“The Real Housewives Of New York City”: Financial Lessons From Jill Zarin

This week on the “Real Housewives of New York City,” the BBC interviewed our very own Jill Zarin about the state of the economy. It seemed like a set up, like having the Countess talk to inner city kids about self esteem. After Jill asked the BBC folks how she looked (during a radio interview), she went on to give spending advice. Here are some of her gems, some from last night and some from other episodes.

  • “Government can’t spend more than we have. It’s a problem. Doesn’t matter what the number is, it’s the principle.” — President Obama needs to hear this before he starts giving out money from the stimulus package. You know, the one economists hope will dig us out of this recession and fix America’s broken infrastructure? Maybe he should consider Jill for a cabinet position.
  • “If you spend less than you have, then you’ll always be rich.” —I’m pretty sure a mother of two working three jobs with 50 bucks in her savings account doesn’t feel rich.
  • “Considering the economy right now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to spend a fortune of money on my birthday present.” — This would be a great lesson if the gift she had settled on wasn’t a $16,000 purse. Later in the episode, Jill’s husband got her an SUV to round out this “frugal” birthday.
  • It costs “$1 million dollars” to raise a child in New York City. — Raising a child = paying for their lives from ages 0 to 18. Unless the kid is made of gold, something is amiss.
  • “If you want to find a rich husband, go sit in a private airplane terminal. Anyone coming off a private airplane is probably doing all right.” [CityFile] — As we’ve learned, the guys at AIG and Citibank who flew their private planes to DC to beg the government for money are doing fabulously.

As Jill said on a blog, “Sometimes I just wish some of the ladies would call me before filming. I would have given them some good advice.” [Bravo]