Imagine blowing through $50 million dollars.
$50 MILLION dollars.
That’s what Toni Braxton did. Meat Loaf did better — he was only $1.6M dollars in debt. Dee Snyder, Billy Joel, and many more have blown through millions to end up owing millions.
You may not make millions to blow in your lifetime, but you certainly can learn a few financial lessons from these once-rich, now not-so-much rockstars.
How to Waste Money Like a Rockstar
1. Spend recklessly
Spend dollars like they’re drops in a bucket, and you’ll enjoy the same fate as the aforementioned dudes and dudettes. Use your credit card every time you need something — or better yet, want something.
Fix: Learn to do without if it’s not part of that “need” category for living — like a roof over your head, food in your tummy, clothes on your back, and a car for work.
2. Don’t budget
For anything. Don’t worry that you have a finite amount of money: throw it away without allotting it to the appropriate monthly necessities.
Fix: Make and follow a budget. Detail your monthly expenditures, cut out the unnecessary, and satisfy it with what you’ve got coming in. This will help you see where you need to cut, or if you need to increase your income.
3. Use your credit cards for everything
See 1000-thread count sheets that you must have (but can’t afford) a la Toni Braxton? Buy them! Why not? Plastic doesn’t need a reason.
Fix: Don’t buy it with credit unless you can pay it off as soon as you charge it. Credit cards are a necessary evil in today’s world, but their ill-conceived use lands rockstars and normal people like us in big-time debt.
4. Blow surprise income and earnings
Throw away surprise money on frivolities, like faberge eggs or golden toilets. (For us normal people, this would be equivalent to spending a bonus or two on video games or dinners out at a nice restaurant.)
Fix: Take that moolah and tuck it into a savings account, or pay off some debt. You deserve a reward for your efforts; let that reward be peace of mind.
5. Don’t plan for retirement
Retirement? Rockstars don’t have to worry about that. They’ll always have an income — sometimes long after they’re dead. Unlike Dee Snyder, who found himself having to work computer sales and ride a bike because he couldn’t afford a car.
Fix: When you set your budget (remember #2?), include a monthly savings for retirement. When you have enough, consider investing it in an interest-earning account with dividends to help you make up for the time you should have been saving, but weren’t.
6. Say yes to everyone
Sure, be like The Rock and buy your mom a new Escalade. Don’t realize that generosity, though well-intentioned, can cost more than you can afford.
Fix: An empathetic ear and polite answers not only save your friend’s face, but will save you heartache and cash in the long run. Say no.
7. Trust anyone
Let’s go back to Toni Braxton, who lost millions because of her bad record deal. “Unbreak My Heart” made $170M, but she made less than $2,000 on it. She made $2K (not the M!) on a record that made 85,000 times that. If she’d had the contract looked over by a trusted lawyer, she would have made a better deal.
Fix: Don’t invest just anywhere, or with just anyone. Make sure the institutions and people you deal with are trustworthy. Keep a lawyer, accountant, and financial adviser in your corner.
Are you shocked by how much money rockstars waste? What other lessons can we learn from them?
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