Living with credit

‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ credit card tales of trouble

The tables turn on reality TV’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” co-star Teresa Giudice — and this time she’s not the one flipping them.

No, don’t worry RHNJ fans.  She wasn’t arrested for being a “prostitution whore,” but Teresa, the big-haired spendaholic, known for her extravagant shopping sprees and lavish lifestyle, is flat broke.

Teresa, the big-haired spendaholicNews recently surfaced that she and husband Giuseppe “Joseph” Giudice filed for bankruptcy in October of last year. The couple is approximately $11 million in debt, according to court documents. Unpaid mortgages and home renovations (some of which the Giudices dispute) constitute a majority of what they owe, but their credit card balances aren’t pretty either. The Giudices owe a staggering $100,000 spread across eight credit cards. Of that, they charged nearly $20,000 in total on their Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom cards alone.

The $1.7 million custom-built mansion and Teresa’s cash flashing seemed to indicate vast wealth. But the Giudices aren’t exactly Rockefellers. Joe earns $3,250 per month as the owner of a stone and stucco company, while Teresa makes $3,333 for her role on the RHNJ, bringing the couple’s annual income to approximately $79,000. However, this does not include the generous $10,000 per month the Giudices receive from family.

Even with the extra financial boost from relatives, Teresa and Joe estimate that they spend nearly everything they receive each month. According to the court documents, they shell out more than $12,000 each month on housing payments alone. My favorite, though, is the section in which the couple estimates their clothing expenses. They claim to spend a modest $400 per month. Anybody else happen to catch the episode “Catty-Walk,” in which Teresa is seen dropping $1,965.80 on outfits for her daughters? And no, it wasn’t a five month-long shopping trip.

“When people fall, the way to success is to get up and learn from our mistakes,” said the 38-year-old mother of four to People magazine. “We are in that process.”

And lucky for her, she and Joe may get another chance to fall and thus learn even more. They are coming under fire for concealing assets and income from the court, and lying under oath, according to the “Wall Street Journal.” Real Housewives of New Jersey, the prison edition? Yes, please!

The Giudices aren’t the only celebrities facing fiscal troubles. Lindsay Lohan, “the befreckled freeway accident” as so aptly dubbed her, allegedly owes $600,000 on various credit cards. She does know you shouldn’t charge cocaine, right?  Kidding! I’m sure she doesn’t do drugs. Anyway, Lohan’s latest movie, “Labor Pains,” didn’t even make it to the box office and apparently the starlet is having trouble earning enough money to offset the cost of her lifestyle. What’s worse, she’s not adding to her assets any at her current address at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif. One credit card company has already cut her off and others may follow suit if she doesn’t start paying. If you wish to donate to Lindsay, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department earlier this month began allowing the public to donate to inmates over the Internet, using credit cards.

Can you say “conservator,” anyone? It seems to have worked for the previously untamable Britney Spears. Her most recent credit card bills indicate modest spending under the guidance of her father and court-appointed financial guardian. The Giudices might benefit from a similar strategy. Perhaps they should hand control of their finances over to fellow housewife Caroline — she’s good at telling people what to do.

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  • bubbles

    Re: “However, this does not include the generous $10,000 per month the Giudices receive from family.”
    Does this mean what I think it means?

  • denise

    That is very interesting. I wonder which family has the deep pockets to be able to give someone $10,000 a month for the hell of it.

  • Hi Denise. I agree…So, it’s listed as coming from Joseph’s family on the court docs.