How to make 3 hours of mundane driving delightful

Music is one of the wee luxuries I allow myself. I haven’t bought music for years but I would go to live performances and gigs for some of my favourite bands. I’d also go to music festivals. I think experiencing Emeli Sande, Florence & the machine, Sick of Sarah, Kasabian, etc is worth the ticket prices. Obviously, now I’m on my frugal journey I’ve had to rein things a bit and I keep my enjoyment of music frugal by making Spotify one of my mandatory expenses and going to free gigs at pubs and what not instead.

florenceMusic frames lots of wonderful memories of my life. My cousins and I sang Michael Jackson’s “Heal the world” in my late grandpa’s ‘bar’ together in my first memory of christmas all together with my maternal cousins. My brother excitedly played Robin Thicke’s “Lost without you” for my mum, sister and I one day in 2005 when we all still lived together and the fact that’s still a family favourite was evident when my sister chose it for her first dance with her husband. I also remember a rare childhood Saturday when my dad was home and he, my mum and maternal aunt danced to Elton John’s “Sacrifice”. Music is linked to moments and people for me.


When I have access to the online catalog, I’m able to cycle through years of good and bad memories.

  • Music that I danced to in clubs – Kate Perry’s “Last Friday night”
  • Songs that helped me get over heartbreak  – Feist’s “How my heart behaves”
  • Music that reflects my happiest days  – Angus & Julia Stone’s “Big Jet Plane”
  • Songs that make me want to learn bass guitar – The XX’s “Heart skipped a beat”
  • Albums that remind me of family  – Paul Simon’s “Graceland”

So when on Sunday, my sister, one of my brothers and 2 of my mum’s immediate older sister’s cousins found ourselves in a car together for the best part of 3 hours, I was nominated as DJ because I had Spotify premium and could play music from my 10s of playlists that I have saved on my phone.

  • I played Kano’s “Nite Nite” because it reminded me of when my sister, brother and I were still the three musketeers in a house in South East London.
  • Nelly Furtado’s “Showtime” reminded us all of our favourite house in East London, when we were all still carefree and in university.
  • My cousins and I spent several minutes laughing at memories of baaing like goats to Shakira’s “Underneath your clothes”

We spent hours laughing, reminiscing and singing to songs from years gone by – transported to simpler times and when we used to see one another almost every day. This is why I have Spotify. Even without data, I could still bring up powerful emotions and memories.

It’s all there at the tip of my finger and it’s all thanks to the best £9.99 that I spend a month.


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