by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Terrence Howard is a highly-paid actor who has been consistently working in Hollywood. Not many black actors get the opportunities that Howard receives, but there are reports that his spending has outpaced his strong earning potential.
Howard is reportedly going broke trying to keep up with his lifestyle. According to TMZ, Howard wasn’t paying his landlord in New York, and remained in the home until he was evicted in May, 2013. He reportedly owes $51,907 on the rent, but we would expect that to be chump change for a man like him.
There are other reports of Howard’s financial problems, including one that says that he owes his ex-wife $120,000 in spousal support. According to the Daily Mail, Michelle Ghent says that Howard hasn’t paid but a fraction of the spousal support he owes her.
“Since the commencement date of 5/15/12, Terrence Howard has only made sporadic payments to me totaling $18,435 and owes an arrearage sum of $63,303… Terrence Howard owes me $122,221.64 including interest… legal fees to my lawyer, $15,500, “Ghent said in her legal documents.
Then, there was the situation with American Express. The company sued Howard after not paying a bill of $33,474, according to Perezhilton.
It’s hard to know if Howard is really having financial problems, or if this is a case of media gone wild. But what appears to be true is that Howard doesn’t have good financial people making sure that he keeps up with all of his bills. If he is too broke to pay the relatively small amount he owes American Express, then that’s a serious concern. But if he does have the money and isn’t getting around to paying it, that means that he likely has poor money management skills.
What you can learn from the Terrence Howard situation is this: 1) No matter how much money you have, you probably can’t outrun bad financial habits. So, if you’re a crazy spender and suddenly come into a boatload of cash, you’re probably going to end up spending more than you’ve ever spent before.
2) Keeping track of where your money goes is similar to keeping up with your kids or watching your weight. When you take your eyes off the object of importance, things can easily get out of control. You might expect someone of Howard’s stature to have an accountant around or someone to keep up with the financial details of his life. So, either that person doesn’t exist, they are doing a poor job, or the money isn’t there. No matter what’s going on, it doesn’t look good for Howard.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.