Rich and Famous Pulled into New 'Reality Shows'
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Rich and Famous Pulled into New "Reality Shows"

"Survivor: Ed the Foreclosure Fighter"
"The Amazing Race: No Limousines"
"The Real World: Rich People Living on Less"

You won't see these shows on TV, but the real stories are playing out all over the country.

Ed McMahon doesn't have a regular program right now, but he's been popping up all over the airwaves lately due to his Beverly Hills home being threatened by foreclosure.

In her pre-"Sopranos" days, actress Lorraine Bracco owed more than $4,000 in limousine bills when she filed bankruptcy.

And whether it's getting their hair highlights done less often, auctioning off the Monets or letting go of the extra 10-carat diamond ring, even the rich are being stressed by the current economic woes.

Even furs don't insulate rich from cold economy

"If you spend more than you make, you know what happens," was McMahon's comment to Larry King on his recent CNN show. And whether you make millions of dollars a year or well under six digits, "living within your means" and "saving for a rainy day" are more than just catchphrases.

"If only I had more money" may be the envious thought as working-class people look at the rich and famous. But maintaining a lifestyle is more about your own way of life than how much money you make. Every person needs to look at the money that's coming in... and the money that's going out.

Those celebrities likely retain agents, publicists, business managers, and others who all take a cut out of that large paycheck. And they'd better always be dressed in expensive clothes because the paparazzi could be around any corner.

In your case, perhaps you're paying for college tuition, a new car and helping out an elderly parent at the same time. The concept is the same, even if the income is not.

Keeping up appearances to keep the spouse

Divorce lawyers in places like New York City are seeing more clients concerned about losing their spouses because their personal income or net worth - often in the millions of dollars -- has declined dramatically.

Often they try to "keep up appearances" by continuing to have the same lifestyle, never admitting they need to cut back on the personal trainer or Broadway theatre tickets.

They often find ways to cope in a way that their spouses or people in their social circles won't notice.

For example, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance reports that there are five times as many requests to get a loan secured by individuals' $2 million art collections than a year ago.

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