Martine McCutcheon filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The Mirror dubbed her the biggest soap star since Mr Matey bubble bath. The Times listed her achievements: “a much-loved soap actress, a chart-topping singer, a highly acclaimed musical star, a bestselling novelist….”
She had fame, success and a lot of money. Now she can’t pay her debts. She’s handed her money and property over to the official receiver. She lives on a basic income without luxuries.
Why mention her? Because she, and a fair number of other celebs who acquire fortunes and lose them, are an object lesson for young people. They illustrate the stark, perhaps surprising, truth that you can never have so much money that you don’t have to bother about it.
Some teenagers scorn the idea of money management. Phrases like, “I’m going to be famous” or “When the band gets its break, I won’t need to worry about money” are quite common. Fair enough, you can reply. But fame and success don’t reduce the need to understand and manage money. They increase it.