Money Lessons, I Learned from Drinking and Tweeting

Make fun of me all you want, but I can’t deny my love for the Real Housewives franchise. I’m a smart girl, I work hard, and I usually choose to read books that will expand my mind and teach me something.

But there are also times when I just want to read a book like it’s a magazine and shut off my brain for a bit. That’s where Real Housewives’ star Brandi Glanville’s book Drinking and Tweeting comes in. She reminds me a bit of Bethenny Frankel because she’s the only real, no-bullsh**, outspoken character on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, though when it comes to money, she’s definitely no SkinnyGirl mogul.

If you don’t know the story behind Brandi Glanville (as I’m sure most of you don’t), she’s the chick who was cheated on and then left by her husband Eddie Cibrian (a TV movie and soap opera actor) for country singer Leanne Rhimes. Her entire divorce was made public by the tabloids and turned her into a minor celebrity. This then lead to the Real Housewives reality show approaching her to join the cast, and seeing as the divorce left her virtually penniless, she signed onto the show mainly for the paycheque.

Now I’ve got to say, the title of this book is pure genius. Not only that, it was a super easy read. I’ll be honest, I’ve been doing pretty poorly on my goal of reading 100 hundred books before Dec. 31, so the main reason I grabbed this book was because I knew I could finish it in a few days; and I was right, I finished it in two.

Maybe it’s because I blog about money all the time, but I couldn’t help but notice how often the subject of money came up in the book. Most of it of course was what not to do and Brandi learning the hard way by becoming broke after her divorce, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the money tips that were sprinkled throughout her book.

1. Know what’s going on with your family’s money

It doesn’t matter if you absolutely hate anything to do with balancing your chequebook or paying the bills, both you and your partner should be taking care of the family finances together. Brandi had no clue about her household’s money and just figured her husband was taking care of it. All she knew was her credit card was limitless and that’s all she really cared about.

Unfortunately for her, her husband put everything including their credit cards and house under his name. This meant that when they split, she had zero credit, no assets, and was forced to sleep on friends couches and borrow money from her parents in her late 30s.

2. Keep a good eye on your bills

It may strike you as odd, but apparently Brandi didn’t think anything of it that her husband redirected all of their bills to his parent’s place. She just figured everything was taken care and she didn’t need to be concerned with the bills. In actuality, her husband was hiding their bills from her so she wouldn’t see that he was calling other girls, buying them fancy presents, and being a total slimy douchebag.

3. Live within your means

Living in L.A. sounds kind of terrible if you ask me. It’s all about keeping up with the Jones’, and the Jones’ are the richest people in the world. Because of this, you’re either super rich or living beyond your means, which was what Brandi, and her husband were doing. When it came time for them to assess their assets during the divorce, it was pretty clear that they were not as rich as they both thought they were, and they definitely had a whack of debt to deal with at the end of it all.

4. Divorce is expensive

No one wants to get divorced, but in Brandi’s case, she didn’t really have a choice. Her husband left her and wanted to marry Leanne Rhimes instead. Apparently it costs about $2,000 to file for divorce in L.A. so Brandi waited for her husband to file to save herself from paying the bill. In the end she wrote that it didn’t really matter because in all their divorce cost something like $100,000. Yikes!

5. Being poor can make you humble

After their divorce, Brandi was left pretty much dirt poor. She had to borrow money from her parents and ask them to co-sign on a car lease because she had absolutely no credit. She even writes in the book that there was a long stretch of time in which she either slept in her car or had to stay at friends’ houses for the night. Things eventually turned around for her as she started making money by doing interviews for magazines and then getting the gig on the Real Housewives show, but being rock bottom poor was definitely a reality check for her.

She explains how she used to spend thousands of dollars on her sons’ birthday parties, but after the divorce all she could afford was a small party in her apartment with peanut butter and jam sandwiches and pizza as the only snacks. Despite seeming like a poor-man’s birthday party, her kids had a blast, and she says it was one of the best birthday’s her family has ever had.

Have you read Drinking and Tweeting before? What’s your take on some of Brandi’s money blunders?

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