Trina caught a tongue-lashing from you for charging Toni as her background singer, something you’ve never done. Is it ever okay to charge your family for professional services, especially if that’s your only source of income?
First of all, Trina’s husband has money, too, so she’s okay. Toni has been there for every single person in our family. Knowing what she’s going through, Trina needs to give the girl a break! So I was sticking up for Toni because I love her so much and see what she goes through. Toni loves her family so much that she’d take from herself even in dire straits to provide for us. I can’t even begin to tell you all that Toni has done for us. She has helped our family tremendously in so many ways. So yeah, Trina shouldn’t charge her every time we have a show and definitely not as much as she does.
The news about Toni’s lupus deeply affected you. How have you educated yourself about her illness and helped your sister?
I looked it up on the Internet. I make doctor’s appointment with her doctor and ask whether me and all of my siblings should get tested. Autoimmune diseases run in my family, so I had to make myself aware. Toni has lupus, my brother has sarcoidosis, and my nephew has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I just feel bad the times I wasn’t so nice and couldn’t understand why Toni wanted to take a nap instead of hanging out and going to dinner. I realize now that she really hadn’t been able to do that because of [her health]. I told my husband that I wish I felt bad instead of her, because at one point she had more bad days than good days and it’s devastating to me to know how much pain [she suffered].
What about plastic surgery? You’re an advocate for people having it if they want to. Is there any surgery you haven’t or wouldn’t have done?
I believe in plastic surgery or anything you have to do to make yourself feel good. I’m all about self-esteem. I’ve had my nose done. I was born without cartilage in my nose and when I was 16 I had my first operation—an implant put in my nose. My father had the same surgery. The reason I had it done was because it was hard for me to breathe and I snored terribly. Itwasnotcute.org (laughs). Eventually the implant gave me headaches, so I had to have the cartilage from my ear put in my nose. I have to have it done for a second time, remove the cartilage and remove the implant, but it’s so painful that I’ve been putting it off. But I have to have it done.
During a shopping spree with your hubby you scoped $15,000 sunglasses, and on another occasion Toni requested gift cards from stores like TJ Maxx and Target for her birthday but you refused. Is it a crime to be thrifty while wealthy?
First of all, I would never spend that much on sunglasses! What’s really funny to me is people took [the Toni situation] out of context. I was not going to get Toni TJ Maxx, Walgreen or Target gift cards because that’s not what I wanted her to have for her birthday. When it’s my birthday she goes all out and makes sure I have a good time, and I just wanted to do the same for her. My idea of going all out isn’t Walgreens or Target, but there’s nothing wrong with those stores. I love them. In fact, I was just at Target yesterday!
What’s some of the best money advice you’ve ever received and does you apply it to your everyday life?
Pay your taxes No1.com (laughs). It’s the truth. I’ve never wanted that issue. I don’t understand when people say, “I owe $100,000 in taxes.” Huh, how do you do that? “Or I owe $8 million in back taxes.” What? How that work?! (laughs). Pay your taxes and keep the IRS off your behind.
Before you go, what are your top Dotcoms on money management/financial fitness?
Saveyourmoneydot.com (laughs). Payyourtaxes.org and on time because you will get charged.org for real! Don’t maxyourcardout.com because you never know when you’re gonna need it. And getyourcreditright.com. Black families don’t teach their kids that enough. If you get your credit right, you’ll have a great life!
Check out more on the Braxtons in highlights on Love & Money from Braxton Family Values.