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Elizabeth Taylor would have turned 81 this week – and I have to admit it, I’m a Liz junkie.  Every movie, every scandal, every husband – ask me anything about her, I’ve got the answer.  If “Liz Taylor” were a category on Jeopardy, I’d clean up.  Her movies were great, her outlandish diva ways were delicious and the more I read about her eight marriages and over-the-top scandals, the more I feel squeaky clean and superior by comparison.  What’s not to love?
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Amazingly enough, despite her legendary excesses and indulgences, when compared to some of today’s Hollywood royalty, Liz truly had her act together, especially when it came to her finances. Her love life may have been in perpetual shambles, but her bank account really held up well despite the unending divorce-lawyer fees.  Examples?  Why certainly - When it comes to money-management Liz-style, try these diamonds on for size:

(1) Liz knew how to invest for the future – Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with jewelry is legendary.  Her collection was one of the finest ever assembled, each piece lovingly collected over the decades and rarely parted with.   At the time of her death, her collection was reportedly valued at $150 million, a mere fraction of what she originally spent on it.  Unlike so many movie stars who have spend their money foolishly as soon as it gets into their hands, this diva knew how to work it – glamorously. For those of us with somewhat-lesser bank accounts who want to indulge in a little Liz bling, have some fun with the antique jewelry selections in your local thrift stores and consignment stores – it’s divine!

(2) Liz loved her real estate, owning homes lock, stock and barrel in Bel Air, Palm Springs, London and Hawaii-  The girl knew a good investment when she saw it, and better still – knew how to hold on to it.  You’d be surprised how many of today’s Hollywood royalty are living movie-paycheck to movie-paycheck. So not cool.

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(3) Liz Taylor knew how to reinvent herself when need be- When her film career began to wane, she turned her talents down new avenues – namely perfume.  If you’re at a point in your life where your earlier pursuits aren’t paying the bills, don’t hesitate to reinvent yourself to start the ball rolling on a new phase of money-making.   If Liz can do it, so can you!

(4) Liz made it a point to invest her money, time and talents in worthwhile charities-  She was famous for her HIV/AIDS humanitarian work, and was honored with a special Academy Award (the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award) in 1992 for her dedication to that worthwhile cause.  If you have a special charity that’s near and dear to your heart, put all you’ve got into it as well – you might be surprised how it benefits your well-being just as much down the road.   

In short, if you’re feeling like your money-saving ways, prudent investing and charitable giving is more frugal than fabulous – think again!  Bat those eyes, throw on some bling, spritz on some perfume and keep up the great work!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Columnist, Consumer Reporter and Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living”.  She lives in Chester County with her husband and two kids.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs on Philly’s News/Talk 1180 WFYL on Saturdays and Sundays.  You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

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