Lindsay Lohan

Jamie McCarthy/

I don't get it—I keep reading reports that Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are broke or getting near it. If that is so, how do they keep spending money like there is no tomorrow? How do these celebrities keep spending when they are not working?
Cristina, Denver, Colorado

Well, it's a multitiered process. First, Britney has to ooze out of her compound and announce to her stable of paparazzi that's she hot, y'all. Then she has to make sure there's at least one shady guy in a baseball cap ready to hold her black card.

And then she has to bleat orders to the hinky guy to take her shopping before she disintegrates into a volcanic mass of trap grease and brightly colored synthetic fiber. Spending a reported $16,000 a month in clothes—it's a complicated affair.

Now that Ms. Spears has been reined in by her daddy's brand-new, $1,500 monthly allowance, the spending party seems to be over. But what a party it's been.

According to court documents released late last year, Britney actually has been earning money, largely from royalties—about $737,000 a month.

She claimed to be spending about $188,000 of it monthly—on home mortgages, dining and child support.

She had an "entertainment" budget of $102,000 alone.

It all sounds ridiculously irresponsible, especially because the court documents also said Britney isn't saving a penny. But according to celebrity financial advisers, the spending ratio really isn't all that scary.

"That's still okay, less than $250,000 a month in spending, given her income," says actor-turned-celebrity-financial adviser Wayne Rogers, once known as M*A*S*H's Trapper John.

It is if and when Britney's income drops—her latest album, Blackout, did not sell well, earning her only a reported $150,000—that she may have to find a cheaper hangout than the Four Seasons.

Right now, her fortune is estimated somewhere between $50 million and $100 million. Some breathless gossip reports estimate her going broke within four years, though the less flappable New York Times has assured us that "Ms. Spears isn't going to run out of money anytime soon."

Either way, Britney seems to care more about her wigs than her future—no savings, no nothing. That habit, according to Rogers, puts her in the same league as 90 percent of celebrities out there.

Most of them never think about their financial future—instead moving from job to job until they dry up and blow away.

As for LiLo, back in January, the New York Daily News reported that the actress' cash stash is running so low that she's asking buddies for loans. Now we have no idea what her real or current financial situation is, but let's hope she at least eyeballs her checkbook before pulling stunts like spending a reported $1 million on clothes and another half-million on a single hotel bill.

But then again, most stars have a psychological block when it comes to finance, Rogers says.

"Remember, most celebrities get very rich very quickly," Rogers says. "And like most people who get very rich very quickly, they spend as an emotional release. They think it goes on forever. They have no sense of personal responsibility."

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