It doesn’t matter if it’s from fame and fortune, inheritance or simply working your butt off, getting loads of money changes people. Before they know it, frivolous spending has reared its ugly head and that once Uncle-Scrooge-sized pool of money now amounts to the crumpled up dollar I found in a puddle last week–which was totally sweet, ’cause I really wanted a soda that day.
Despite all the fools who blow their money on a material lifestyle, there are those who do good with their dough–for themselves and others. Let these celebs lead by example.
- Zooey Deschanel: The New Girl star filed for divorce in late Dec. 2011, and her lawyer brought forth the gamut of her financial activity for documentation. Turns out she’s pretty good at budgeting her $95,000 per month paychecks. Despite spending $22,550 a month for expenses like phone, utilities, and dining out, she’s saved $1,578,000, invested $1,645,000 in the stock market, and has an estimated property value of $693,300. Her huge net worth allows her to donate $1,500 per month to charity. You go, New Girl!
- Jon Bon Jovi (a.k.a. John Francis Bongiovi): This musician, actor, and nearly 30 year music industry vet as solo artist and front man of the multi-platinum rock band, Bon Jovi, adds seasoned philanthropist to his résumé. His nonprofit organization, The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, is “dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need ONE SOUL AT A TIME.” It’s latest endeavor, The Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ, is a pay-what-you-can restaurant that offers fine dining to those in need. Bon Jovi told the Associated Press (as reported in Huffington Post), “This is not a soup kitchen. You can come here with the dignity of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal.” There are no prices on the menu, but if you can’t afford to leave a contribution you can earn a certificate to eat by volunteering at the restaurant or local food banks. Basically, with Bon Jovi, [He'll] Be There for You if you’re Livin’ on a Prayer. After all, It’s [His] Life, and it’s now or never.
- Tim Tebow: It’s only his second season in the NFL, but Tebowmania has allowed the Denver Broncos quarterback to give back and make a real difference. The Tim Tebow Foundation is building a hospital in the Philippines, supports orphan relief, builds football-themed playrooms in children’s hospitals, and grants wishes for terminally ill children. What’s more remarkable is the foundation’s staff and administration costs are paid for out of Tebow’s own pocket, which allows all fundraising to go towards outreach.
Unfortunately, these thoughtful millionaires don’t make up the whole of rich folk, especially the have-gotten-rich-quick crowd. Case in point: Lotto winners, like Evelyn Adams, who won a total of $5.4 million in the New Jersey lottery…in back-to-back years! She subsequently blew it all on gambling and now lives in a trailer park. The UK’s Michael Carroll similarly spent his £9.7 million lotto check on poor gambling–among drugs and thousands of prostitutes, to boot–and he now collects £42 a week as a garbage man.
But wait. The pièce de résistance of idiot money squanderers: “Speidi.” Famous for having absolutely no talent whatsoever, the former The Hills couple, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, resorted to body modification and hideous flesh-colored beards, an embarrassing book (How to Be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press, and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture) and a stint in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! to keep their fame and fortune alive. Fortunately for all of us, their 15 minutes is up and now they’re totally broke. I’ll let Anderson Cooper finish them off for you.
So, whose side are you on? Would you splurge on pricey gifts or save for the future?