6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Reality TV

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A little reality television never hurt anyone.

In fact, we like to think that it can be educational.

We learn important things, like not to feed our children Go-Go Juice (thanks, “Toddlers and Tiaras”), not to date a guy who spends more time on his hair than you do (looking at you, “Million Dollar Listing”) and how to “smize” (our gratitude, “America’s Next Top Model”).

Then there are the more substantial lessons. Money lessons, in fact.

For every Real Housewife selling her life story to tabloids, there are savvy businesswomen, brilliant managers and etiquette situations we might all face one day.

So take this opportunity to learn money lessons from six popular reality shows …and no one will blame you if you need to do some follow-up “research.”

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The Bachelorette: How to date on a budget.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey: Don't hide your financial problems by spending money you don't have.

The Jersey Shore: Save the big bucks you earn during a short period of time.

The Plot: Snooki, The Situation and the rest of the shore gang might want to bank some cash, especially in light of Snooki's upcoming childbirth.

Just like Olympic athletes in the prime of their career, these reality stars are probably enjoying their maximum earning potential right now, with a short window of riches that could drop off substantially since there's no telling when the show could be canned. Saving and investing as much as possible to fund the rest of their lives is key.

The Reality: Though most women aren't living a lucrative life in front of the cameras, they may find themselves with a large bonus, a financially successful book deal or a one-off business opportunity where they earn some big bucks during a short period of time.

If you have debt, we recommend using a windfall of this type to pay it off first, prioritizing 'bad debt.' (For more on the difference between good and bad debt, read this.) Then create your emergency fund, which should include at least six months of take-home pay--and up to nine if you have an irregular income. After that, you'll want to set up savings and investment accounts.

'Assemble a team of professionals, including a fee-only financial planner (who should act as the QB), attorney, accountant, insurance agent and real estate agent,

Bethenny Ever After: Keep your newfound financial success to yourself.

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