I have been guilty of the occasional celebrity envy, the odd flick through magazines gawping at the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. I wouldn’t say no if a fairy godmother arrived and suggested she remake me in the image of Rachel Bilson or gave me Keira Knightley’s wardrobe.
They might have lots and lots of lovely money, but celebrities still manage to do some silly things with it. There have been some fairly monumental financial mistakes made by celebrities in recent years.
Let us mere mortals learn from their mistakes.
Mistake #1: Half your luck
Paul McCartney may have written some of the greatest songs of the 20th and been a member of a band that reconfigured the path of music, but his decision not to sign a prenuptial when marrying Heather Mills was not quite as savvy. Prenuptials are a touchy subject, as I’ve mentioned previously, but the matter of handing over 49 million dollars would be pretty touchy too I’d imagine.
This isn’t a problem I can imagine I’ll ever have to deal with but it is a lesson to us all that communication about money matters with your loved one should be par for the course.
Mistake #2: Thy will be done
Like River Phoenix the generation before him, Heath Ledger’s death was an unbelievable thing- so tragic, and so unexpected. Dying without updating his will also left his daughter entirely out of his inheritance. Stieg Larsson is another classic example of this mistake. Don’t leave your loved ones out in the cold, make sure your will is up-to-date and comprehensive of all your assets.
Mistake #3: Pay to pay
Britney Spears may make $738 000 a month, but she’s still living from pay to pay. I genuinely have no idea how anyone can spend that much money, without investing a large chunk of it, but I’m also not a girl and not yet a woman. I guess this is proof that you can save (or spend) at any level of income. Don’t start saving after next year’s pay rise, start saving now.
Mistake #4: It’s too taxing
Lucky Wesley Snipes was in so many films where he played law enforcement officials because he’s now spending three years researching life on the other side of the bars. A method actor to the end, Mr. Snipes is doing three years time for dodging the tax man (to the tune of 15 million dollars) and preparing for a sleuth of roles as a criminal.
Mistake #5: Scummy scams
Don’t celebrities have minders or, at the very least, accountants to look after their vast wealth? Larry King lost millions of dollars to an insurance investing scam, proving that all the money and prominence in the world can’t always save you from being a little bit naïve.
Mistake #6: Roll of the dice
You would think some people would make so much money that a gambling habit wouldn’t dent their incomes. Apparently not so. Michael Jordan managed to lose a million dollars on one game of golf. Golfer John Daly claims to have lost between 50 to 60 million dollars to a gambling problem. Don’t gamble- that’s the maxim from this.
Mistake #7: Read the fine print
Don’t ever sign anything that you haven’t read through thoroughly, because there are people out there who don’t do you right. Just ask Ray Davies or the guys from Badfinger.