If you didn’t grow up with money, or you weren’t lucky enough to be spoiled by one or both of your parents, then you probably had quite a few rude awakenings growing up. For example, you probably had the experience of going to the grocery store with your mother, asking for a specific type of snack or cereal, only to be told it was too expensive and the generic brands were just as good. Kelly Rowland heard that from her late mother as a kid, so when she received one of her first major paychecks, she decided to see what all the fuss was about and stock up on what she once wasn’t allowed to have.
“I remember so many people telling me that I needed to save my money and invest — but I didn’t listen,” she said in a new interview about saving and spending habits with InStyle. “When I got one of my first paychecks, I went to the grocery store and bought almost everything that my mom used to tell me was too expensive. I bought all of that sh-t, had a party at my house, and everybody ate up everything. I’ll never forget it, because it was fun and it was something I was able to fund myself.”
But Kelly admitted that as her paychecks increased as a member of Destiny’s Child, she quickly went from splurging on name brand foods to spending on oversized homes and fancy boutiques in cities abroad.
“I was a millionaire by the age of 20,” she said. “It’s insane when you think about a 20-year-old having all this money and not knowing what the eff do do with it. When it was time for the big purchase, I bought myself a house that was way too big. I was, like, 21 years old with five bedrooms and 5,000 square feet to myself. I was way too young to buy a home like that.”
“I lost my mind—when it came to extra hair, fashion, I had to have everything,” she continued. “I remember just going completely nuts on trips to Paris and Italy, blowing like 30 grand in 30 minutes at Bergdorf Goodman. It was ridiculous. Eventually, I started to realize that my AmEx bill was really, really high and I needed to chill out.”
As the years have passed, Destiny’s Child has ceased performing and she’s become a mother, Kelly has had to work hard for every coin. She is working on a new album, is a judge on The Voice Australia, has acted on Empire and in the Lifetime film Love By the 10th Date, written a book and much more. Such responsibility has allowed her to see the importance of making smart choices when it comes to her money.
“It doesn’t grow on trees,” she said. “When I was a kid, I thought money just fell out the sky. That’s not the way it goes; you have to work hard for your money, and now I’m learning with being a mommy that it sometimes requires time away from your kid. That’s the hardest part, when your job actually takes you away from your family. But the most important thing is that you have to put food on the table and keep clothes on their back and shoes on their feet. So I don’t mind working that hard to make sure that the household and the family is great.”