Financial know-how from Teresa Giudice, Sonja Morgan, Bethenny Frankel, Ramona Singer and more
At least the life lessons are real.
Say what you want about “The Real Housewives” — the cult hit television franchise on Bravo — they’ve taught me all I need to know about what to do – and not to do – with my money.
Always read the fine print.
In 2014, after months of denial, Jersey housewife Teresa Giudice, 45, pleaded guilty to bank, mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud. “I’m going to make sure whatever I put my John Hancock on, that I understand fully before signing any other papers in the future,” she told the Bravo TV chat show “Watch What Happens Live.” It’s good advice for us all – whether we’re signing a lease, a loan, or paperwork at a new job.
Don’t depend on a man.
“I love making my own money,” says clothing entrepreneur Ramona Singer, 60, from “The Real Housewives of New York City,” in the opening credits of the show’s first season. “I find that an aphrodisiac.” She needed that independence when her husband Mario confessed to an affair and they divorced in in 2016. And we all need that independence everyday – knowing I’m both capable and responsible for myself financially is the most liberating feeling in the world.
Live within your means.
These women live large — and many shouldn’t. Danielle Staub, former cast member of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2012 to write off thousands of dollars she owed a string of creditors, though she did get to keep her home when she emerged from Chapter 11 four years later. And Robyn Dixon and her husband Juan Dixon, a former player with the Washington Wizards, filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Dixon’s attempt to get her finances back on track was a major plot line on “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” And Sonja Morgan, 53, a Real Housewife of New York who has fallen on her own hard times, has frequently discussed how she likes to shop during sales and keeps particular items of clothing for years. Bottom line: know what you make, know what you spend and figure out a way to squirrel some away for a rainy day.
Keep at it.
Some of these ladies don’t give up. Bethenny Frankel, 46, from “The Real Housewives of New York City,” has come a long way from standing in a supermarket trying to sell her range of baked goods to customers who ranged from mildly to profoundly uninterested. In 2011, however, Frankel reportedly sold her Skinnygirl Margarita, the original product of what grew into Frankel’s Skinnygirl line of foods and beverages, to Beam Global for an estimated $100 million. “The road to entrepreneurship is filled with twist, turns, and dead ends,” she said. The Housewife hustle is legit – and a reminder that if you’ve got a good idea, it doesn’t hurt to give it a whirl.
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