Plus 7 other celebs — including Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Toni Braxton — who have struggled to manage their money
Nicolas Cage’s high-flying lifestyle has led to a financial crash landing.
The Oscar-winning Cage, 54, has reportedly blown through much of his $150 million fortune, according to a recent special shown on CNBC’s “The Filthy Rich Guide,” which chronicles the spending excesses of some of the world’s wealthiest.
Cage’s extravagant purchases included 15 residences — a Newport Beach, Ca., waterfront home for $25 million, and two European castles worth a collective $12.3 million were among them — as well as a deserted island in the Bahamas for $3 million. Other seemingly ill-advised buys: A collection of shrunken pygmy heads, a Lamborghini owned by the late shah of Iran for $450,000, a pet octopus for $150,000, and a seven-million-year-old dinosaur skull for $276,000. All told, that spending spree left Cage, the star of the “National Treasure” film franchise, facing foreclosure on several properties, and owing $6.3 million in property taxes to the IRS.
Cage’s over-the-top lifestyle is a lesson for us all: “It’s so easy to overspend on little things that don’t matter, and little stuff will keep you from [affording] the big stuff that’s really enjoyable,” says financial planner David Rae. Indeed, studies show that its experiences — like spending time with family on a trip, for example — that boost our happiness, rather than material things.
Luckily, avoiding overspending on non-essentials isn’t as hard as it sounds. Set a dollar limit for impulse purchases (perhaps $50 or $100), and, if your coveted purchase meets or exceeds it, wait 24 hours before buying it to determine if it’s a need or just a spontaneous desire, says Rae. You should also set a monthly limit on total non-essential purchases, by looking at what you can afford to spend after you’ve both paid for basics like rent and food and put away money for savings.
Other ways to stop frivolous spending: Set short-term financial goals (such as saving for a summer vacation) and remind yourself of them everyday, and track your spending on free apps or a site like Mint.com, says financial planner Jared Paul.
And if you really “need” the impulse item, consider a way to spend less on it. Personal finance expert Kim Palmer of NerdWallet.com says homemade alternatives to commonly outsourced costs — such as making a pizza at home for $10 instead of ordering one in for $40, or giving yourself your own manicure/pedicure rather than visiting the salon — can save “hundreds of dollars” per year.
Cage is hardly the only celebrity to spend a little too freely. Here are seven others.
Lavish spending — 14 residences, multiple Bahamian islands, and “at least 45 luxury vehicles” — reportedly sunk the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s finances. After a lawsuit accused him of shelling out $18 million on a yacht, $30,000 a month on wine, and $300,000 a month in salaries for his 40-person staff, Depp’s purported $2 million dollar per month lifestyle finally took its toll. Depp was also ordered to pay ex-wife Amber Heard a $7 million settlement in August of 2016 — sending him into even deeper debt. For his part, Depp sued his business managers for allegedly taking an unauthorized $25 million from his “Pirates of the Caribbean” earnings, defaulting on paying his taxes, and other fraudulent engagements.
In 2015, the “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, filed for bankruptcy, citing $36 million in debt. That same year, he was ordered to pay $7 million to Lastonia Leviston, who sued him for posting a sex tape. Jackson’s bankruptcy case was discharged after he was able to pay his debtors back ahead of schedule.
Rihanna claims that she lost $9 million in a single year, after her financial advisor Peter Gounis encouraged her to buy a new Beverly HIlls home for $7.5 million when she was actually running out of money. Gounis denied allegations of negligence, breach of contract, and other charges in the suit, and filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case. The two parties eventually resolved their differences.
Erratic behavior and wild spending habits are among the reasons that Lohan has reportedly been on the brink of bankruptcy for years. Multiple arrests and pricey stints in rehab have also taken a toll on the actress’ bank accounts.
In 2011, Montag and her husband Spencer Pratt came close to filing for bankruptcy after the reality star spent $30,000 on plastic surgery. Careless spending on food, alcohol, and clothing cost them nearly all of their $10 million fortune.
Kim Kardashian’s eccentric husband took to Twitter in 2016 to declare his $53 million personal debt. A string of events including an atypical release of his Life of Pablo album and a lousy debut of his Yeezy Season 3 line both contributed to his downward cash spiral.
The singer filed for bankruptcy twice after admitting to suffering from a serious shopping habit where she indulged in 1,000 thread-count sheets and decorative Faberge eggs. After a diagnosis with mircovascular angina, Braxton was forced to cancel a Vegas residency leaving her in debt with her vendors.
This story was originally published on June 25, 2017, and has since been updated.
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