Even Reality TV Stars Need A Budget

By: Keith Wagstaff · June 21, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you think reality TV stars have no money cares in the world, think again. Just because their lives may look glamorous, doesn’t mean they don’t also have to set and follow a budget to make ends meet.

For Real Housewives of New York star Brynn Whitfield this reality check from her accountant, flagging her increased spending after she joined the Bravo show, she said on SoFi’s YouTube series Richer Lives. The first person in the “Bravoverse” that she would reach out to for financial advice is Vanderpump Rules star Lisa Vanderpump.

“She has always been so transparent and honest about her businesses,” Whitfield told financial literacy advocate Vivian Tu, aka Your Rich BFF, and Brian Walsh, SoFi’s Head of Advice and Planning, with whom she talked about everything from making a budget to how to advocate for yourself at work.

Budget Like a Boss

While the producers of Real Housewives of New York didn’t ask Whitfield to spend money on clothes and beauty, the pressure of appearing on camera initially pushed her to spend more.

“You get a manicure, you get a pedicure, you get your eyebrows done,” she said, “you’re doing that more frequently because you are a little more self-conscious about being on camera, let’s be honest.”

It wasn’t just that she was spending more on clothes and services. She realized she was “really spending a lot on these little gotchas,” she said, such as rides to her appointments. “I only think of the bigger-ticket items,” said Whitfield. “I never look at all these little-ticket items.”

But those smaller expenses add up, and Whitfield learned to create a line-item budget and track her expenses to keep her costs under control.

Know Your Worth (And Speak Up About It)

Before she was a Bravo housewife, Whitfield worked in public relations in LA, where she recalls spending half of her income on rent, which is not ideal. So when she asked for a raise, she referenced the cost of living in Southern California.

Her boss didn’t give her a pay bump. His reason? A company won’t give you more money because you need it. He told her “you’re supposed to negotiate your worth and the value you bring to the team.”

To do that, you need to document your achievements and then present your case. And don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.

“Even if [your managers] love you, they’re not advocating for you,” Whitfield said. When it comes to asking for a raise or promotion, you need to take matters into your own hands.

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