Why Nicolas Cage spends his millions terribly

Actor Nicolas Cage has quite the financial story. The Leaving Las Vegas star was at one time worth well over $100 million, as Celebrity Net Worth reported. In fact, the outlet stated that between 1996-2011, Cage earned over $150 million. Wowza!

But since reaching such financial heights, Cage has lost most of his money through such lavishly excessive spending that his finances have become a lesson in what to avoid. After such wealth, he’s estimated to currently be worth $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While it still sounds like a lot, Cage faced foreclosure on many of his properties and owed the IRS millions in property taxes, according to CNBC

Since Cage is in such a pickle, Nicki Swift spoke with Katelyn Magnuson, founder of The Freelance CFO, to get her expert take on the actor’s spending habits. She had some fascinating things to say about Cage and his history with money.

Why have one castle when you can have two?

Nicolas Cage has a fascinating history with money — one that financial expert Katelyn Magnuson, founder of The Freelance CFO, spoke about with Nicki Swift. “Nicolas Cage made a LOT of really poor money decisions, which he tried to blame on his finance manager,” Magnuson said. “And while yes, someone should have made him very aware that his spending wasn’t sustainable, ultimately, the responsibility lands on Cage.”

What did Cage buy to put him in such financial straits? According to CNBC, the actor was wild for real estate and owned 15 different homes at one point. These included a California residency worth $25 million, a mansion in Rhode Island worth $15.7 million, as well as a Las Vegas pad valued at $8.5 million. Cage also bought two castles in Europe as well as a $3 million island in the Bahamas.

He spent $150,000 on an octopus and also bought a 70-million-year-old dinosaur skull to the tune of $276,000, per CNBC. Unfortunately for Cage, this skull turned out to be stolen and had to be returned to the Mongolian government, CNBC reported. The list goes on to include cars, even a tomb, comic books, and more. So yeah, it’s safe to say that Cage thoroughly enjoyed his money, but it’s a shame he didn’t slow down.

Worried about excessive spending yourself? Magnuson offered some tips.

How to avoid Nicolas Cage's financial pitfalls

For anyone who’s worried about money, financial expert Katelyn Magnuson gave Nicki Swift the low-down on how to avoid Nicolas Cage’s financial pitfalls. “When it comes to managing your own money (millions or thousands of dollars), here are a few things to learn from Cage’s mistakes,” Magnuson said. Even if you get outside help, always stay on top of your money. “Take interest in your money, and understand how much you make, how much you spend, and what your plan is for retirement and taxes,” Magnuson stressed. “Even if you choose to outsource much of this to a fiduciary or accountant, you should still have a solid knowledge of the comings and going of your money.”

Magnuson had some nitty-gritty tips too: “Understand what your basic monthly expenses are if you were to be laid off or hit a rough financial patch-have at least 3-6 months times that amount set aside for savings in something like a high yield savings account.” And what happens if you get some unexpected cash? “Manage cash windfalls responsibly,” she said. “I normally recommend a 50/50 split. Half (or more) for something ‘responsible’ like retirement, debt payoff, savings, etc, and the other half for something fun.” But Magnuson reminds readers to plan for taxes even with happy windfalls.

While the average person might not have a pet octopus to worry about, financial planning is vital for everyone.

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