WWith a large fan base and rave reviews, Brandi Carlile exudes success. Her seven music albums span multiple genres including pop, folk, and rock, giving her a large following, and she has received six Grammy Awards and 12 nominations.
But in her new memoir, âBroken Horses,â she reveals that she has a tendency to spend money as soon as she gets it, which means she often finds herself strapped for cash. His song lyrics also touch on this subject.
In one of her biggest hits, “The Story,” she sings, “Even when I was broke, you made me feel like a million dollars.” The idea that you can feel a lot richer than your bank account suggests is also a recurring theme in his memoirs.
In her book, Carlile shares some of her hard-earned personal finance lessons and what the rest of us can learn from her experiences. Here are five of his financial recipes.
Know what you want
Carlile describes growing up in relative poverty, with her family facing frequent evictions and job changes. âI remember the names of almost all of the landlords who evicted us and my parents’ list of grievances against them. I also remember every helping hand, âshe wrote.
This poverty taught Carlile to be ready to express exactly what she wanted on the rare occasion she was asked. After a childhood illness left her hospitalized and her grandmother told her that she would buy her anything she wanted while she recovered, Carlile quickly responded: she wanted a Rainbow Brite doll and a “very large tomato”.
Carlile calls his answer “Poor Kid Survival 101”. In other words, “You have to know what you want and don’t hesitate to ask for it, or you won’t get it.”
Jason Dall’Acqua, certified financial planner and president of Crest Wealth Advisors in Annapolis, Maryland, says this is also an important lesson to apply to daily budgeting. âBudgeting is about figuring out what’s important to you and what you value, and then aligning that with your financial resources to make sure you’re working towards what you want out of life,â he says.
Appreciate what you got
Carlile remembers that one Christmas, her parents managed to buy her a Casio keyboard, despite its price of $ 80. She knew it was overkill for them and she appreciated their sacrifice. âIt was my most precious possession,â she wrote, adding that she used it to learn how to play every song on the soundtrack to the movie âPhiladelphiaâ.
âIf you’re always looking for the next best thing without enjoying what you have, then the next thing won’t satisfy you either,â explains Dall’Acqua.
Buy the house that makes you happy (within reason)
Carlile writes that one of her first dreams was to live in a log cabin on a stream; she bought a property that fit this description in her early twenties and still lives there today with her growing family. She keeps doing home renovations around the property, including the construction of a garden and the renovation of a greenhouse.
âReal estate is a great asset to own and for a lot of people it’s their biggest financial asset,â says Dall’Acqua. âDon’t look for more than you can afford. “
Sometimes it’s good to splurge
Carlile is not ashamed of his euphorbias; in fact, she is proud of them, especially when they contribute to her happiness or that of her fans or her family. She spends money on her stage outfits, she explains, out of respect for her audience: âIt’s not about having fancy clothes and being rich; it’s about communicating to the crowd that you understand the night is special for them.
During the pandemic, she bought a fishing boat, explaining that she finance to help assure his wife it was on budget, especially as his income fell sharply as the pandemic set in and forced tour cancellations.
This boat, explains Carlile, helps create incredible memories as she and her family, including two young girls, spend time there, fishing and camping.
The spirit of madness also applies to Carlile’s generosity towards those close to him. In a recent Instagram post to celebrate the singer’s 40th birthday, his wife, Catherine Shepherd, wrote: “You order the whole menu for the whole table and you always pay the bill and tip three times as much.”
âAs long as you fit splurge into your budget and there’s some thought behind the purchase, there’s nothing wrong with it. You have to take advantage of the short term while making smart decisions for the long term, âexplains Dall’Acqua.
Money can suddenly run out and you have to adapt
Carlile writes openly about the sudden pandemic impact on his ability to earn a living. âThe tours were the only way for an artist to make a livingâ¦ It was gone in an instant,â she writes. She started looking for alternatives, including online streaming performances. She built a small studio on her property to film what she calls a “little variety show”, in order to generate enough income to pay her crew’s salaries.
She finishes the book while the pandemic is still in full swing. She’s grappling with her impact on her industry and her own career, as are many of her fans. As in his songs, Carlile’s honesty and vulnerability in his writing lets people know that they are not alone, even when finances are strained.
More from NerdWallet
Kimberly Palmer writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @kimberlypalmer.
The article What a Grammy Singer Can Teach You About Money originally appeared on NerdWallet.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.