Everyone has an interest in the rich and famous, especially if they are young. Anyone that finds their fame and fortune at an early age seems like they will be set for life. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Most young people grow up with their parents supporting them, so they don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. We learn how to budget, save, and work for what we want which prepares us to manage our own money later in life. Finding fame and fortune at a young age usually results in bad spending habits since young stars don’t learn how to manage their money properly. As soon as they have control over their money, many young stars spend it out of control. They also don’t realize that they may not be able to keep making that kind of money in the future.
We can all learn a lesson from young stars that spent their fortunes quickly. There seem to be more of them lately and they are struggling to make ends meet.
Here are 20 young rich celebs who ruined their future with bad spending habits.
20. Dylan Sprouse
Dylan Sprouse is the former co-star of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody along with his brother Cole. At one time, Dylan was one of the richest kids in the world. His acting career had started before he was one-year-old, and he consistently held different acting jobs throughout his life. He and his brother, Cole, were the two highest paid child actors for several years, amassing an immense fortune.
Recently, rumors have spread that he is broke and works as a waiter in a restaurant to get by. If this is true, that means that he squandered one of the largest child fortunes in the world with bad spending habits.
19. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is a well-known child-turned-adult actress that worked consistently throughout her career. Thanks to several good movie role choices, Lindsay was able to earn in the millions as a child star. Her work kept her name in the highlights until she ran into some serious legal and financial issues.
Transitioning from a child star to an adult star required her to change her image. Unfortunately, it did not change for the better. Lindsay got caught up in a series of drug and behavior-related incidents that landed her in legal troubles. A series of fines and mandatory self-paid rehab and counseling attempts drained much of her fortune. They also hurt her ability to keep acting which stopped her from earning more. She blew most of her fortune on things that could have easily been avoided.
18. Amber Portwood
Amber Portwood, one of the stars of Teen Mom OG, has had financial issues for some time now. She apparently lives off of the payments from the show since she seems to be unemployed throughout the show. Amber turned her teenage pregnancy into a major earning opportunity by doing the show, but jeopardized her future when she found herself addicted to drugs.
Amber’s fortune began to disappear when she went to jail for 17 months on drug charges. During that time, she couldn’t earn any revenue from the show. After her release, rehab and counseling fees have taken their toll on her fortune. While she is back on the show and likely earning like she used to, Amber still has a significant number of bills and no other means besides the show to pay them. In her case, she should find a way to use her fame and fortune to invest or earn revenue from multiple sources.
17. Justin Bieber
There’s a very good chance that you know who Justin Bieber is and have heard about his recent troubles. After his childhood musical career, Justin tried to make the transition to an adult actor and encountered a lot of issues. Many of his choices damaged his reputation and cost him dearly in terms of his ability to work. The most damaging problem for Justin Bieber was his spending habits.
Justin began spending out of control once he had full control of his funds. Lavish trips around the world, expensive cars, and various other luxury experiences drained his accounts quickly. Without consistent and highly lucrative work, Justin’s funds are gradually running out.
16. Lil Bow Wow
Child musicians seem to have issues with spending too much money and not working enough to stay rich. Lil Bow Wow (Shad Gregory Moss) was a child rapper that successfully transitioned into an adult career. Throughout his career, he consistently worked in music, television, and movies while consistently earning awards and accolades from his peers and the public. The source of Bow Wow’s money troubles is his spending and obligations.
Bow Wow stopped working as a musician because he thought that he had accomplished everything that he wanted to. For him, this was a major mistake since he kept spending like he did before. His financial commitments like his expensive lifestyle and child support payments continued to stay high while his income plummeted. Without working, he spent all of his money within a few years.
15. Nikki Blonsky
Nikki Blonsky played a memorable role as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, capitalizing on her assets and talents to become a star at an early age. She became the idol for children and young teens everywhere when she took on the role of an overweight teenager that loved to dance. Because of it, she landed several other roles and managed to earn a small fortune from her work. The biggest problem for Nikki Blonsky was her plans for her life.
Despite finding fame in her late teens, Nikki hasn’t been able to maintain it. She is well known for her role in Hairspray, but hasn’t landed another major and high-paying role since. She plans on persuading an acting career, and has a good amount of noted work, but nothing to continue a big-name career. Because of this, she isn’t earning as she would want. On top of all of this, she doesn’t have another lucrative way of earning a living. She part-times as a hair stylist rather than finding a better-paying full-time job.
14. Young Buck
David Darnell Brown found his fame as a musician under the name Young Buck. He is a former member of several rap groups including G-Unit and UTP Playas. Both groups found financial success over the years thanks to their skills and hard work. Unfortunately, David’s personal life created issues with both of his groups. When working with a group, you have to keep your personal issues from interfering with work. Young Buck wasn’t able to do that, which got him kicked out of both groups. Fortunately, he had the foresight to start his own record label which did well for a time, but his biggest problems were a combination of bad decisions and bad money management.
Young Buck spent the majority of his fortune on luxury items, some of which was used for work. A series of legal issues and bad decisions caused Young Buck to have a criminal record (convicted felon) and more than $300,000 in unpaid taxes. The IRS seized his estate and fortune as a result.
13. Drake Bell
Another example of a child star with bad spending habits is Drake Bell. He was a major child star for Nickelodeon, and has had several major deals outside of Nickelodeon’s operations. At his best, he earned over $400,000 per year. The steady increase in his fame and earnings had Drake amassing a fortune while spending to his means. Like many stars, he didn’t realize that his earning potential wouldn’t be consistent or long-term. As a result, his monthly expenses were over $18,000 and he had to file for bankruptcy. If Drake didn’t rapidly increase his committed expenses, he might have been able to save enough of his fortune for the hard times and avoid bankruptcy.
12. Kerry Katona
One thing that most child stars struggle with is their education. Acting is time-intensive and many no longer see the need when they can achieve fame and a large paycheck with relatively little education. This was the case with Kerry Katona who dropped out of school at 16. Kerry then joined the music group Atomic Kitten. She is also involved in reality and comedy television work which helps her make a living. Because Kerry didn’t pursue a solid education, she has few options outside of the entertainment industry. Also, many reports say that even her closest associates think she spends beyond her means. Two divorces also add to her spending problems due to legal fees and having multiple children to support.
11. Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Barrino is the winner of American Idol and successfully launched a music career not long after the show. Her releases did well for a while, and it looked like she could have had a promising career. Unfortunately, her personal life seemed to get in the way. She didn’t grow up with fame or an extensive fortune, so her spending habits were relatively normal, especially coming from a working-class family. Her problems started when her boyfriend left her to get back with his estranged wife. Fantasia let her emotions get the best of her in a very public way which hurt her career. She missed out on other prominent jobs which hurt her earning potential. Without adjusting her spending to compensate, she spent much of her fortune quickly.
T.I. (Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.) is another case of hard work and talent leading to fame and financial success only to experience personal issues and financial immaturity that destroys careers. T.I. made his fortune as a rapper in Atlanta. He reached national and international fame after signing a record deal. His hard work began to pay off in a big way, and he began to amass his fortune. His spending habits changed as he made more money. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain his earning potential. As his music sales began to decrease, his expenses remained the same. Long-term investments made his expenses high, and he didn’t save enough to cover those expenses over the long-term. His financial troubles continue and are beginning to affect his marriage, which could also have a significant effect on his finances if he gets divorced.
9. Vince Young
Football players have a notoriously short career length. The intensity of the preparations as well as the damage is taken from playing wears players out quickly. Vince Young only played for six seasons before retiring from football. That’s six seasons to make as much money as he could, which was in the millions. The problem is that football players also live expensive lifestyles. Vince spent his fortune in much the same way as most of the others on this list. He amassed a lot of expenses and couldn’t maintain his earning potential. The biggest problem with his situation is that he should have known that it would be a problem. This issue is not new for football players, and he should have had better control over his spending.
8. Heidi Montag
As sad as it is to see a young celebrity lose everything, it is even sadder to watch someone who acquired a fortune later in life lose it too. Heidi Montag made her fortune on the show The Hills which went off the air several years ago. Unlike many of the other young celebrities on this list, Heidi didn’t have a ton of expenses that slowly drained her accounts. Instead, she overspent on luxury items until she spent her $10 million fortune. Better spending habits would have saved her from being broke.
7. Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter’s situation is another example of bad spending habits with a seemingly unfair ending. Aaron gained fame as a singer and released four albums. They all did well, and he made a significant fortune from them. Because of this, he spent excessively. This includes short-term expenditures and long-term investments in luxury items that raised his expenses. When his fame faded and his fortune ran out, Aaron owed creditors millions of dollars. Many of those creditors are furious because Aaron was able to file for bankruptcy protection which erased his debts. While he was able to work his way out of it, it’s really underhanded of him to do that.
6. Lady Gaga
One of the strangest people to be on this list is Lady Gaga, who gained fame very quickly with her antics and impressive singing skills. She offered a type of entertainment that most people had not seen before, and she benefitted from it greatly. Her impressive musical talents help her continue to make a living, and she stretched out into acting as well. At the height of her fame, she spent extravagantly which drained much of her fortune. Fortunately, she is slowly making a comeback thanks to her musical skills.
5. Fazer a.k.a. Richard Rawson
Most people that make over $1 million understand that they will probably need an accountant to make sure that they don’t spend their fortunes without handling their legal obligations first. Richard Rawson, better known as Fazer, faced legal and financial issues because he didn’t handle those legal obligations. The IRS seized his estate and accounts because he did not pay his taxes. If he had hired a competent accountant and made sure that his problems were handled, he would still have much of his fortune. Bad money management habits, like not paying taxes, is what did him in.
4. Taran Noah Smith
Taran Noah Smith encountered financial issues, but not all of them were his fault. As a child star, control of his estate was held by his parents. When he came of age, he inherited a trust fund worth around $1.5 million. Taran immediately got into arguments with his parents over his estate. He believes that they spent much of the money that he had earned on a large and extravagant house for themselves. It’s true that his parents may have spent his earnings since he had no control of it in the past, but has control now and spent much of what he did receive. Although he may have received more if his parents had better spending habits, Taran’s bad spending habits can be more hurtful since he could have invested much of it to ensure that he had plenty into his later years.
3. Dutchess Lattimore
Dutchess Lattimore is unique on this list as she never intended to be famous. She worked in a tattoo shop that famously got its own reality show called Black Ink Crew. As a part of the ensemble, she earned a small fortune for being confrontational and providing the catalyst for a lot of the drama on the show. Given her background, she should have had better financial sense. Unfortunately, she spent much of her fortune on frivolous items. She also had relationship issues that may have contributed to some off camera irrational behavior. All of these issues combined led her to spend her small fortune. Fortunately, she has other means of making a living.
2. Miquita Oliver
In many cases, people can keep their personal opinions separate from their work. Miquita Oliver, a commentator, and radio host managed to generate a small fortune for her entertaining and provocative hosting skills on multiple shows She managed to provide a strong blend of personal and professional insights into a wide range of topics. She has a bad habit of overdoing it on specific topics which tend to get her fired. Because Miquita can’t hold a specific job, her earning potential is much lower than it could be. On top of that, she fell behind on her taxes which almost always ends in bankruptcy.
1. Suzanne Shaw
Suzanne Shaw’s experience is particularly tragic as her bad personal and professional decisions caused her financial problems. She gained fame by winning the show PopStars and started a music career. After some time with her group, she began experiencing a series of personal issues that began to unravel her good image and career. She spent lavishly and ended up in the wrong crowd which led to several heartbreaks with negative media attention. Her behavior also made it difficult for her to continue working. That, combined with her bad spending habits drained all that she had earned. If she had found a way to maintain her image and make better financial decisions, her life would have turned out much differently.
Finding fame and fortune at a young age can be the big break that everyone is looking for, but this list shows that there are a lot of bad habits that can unmake anyone’s good luck. If these stars had figured out how to better manage their money, then they may not have had the same financial issues like filing for bankruptcy or owing on taxes. Likewise, an investment in maintaining their careers or finding other means of making money would have ensured that their lives turned out for the better.
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