How to improve your attitude about money

Do you have any credit cards?

I don’t have a debit card because my accountants worry too much about the amount of money I would withdraw, but I do have a Royal Bank of Scotland Mastercard. I’ve had only one credit card for the past 10 years, mainly to keep track of my spending.

I got my fingers really burnt once with an Amex black card. I was about 24, and for some reason I stopped taking taxis and just used helicopters whenever I could. I paid for such things using the Amex, but I didn’t realise that you had to pay off the balance every month. I was incurring huge amounts of interest – I had bills of about £47,000 for a couple of months.

It wasn’t my fault, though. I was told I could use the card to buy anything, from a window to an elephant, so I did. I wasn’t in very good shape at that age. I got into a lot of debt and eventually ended up in rehab aged about 27…

Are you a saver or a spender?

Spender definitely – I’m Spenderella. I’ll buy almost anything. I love art, especially contemporary art. I recently bought a Federico Herrera, which cost about £10,000. I also bought a baby grand piano about a year or so ago, which I play for a couple of hours every day. It cost just over £10,000. It was a nightmare getting it into the house – we eventually found a 100ft crane to do it. I remember people saying they could see a Steinway in the air.

To run my house also costs a bomb. I have about seven people working for me today – decorators, gardeners and cleaners – and about 15 staff in total. When I was in the Fame Academy house earlier this year, I spent a good £35,000 redecorating and repairing my own home…

Do you invest in shares?

I have lots but I don’t have a clue about them. My accountants and Kleinwort Benson, my investment bank, deal with my money but I’m not sure who does what. I think most of my investments are in safe funds though. I can’t say exactly how much I’ve invested but it’s probably a few million.

Do you have a pension or other retirement plan?

I’ve got no idea, but I don’t worry about it really – I’m told it’s all been mapped out.

Do you believe pensions are a good thing?

I hate the word pension. It just annoys me because my philosophy is to live fast and die young…

What aspect of our taxation system would you change?

I don’t like paying 40%. I’d get rid of that. I’d also get rid of parking and congestion charges – in fact, I’d get rid of Ken Livingstone altogether. I’d put him in a lovely health farm somewhere…

What is your financial priority?

To maintain my lifestyle and my health. I want an easy life so my lifestyle expenditure is huge. It includes a concierge service which keeps my life going smoothly. I also have someone come in to reorganise my wardrobe every two months – that costs £600.

I want things to run well and without any stress – a typical capricorn. I deeply believe in a certain order in the universe. I have a moon map and my dad bought me a telescope for my last birthday.

Do you have a money weakness?

Clothes, handbags and shoes. I have hundreds of them. My favourite handbag is a new limited edition Union Jack Chanel handbag, which cost £16,000. The other designer I’m fond of is Azzedine Alaia, who is good for elegant simple clothes. I always buy a few pieces of the collection when they come out. Six pieces could easily cost about £15,000. The clothes last a lifetime, though.

Now here is the clincher:

What is the most important lesson you have learnt about money?

Losing my money was perhaps the best thing that happened to me. It taught me to respect it. Just as Santa Claus isn’t real, I always thought money grew on trees – it doesn’t.


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