Melissa McCarthy Reveals The 1 Mistake That Almost Ruined Her Finances

It seems like everyone is giving financial advice these days. At one time or another, your friends, family members, neighbors, and even celebrities put on their expert hat and proceed to tell you how to run your financial life. However, there are times when the advice is actually helpful. This happens to be the case with actress Melissa McCarthy.

In a recent Glamour interview, McCarthy shares money advice she learned on the road toward becoming one of America’s most sought-after movie stars. In the article, she discusses how she went from having just $5 in her bank account to where she is today.

Here is some of Melissa McCarthy’s best money advice and the one mistake that almost ruined her finances (page 8).

Fight for yourself

melissa mccarthy the boss

If you want more money, you’ll have to ask for it. | Universal

In most cases, your boss isn’t going to hunt you down and beg you to take a pay raise. (If this regularly happens to you, tell us how we can apply for that job.) If you want more money, you’ll have to fight for it. McCarthy told Glamour she’s aggressive when it comes to getting the roles and salary she wants. McCarthy told Glamour:

In the fight for fairness, everything else goes to a whiteout. I always think, Is the deal fair? Would you be asking the same thing of a guy in this position? And if the answer is ‘It probably wouldn’t be happening [to a guy],’ I’ll dig my teeth in for months.

Next: Do you really need that?

Learn to separate needs from wants

Shopping bags

Seperate wants from needs when shopping. | Ipopba/iStock/Getty Images

McCarthy says she learned early on how to tell the difference between simply wanting something and needing something. When she asked her parents for a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, she was met with resistance.

“I wanted that swan on my hip terribly. It was like, ‘Why? You don’t need that.’ It was a great thing to grow up with the [focus] on the need versus the want,” McCarthy told Glamour. She said they chose to use their extra cash to send her to Catholic school.

Next: Much to everyone’s surprise, McCarthy was seen doing this.

Shop for bargains

Shoppers use plastic grocery bags after shopping at the 99 Cents Only Store

McCarthy may be rich now, but she still hits the 99 cent store. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

You might think once celebrities start earning big bucks, they begin to spend recklessly and live without a care in the world. That might be true for most, but McCarthy decided to follow the beat of a different drummer. She might be making a lot of money, but she still knows how to save. Surprisingly, McCarthy was spotted shopping at a Los Angeles 99 cent store earlier in 2018, according to The Blast.

Next: Treat yourself.

Know when to splurge

Producer/actress Melissa McCarthy (L) and producer/actor/director Ben Falcone

McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone know that it’s OK to splurge on certain things. | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It’s great to save money, but don’t deny yourself to the point where life becomes miserable. Allow yourself to spend money on items and experiences that matter. McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, know when it’s important to save, but they also know when it’s OK to go ahead and splurge. The couple took a page out of her parents’ playbook and decided to use their money to send their two children, Vivian, 10, and Georgette, eight, to private school.

Next: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Have other streams of income

McCarthy isn’t just an actress. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Don’t rely on your 9-to-5 as your only source of income. You might feel secure because you have a steady paycheck coming in, but don’t be fooled by feelings of comfort. That steady source of income could disappear at any moment. You could be fired or laid off and your finances could take a big hit if you’re not prepared.

In addition to having a solid emergency savings fund, consider adding income streams. McCarthy has done this by starting her own production company, On the Day Productions, in 2013. She also released a clothing line in 2015 called Melissa McCarthy Seven7.

Next: Get your financial life together.

Don’t rely on others to bail you out

woman withdrawing money from ATM

At one point, McCarthy’s bank account balance was so low she couldn’t even get $5 from the ATM. |

You might have to depend on others if you hit a financial rough patch. However, it’s not in your best interest to stay in that place forever. At some point you’ll need to stand on your own two feet and be able to take care of yourself. McCarthy told Glamour she realized she would have to take responsibility for her finances when she got to the point where she was constantly relying on her family members to help her pay monthly bills. Said McCarthy:

I remember when you could still get a $5 bill out of an ATM and I couldn’t get it because [my balance] was under $5. I would never quite have the money for rent, so I would call my mom and dad or my sister and say, ‘This is how much I’m short.’ … And then I thought, I don’t want to continue this pattern. I want to be able to pay the phone bill and not panic. [I found a job as a] production coordinator and got an actual check. It was the first time I stopped calling my parents, and it was an amazing feeling.

Next: Steering clear of this bad habit saved her a lot of money.

Avoid waste


McCarthy would buy expensive items like blueberries and then wait too long to use them.| Michael Urban/AFP/Getty Images

Once you’re financially stable, make sure to avoid wasting money. It’s still important to remain frugal, so you can hold on to more of your hard-earned cash. McCarthy said she used to avoid purchasing avocados and blueberries because they were too expensive. When she made more money, she finally started buying the avocados and blueberries.

However, she said she would save her purchases, so she could make something special with them. That day never came, and she ended up throwing out the food. Finally, McCarthy says she just started eating the avocados and blueberries instead of wasting money.

Next: This is the one mistake that could have wrecked her finances.

The one mistake that almost ruined Melissa McCarthy’s finances

Credit cards and money

Like many Americans, McCarthy found herself in credit card debt. | Alexialex/iStock/Getty Images

McCarthy told Glamour that when she moved to New York, she took fashion advice from a friend. However, that advice led her to make a big mistake. That friend was shoe designer Brian Atwood. He told her she shouldn’t walk around New York City in cheap shoes. Instead, he suggested purchasing shoes from the pricey high-end department store Bergdorf Goodman. McCarthy said she ended up making purchases on her credit card. Said McCarthy in her Glamour interview:

“When I moved to New York at 20, I wish I did not discover that you can just get credit cards. I had a friend—Brian Atwood, the shoe designer—and I remember him saying, ‘What are you going to do, walk around New York in cheap shoes? You go to Bergdorf.’ I was such a farm girl that I was like, ‘I guess he’s right.’ … I couldn’t afford anything in there, but they would just give you a store card, and so we were buying wonderful things. I was like, ‘I work really hard. I’ll pay this off in increments.’ No, you will not.”

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