Love them or hate them, Mama June and Sugar Bear of TLC's hit reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo know how to make a dollar stretch.
But where, exactly, do those dollars come from...and where do they go?
The family apparently receives between $15,000 to $20,000 per episode (although some put it as high as $50,000 per episode). But, according to Mama June, they never see a penny of it. Mama June has, instead, opened up five separate trust accounts - four for each of her daughters, and a fifth for her granddaughter. The money is deposited equally between the five accounts automatically by TLC - Mama June receives an email confirmation when the deposits are made, so she literally never even sees the money.
That's a smart move on behalf of Mama June. The girls are not allowed to touch their trusts until they turn 21 (the eldest daughter Anna is 20), unless funds are needed for schooling or an absolute emergency.
"I want my kids to look back and say, 'Mama played it smart,'" Mama June told TMZ. "Not like those other reality TV people.'"
So how does the family afford their mountains of toilet paper and "fat cakes"?
Enter Sugar Bear. We know he works, but what, exactly, does he do? With Mama June as a stay-at-home mom and the money earned from TLC going into trusts for the girls, how does Sugar Bear support his wife and 4 girls, plus a granddaughter?
Well, according to Sugar Bear himself, he mines chalk, by which he probably means kaolin, a soft, white clay that has large deposits in Georgia. Thankfully, he loves it, since the man does it 7 days a week. But considering the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists mining wages between a low of $12.83 to a high of $18.70 per hour, it seems like those dollars that make Honey Boo Boo holler may not be plentiful.
Yet Mama June and Sugar Bear do manage to support their large family. Honey Boo Boo and her sisters don't call Mama June the "Coupon Queen" for nothing! In fact (sorry, Sugar Bear), in one episode, Mama June exclaimed that collecting coupons is "better than sex!" Couponing is a big part of how Mama June manages her family finances to make their dollars stretch and enable them to splurge occasionally (or pay for Honey Boo Boo's pageant dresses and fees back when she still competed).
And living within their financial means is a big rule for Mama June and Sugar Bear. Their vehicle? A 2005 Ford Expedition. Says Mama June: "You're never gonna see me drive a Range Rover or a Mercedes. I'll drive one if someone else pays for it. Never gonna live above my means."
A strict household budget, money-saving measures such as coupons, living within their means, and healthy trust funds for each of her children and her grandchildren...it almost sounds like Mama June and Sugar Bear are pretty financially smart!
As for Honey Boo Boo...let's hope she learns some of her mom and dad's financial savvy before turning 21 and blowing her trust fund on go-go juice, cheese balls and ATVs!
[Image Via The Daily Mail]