Among her splurges were a new Mercedes G-Wagon and a 1972 Corvette that she spent money fixing up but never drove. At 21, she said she made about $1 million after getting record and book deals, but spent it all in that same year. She even had a psychic in her life, whom Romano said managed to “get a bunch of money” from her.
Eventually the spending caught up with her. “You think you have this extravagant life, she said, “and then real life hits you in the face.”
As her money decreased, performing became about profiting and Romano ended up taking jobs she didn’t want, including one that entailed a nude scene. “I had never thought in a million years,” she said, “that I would ever do something like this.”
The star said she’s since made peace with that experience and, now married with children, wants her daughters to have better knowledge about money. The actress did end up going back to school and got her degree, but accrued student loan debt.
Now, she has a far different outlook on finances. “Build small and make sure that you’re doing things that are smart,” she advised, “that can make you money, not break you and enjoy the things that are not expensive.”
Like, say, taking a stroll. “Go out. Enjoy the day,” she encouraged as she walked outside. “It’s free.”