Celebrities often flash their wealth through lavish lifestyles so its easy to assume they’re financially savvy. That’s not always the case. Just because a bank account is large doesn’t mean the owner knows how to allocate its contents well. Spending wisely, budgeting, and investing are skills the famous and wealthy don’t always possess with many having face money challenges both in private and public.
From having trouble standing up for themselves during pay negotiations to overspending on ungrateful friends and family to even trusting the wrong people to manage their accounting, celebrities make grave money mistakes just like us. The difference is, it probably costed a lot more.
Here are a few stars’ stories about money missteps and what they learned in the process.
Rihanna trusted the wrong accountant
Before she became a self-made billionaire, Rihanna found herself having to sue her former he allegedly advised her to spend lavishly, mismanaged her funds, improperly filed taxes, and kept an unfair percentage of profits — decisions that Rihanna says led her to double her expenses and drop over $9 million in a single year. She was left nearly bankrupt, but we know she didn’t stay in that state, thank God.
Tyler Perry’s accounting team made a huge oversight
Tyler Perry made headlines when he recently revealed that he fired his entire accounting team after they discovered he was owed $9M by the IRS.
Ye plunged himself into debt
Ye revealed in a 2016 Twitter post that he had fallen into millions of dollars’ worth of debt after starting his clothing brand, Yeezy. Although the tweets have since been deleted, he went on to publicly speak about being $16 million in debt to the line off the ground.
Issa Rae low-balled herself
“As a freelance videographer and editor, I constantly had to set my price points, which was hard in the beginning because I honestly didn’t know my worth,” she said in a 2015 interview.
Eager for work, she said she’d accept anything at that point.
“As I grew more confident in my work, I began to set my prices higher,” she said. “Sometimes I’d get resistance and sometimes I wouldn’t get the job at all. I’d often have to convince them that I was worth the money.”
Kelly Rowland overspent
The Bills, Bills, Bills singer said she almost couldn’t pay hers after spending her money on things she couldn’t afford.
In a 2020 interview, she admitted “I was ‘rich broke,’ and I will never forget having this moment … I called my best friend and I said, ‘I just don’t know what to do.’ ”
Her friend advised her to donate to the church, despite her financial woes. Though her business manager told her she couldn’t afford the donation, she gave the gift anyway — and said she believes it saved. After some time, she was able to turn her finances around and vowed to never spend what she didn’t have again.
T Pain spent frivolously
“Now I know what the high end is and what the low end is,” he said. “I’ve been mega-rich, I’ve been super broke, right in the middle of thinking I was mega-rich, and then got rich again, and you know learned how to really give a s— about money,” the rapper/singer admitted in a Breakfast Club interview.
He admitted he went being worth $40M to having to borrow money from friends due to reckless spending and bad investments.