Court papers have revealed that Britney Spears saves none of her $737,000 monthly income, instead spending it on two mortgages, eating out, entertainment, and other living expenses. While most of us have substantially less cash to throw around, the same basic principles that money experts dole out to us normal folks apply to celebrities, too. Here are some tips for Britney that her fans also might find helpful:
Start saving 10 percent of that monthly income immediately. Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar, authors of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance, recommend setting up your bank account for automatic deposits so you aren't even tempted to spend the money that should be going into savings.
Create a rainy day fund, in addition to normal savings. Unexpected expenses are bound to pop up, perhaps in the form of spousal support, legal fees, or car accidents. A study by the Consumer Federation of America found that the average person has $2,000 in unexpected expenses a year. For a celebrity living large, that figure could be much higher. Thakor and Kedar recommend putting away an additional 5 percent in this fund.
Invest some of those savings. Money that you don't plan on using until retirement can be placed in stock market funds, which are more volatile but average higher growth rates over time. Savings that you may want to use in the next five years can be placed in more conservative money market funds, which tend to earn around 4 or 5 percent a year.
Think about retirement. No, it's not too early—Britney will probably want to retire one day, perhaps even earlier than the rest of us. (Those dance moves won't be so easy in a couple of decades.) According to the Government Accountability Office, 12 percent of women over age 65 are living in poverty. For divorced women like Britney, the rate is even higher, at 21 percent.
Shop less. In Make Money, Not Excuses, Jean Chatzky warns women against shopping addictions. She recommends replacing shopping with less pricey activities, such as jogging or taking a bath. "The key is deciding—planning—in advance that when you feel like shopping, you're going to do this other activity instead," she writes.
Start a 529 college fund for your kids. Tax-shielded 529 accounts allow you to save money for future college educations, and many states offer an income tax deduction for contributions.