Spending money is fun. We might as well just come out and say it. Buying something that you have wished to own for a long time brings a warm feeling inside. Most people take their time acquiring high priced items, putting money away to eventually have enough for the purchase. Some would even say that this waiting makes the reward all the more sweet. Slowly saving your funds for an item also provides time for reflection. This is not a bad idea since the desire for many of these items fades after a little while. However, if this period of financial prioritization is removed, if money is no object, then you can quickly end up with a house filled with stuff that make you wonder: “What was I thinking!”
This is the treacherous road that celebrities must walk. They have loads of cash, often amassed in a quick fashion. That is not to say that the money was easy to get. Many would be stars are mired in dead-end jobs for years before they get their break. When their big chance does come, they can quickly achieve a level of financial independence that was previously unimaginable. The fact that they had little before the massive influx of funds might explain some of their ridiculous purchases. Why not spend a few thousand on a pair of socks if you have the bank account to support it? Buying expensive items is not a problem when there is an endless stream of money. When they are at their peak, these artists can not imagine a return to their humble lifestyles of the past. Unfortunately fame is fickle and fleeting. Many celebrities find themselves out of work, or fall out of favor and are not in demand as they once were. These events severely affect the bottom line. When the money goes so must the crazy spending. The problem is most celebrities have trouble grasping this concept.
The real trouble stems form the fact many of these atrocious spending sprees involve items bought on credit. Even if the money flow slows only a little, the payments become a financial strain. This inevitably leads to bankruptcy or a loss of possessions. This just goes to show that even if you have a ton of money, you should always think twice before you buy that ridiculously overpriced novelty item.
The truth is the same whether you are working a lower paying job or making big-budget films: if you live beyond your means you will end up broke. What follows is a list of celebrities, who spent most of their wealth on illogical items!
5) Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag – Collective net worth $200 thousand
This couple made quite a large sum of cash and wasted it in rapid fashion. These two fell victims to instantaneous fame when they were cast in the reality television show The Hills. The show proved to be wildly popular and they were soon being paid large sums of money for personal appearances, interviews and photo shoots. The pair soon made about $10 million. This is a level of wealth that would last most people a lifetime, but these two decided to live at a level reserved for stars who shine much brighter.
A modest home was not enough for Heidi and Spencer so they decided to live in a $35,000/ month house in Malibu. Heidi then decided that she was a singer. $3 million was spent on her music career, that failed miserably. The couple spent extensive amounts on plastic surgery for her and six cars for him. Within a relatively short time, all the accrued wealth from their 15 minutes of fame was gone. No longer in demand the couple has no chance of climbing out of their financial hole. They even faked a divorce in an attempt to raise their popularity. Much like other aspects of their lives, it failed horribly.
4) Mike Tyson – Net worth $1 million
Mike Tyson’s youth has been well documented. He grew up in a single parent family, in high crime neighborhoods. Tyson became involved in this lifestyle at a young age. This led to periods of time in reform school. He was saved from the cycle of crime by Cus D’Amato who noticed Tyson’s innate ability for boxing. Upon leaving school he began training for a career as a pugilist. He had a solid amateur career but it was when he turned pro that he was really noticed. He won his first title at the age of 20 becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever and securing his reputation as the next great champion. He retained the title for a little more than 4 years and accumulated a huge estate worth over $300 million at its peak.
Unfortunately for Tyson he had a lot of people who were getting rich off of his back and he made very poor purchasing decisions. During the height of his career Tyson needed $400,000 a month to maintain his lifestyle, which included three white Bengal tigers which cost $45,000 a month to feed. This is nothing compared to the $2 million bathtub that he bought for his ex-wife Robin Givens or the $4.5 million he dropped on cars during his lifetime. Mike was often in trouble with the law during the 1990’s which added to his expenses. His legal fees from 1995 to 1997 were $9 million. With these habits, it is not difficult to figure out how he accrued a $38 million dollar debt. Tyson has turned over a new leaf and has been touring with his acclaimed one man show Undisputed Truth. It may never give him the wealth he once had, but hopefully he has learned from his mistakes.
3) MC Hammer – Net worth $1.5 million
In 1990 the most popular song on the air ways was “U Can’t Touch This”. The song became a world wide sensation and it made Stanley Kirk Burrell, A.K.A: M.C. Hammer, an extremely wealthy man. Hammer came from very humble beginnings. He lived, with his eight siblings, in a small three bedroom apartment in Oakland. As a young man he would spend his days in the parking lot of the Oakland Coliseum, selling stray baseballs and dancing. Eventually he was noticed by the Oakland A’s owner and given a job as batboy. This led to dreams of being a pro ballplayer that were dashed at a young age. When his athletic dream shattered, he turned to his other talents, dancing and rapping. His second major album release, Please Hammer: Don’t Hurt ‘Em, would sell over 18 million copies worldwide, spawn a cartoon show, an action figure and items ranging from lunch boxes to parachute pants. Hammer made over $30 million during this period.
The first mistake Hammer made was keeping and extensive entourage. At one time he had 200 family and friends on the payroll. He went on to buy a mansion complete with two pools, a cinema and a 17 car garage. This was still not enough for Hammer. He bought a helicopter, an ultimate stereo system requiring 22 feet of wiring, several racehorses and four Rottweilers who all needed to have solid gold collars. The sorry fact was that his music had no enduring quality and was easily forgotten. His career crashed and burned in rapid fashion. He had to declare bankruptcy and lost all his possessions. Hammer has tried to jump back into the spotlight with a reality show, but apparently no one cared and the project failed.
2) Nicolas Cage – Net worth $38 million
Nicolas Cage is an Academy Award winning actor. He comes from a wealthy family, being part of the Coppola clan and he is still in high demand as an actor. The fact is Cage is not in any immediate danger of being penniless. He still commands a high price in Hollywood. In 2009 he made over $40 million. He makes the list however for having squandered much of his fortune on rather ridiculous items. He has been paid over $152 million for his acting, yet was forced to auction off several properties and owed over $13 million in taxes. His reasons for this hardship is simply overspending.
Cage seems to have a problem deciding where to call home so he purchased 15 homes throughout the world. These abodes included at one time, two castles and a private Bahamian Island. This need for diversity seems to spill into other aspects of his life. He owns a fleet of luxury cars which includes several Rolls Royces and a million dollar Ferrari. He also owned 18 motorcycles, four yachts and a Gulfstream Jet. This is not even the strangest part of his spending habits. He spent nearly $300,000 on a dinosaur skull and a huge sum on two rare albino king cobras. We can only hope that he can maintain a steady stream of acting gigs or he’ll really be in trouble.
1) Michael Jackson- Net worth $1 Billion
Michael Jackson was possibly the most popular singer of all time. Beginning at the tender age of 6 and taking over the lead vocal role for his family band The Jackson 5 at the age of 8, he was thrust into the spotlight at a very young age. The band had great success, Michael was dubbed a prodigy and his star power began to grow. Jackson would rule the 80’, Off the Wall, released in 1979 would sell 20 million copies and his next release, Thriller(1982), which would go on to be the top selling album of all time. He was the most sought after star on the planet, yet remained a recluse and showed outward signs of a strange lifestyle. Through music sales and other interests he has made close to a billion dollars prior to his death but at the time of his demise he owed nearly $500 million to debtors.
One of the main reasons for his debt was his fantasy style home Neverland Ranch. It was bought for $20 million and Jackson spent another $35 million improving it. The ranch included two railway lines, two helicopter pads, its own fire department, several amusement park rides and a zoo. The cost of maintaining the ranch was $10 million a year. Jackson also had a taste for luxury in other areas and owned 75 cars and would treat his friends to expensive gifts like the $640,000 necklace he gave to Elizabeth Taylor. He took out massive loans to keep everything going and allowed them to go delinquent. He managed to avoid bankruptcy, but just barely. He was by far the star who spent well beyond his means, even though these means seemed endless!
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