things he wants, including a boat for fishing and a Z/28 (a Chevrolet Camaro car model emphasizing racing performance). Looking a little deeper, the song is talking about the need to prioritize how you spend money in a relationship, but giving things up doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
“If I Could Make A Living” by Clay Walker
Song Year: 1994
Clay Walker’s classic country song from an album of the same name focuses on a desire to focus on love instead of work, which isn’t a rare sentiment among the blue-collar workers who are more likely to listen to this song.
The tune is simultaneously romantic and melancholy, recognizing human desire while also acknowledging that it’s not very easy to achieve. Like many other country songs, though, it does acknowledge hard work as a virtue, especially when it takes priority in someone’s life.
“Buy Me a Boat” by Chris Janson
Song Year: 2015
While it’s newer than many of the other songs on this list, “Buy Me a Boat” is a smash-hit country song with multiple awards and nominations under its belt. In it, Janson focuses on society’s views of wealth and the use thereof, including his wish to be rich and able to buy things like boats and equipment.
A central element of this song is the idea that while money can’t buy everything, it can still do an awful lot. He also aims a line at religion, which is relatively rare in country music, pointing out that despite the church’s views, the lifestyle of the rich is still quite appealing to a lot of people.
“Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind” by Confederate Railroad
Song Year: 1994
Confederate Railroad isn’t as well-known as some other country bands, but this song shot upwards as a hit shortly after release. It’s almost more story than a song, telling of a family starting poor and the singer’s decision to start buying material things.
However, when his father passes later in the song, he realizes that his father was right and that love was ultimately more important than physical goods. That’s a common theme in country songs about money, and it appears particularly often in songs from the 1990s.
“Goin’ Through the Big D (And Don’t Mean Dallas)” by Mark Chestnut
Song Year: 1994
Divorce is quite common in America, so it’s no surprise that there are some country songs about it. The lyrics focus on the cost of divorce and how jumping too quickly into romance can have costs far beyond what someone ever expected.
The lyrics are melancholy here, but the main thing to pay attention to is how long the payments can go on. Divorce isn’t simply a one-and-done thing but an event that continues to affect people far beyond the point where it happens.
“People Are Crazy” by Billy Currington
Song Year: 2009
Although not obviously about money by the title (unlike a lot of other songs here), money comes into the story of this song after the singer spends some time talking to an old man about a wide range of subjects.
After the old man dies, he leaves his money to someone else, and it’s strongly implied that it’s the singer. Despite the anger of the man’s kids, it reinforces the central idea of the song, which is that people can do unexpected things and aren’t easy to pin down.
“Cost of Livin’” by Ronnie Dunn
Song Year: 2011
Written as a response to the Great Recession in 2008, “Cost of Livin’” is a song telling the story of a job interview, answering a range of questions as a man introduces himself. He’s willing to do almost anything, including working more than full-time, to get a job if it means he can get some money to deal with the rising cost of living.
It’s a pointed reminder that money isn’t always enough. When costs change, what used to be acceptable may not be working anymore, so people have to keep trying to climb higher.
“Rich and Miserable” by Kenny Chesney
Song Year: 2016
Country songs often take a dimmer view of money than some other genres, and Kenny Chesney’s song here is no exception. His lyrics focus on the way most people keep working, citing that they’ll never be happy until they’re rich and miserable. The paradox is a key aspect of the song, as enough can never be enough.
Money can remove some unhappiness, but after solving immediate needs, it’s true that it doesn’t do anything to make your life happier. That theme is on full display in this heartfelt song about life.
“A Good Run of Bad Luck” by Clint Black
Song Year: 1994
Written for the movie “Maverick,” Clint Black’s song focuses on gambling and the willingness to bet on a run of bad luck. While you can interpret this in many ways, a common view is that it represents the idea that after a string of bad luck, turnarounds can be sudden and dramatic.
Statistically, a high enough number of attempts in gambling will always move toward the average. However, there can be long streaks that are well away from the average, but it’s a fallacy to assume those will continue or have a sudden reversal.
“Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous” by Tracy Byrd
Song Year: 1994
Tracy Byrd’s 1994 song tells the story of a television crew coming to film a family that isn’t as wealthy as some others but still has the opportunity to show how they live to a TV crew. This song has a much wider range of interpretations than many others, as you can see it as a positive or a negative that their lives can provide entertainment for others.
“Workin’ for a Livin’” by Huey Lewis
Song Year: 1982
Originally sung by Huey Lewis and made more famous after a duet version with Garth Brooks in 2007, this song focuses on money troubles and the life of a man who’s continuing to work for his living.
Like most country songs about money, you can interpret this tune in several ways. A good work ethic is often virtuous, but the fact that it’s not helping people earn nearly enough is a feeling that more and more people can relate to.
“All My Ex’s Live In Texas” by George Strait
Song Year: 1987
More comedic than most of the other songs on this list, George Strait’s song isn’t obviously about money but touches on it with the idea that the law might be looking for him, presumably to get him to pay up what he might owe to others.
The song’s character is also on the run, avoiding the state he’d most like to be in and living in Tennessee instead. It’s a jolly tune despite the lyrics and can serve as a break from the melancholy style that most of the rest of this list has.
“Beer Money” by Kip Moore
Song Year: 2012
“Beer Money” is a tune that touches on the lives of regular Americans, emphasizing a couple that’s barely making ends meet. However, in this case, it barely means they’re still managing it and have a little money left over at the end, choosing to spend it on beer and having a good time together.
“Check Cashin’ Country” by Midland
Song Year: 2017
A relatively modern country song about money, “Check Cashin’ Country” is a song about Midland’s lifestyle and some of their experiences on the road, including what they have to do to try and reach their next gig. They’ve seen quite a bit of success with the release of this song, though, as they point out that they aren’t making music just to get money out of it.
While learning an instrument is one thing, being a truly successful musician takes a lot more time, effort, and skill than many people realize.
“Minimum Wage” by Blake Shelton
Song Year: 2021
Blake Shelton may be wealthy these days, but he hasn’t forgotten the lifestyles of the people who support anyone else. “Minimum Wage” is ultimately a romance song, discussing his feelings for a lover who made even the simplest things in life feel like they’re worth far more than they are.
It’s another refrain in country’s style of saying that love and relationships ultimately matter more and that it’s often better to be satisfied with the simpler things in life.
“Summer Job Money” by Chris Lane
Song Year: 2021
“Summer Job Money” is another story in song form, where the protagonist of the story starts following his father’s advice to save up money for college early. From there, it transitions to his focus on a relationship and an acknowledgment that if he’d met his lover when he was younger, he probably would have blown all the money he was saving.
“Rich” by Maren Morris
Song Year: 2018
Country songs about music that come from female singers are relatively rare, though there are a few on this list. Maren Morris’ “Rich” takes the old idea of getting a bit of money every time someone acts a certain way and dials it to the max, using it as a metaphor for problems in a relationship. It’s some clever lyric writing, all backed by a catchy country tune.
“Tip Jar” by Jackson Michelson
Song Year: 2021
“Tip Jar” is a song about love and breakups, starting with being apart after almost a year together. Michelson ties in several other thoughts in this song, including a desire to find new music and a willingness to tip a band to help him make new memories in his favorite place.
It’s a tight look at emotion, as well as the idea that things aren’t always reckless if they’re necessary to move on.
Top Country Songs About Money, Final Thoughts
Country songs about music trend toward melancholy, but they have a few optimistic and comedic hits as well. If you’re looking for songs that take a more blue-collar perspective about wealth, the songs above are a great place to start.