“Vanderpump Rules” is a reality show on the Bravo network that follows a group of waitresses and bartenders who all work at restaurants owned by Lisa Vanderpump, one of the stars of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
One trademark of the show is that they frequently make bad decisions in their platonic and romantic relationships. They are all, of course, wannabe models and actors whom we assume get some stipend for the show in addition to their restaurant tips.
Without a consistent income and living in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, it’s no surprise that this group also makes some terrible financial decisions. While it might be fun copying cast member Stassi’s “Outfit of the Day,” these things aren’t.
Lease the Car of Your Dreams!
In this season of “Vanderpump Rules” we learn that even though this group can’t budget for groceries, they know all the details about leasing a car. When restaurant hostess Lala pulls up in a white Range Rover, her coworkers begin speculating behind her back that her allegedly married boyfriend bought her the new SUV.
Lala blithely explains that it’s just a lease and anyone can get one for $10,000. Her friend defends her by saying almost everyone in LA has a lease. After all, how else would a fired waitress struggling to start a T-shirt line have a BMW 1 Series? (Yes, this is a real person on the show.)
However, most financial experts will tell you that leasing a car is a terrible financial decision. Unfortunately, this cast of beautiful, entitled twenty-somethings didn’t get the memo. CNBC reported, “Millennial car buyers are more likely to lease a car than Generation X and the baby boomers. And millennials are leasing more than ever.”
Many lease a car because they are seduced by the advertised low monthly price and want to drive a new car they can’t really afford. According to CNBC, the most popular leases are Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, and Infiniti.
Financial guru Suze Orman writes, “There’s a reason they call them luxury cars; they should be for people who have the money to afford that luxury. If you need to lease a luxury, that’s a pretty good sign you can’t afford it.”
Keep Your Fiancé in the Dark About Wedding Costs
Tom and Katie, a couple on “Vanderpump Rules” known for their volatile relationship and tequila-induced text-message fights, recently got engaged. Katie thinks the wedding budget should be $50,000. Tom thinks the wedding budget should be $20,000. Who would have thought that a couple that can’t communicate in a healthy way would have such different views on a wedding budget?
When Tom found out the wedding invitations cost $18 per person, he decided they should talk about the budget because it was turning into an “old cartoon snowball going down the hill getting bigger and bigger.” Despite not having more than $2,000 in savings combined, they found a solution for their dream wedding: “Maybe you should just keep me in the dark about that stuff,” Tom concluded.
A few minutes later Katie called to book a wedding venue and asked for his credit card. He thought for a minute, then chose one to give her. Needless to say, “leasing” a wedding isn’t a good idea either. As personal finance reporter Cameron Huddleston wrote:
If the amount you want to spend on your wedding requires going into debt or asking parents to chip in, you might want to revisit your budget. Here’s why: According to Debt.org, a debt help organization, 30 percent of couples rely on credit cards to pay for some or all of their wedding costs. But starting a marriage with debt can cause money stress that can strain a relationship, and might mean putting off starting a family, or buying a car or home.
Moving In with a Guy You Met Via Instagram
Actor-slash-model-slash-bartender Jax provides many lessons on “Vanderpump Rules.” For instance, stealing that $150 pair of sunglasses can actually cost up to $3,000 in legal fees when you’re caught.
In this season, his girlfriend, Brittany, learns that moving across the country after only knowing him a month may not be the best plan. Jax pays for lots of things, including her boob job, and expects Brittany to make him meals and clean up the house. Brittany is dubious of this plan.
The former Hooters waitress is actually very sweet, and Jax is known for being a bad person and boyfriend. Brittany seems to have tamed him, but they should have talked about expectations before the move. For instance, Brittany expects to be married, while Jax is not so sure. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway has written about this common mismatch of expectations:
We know so much about how living together is a risk factor for all sorts of unhappiness that I seriously have to restrain myself from shouting at my female friends who tell me they’re moving in or have moved in with their boyfriends. I mean, even if there were no moral problem with it, it’s just bad strategy if you want a happy life. Also, true story, I know a dude who years ago assured all of us that he was only moving in with his girlfriend — a lovely, intelligent, dream of a woman — as a last step before marriage. And that it would happen ‘soon, real soon.’ She finally left him a few months ago after realizing he had a different definition of ‘soon’ — one that might be closer to ‘never.’
The cast of “Vanderpump Rules” may not make great financial decisions, but everyone says it’s worth trying the restaurant’s goat cheese balls and Pump-tini. If you can afford it, of course.