The Richest RHONJ Star May Surprise You

The stars of The Real Housewives of New Jersey all have interesting financial backgrounds, especially compared to some of Bravo's other wifey iterations (Money appears to be no object for the Beverly Hills cast). But some of the Jersey girls have suffered major financial blows ranging from personal debt to federal investigations. Still, this doesn't mean the ladies' finances are all smoke and mirrors — in fact, there are plenty of rich stars on the series. 

One cast member who has recently caught the attention of viewers is Jackie Goldschneider, who rents a Hamptons home for an unbelievable amount: "My beach house is actually $60,000 a month, so let's just get that right!" she told a caller on Watch What Happens Live in January 2020. When Bravo exec Andy Cohen appeared impressed by the rental's listing price, the reality star gleefully added: "Yeah, so I'm just over here being rich!" (And modest?)

Is Goldschneider the wealthiest RHONJ star? We won't reveal the lucky culprit just yet, but the answer might surprise you.

These Real Housewives are living large in the Garden State

It pays to be on reality TV, at least if you're a Real Housewives of New Jersey star. Just look at any of their homes for proof. Cast member Jennifer Aydin's mansion boasts 16 bathrooms (no comment), a two-story indoor basketball court, and a spectacular master suite complete with a bathroom featuring two separate Toto toilets. Melissa Gorga's (pictured) million-dollar property includes a home salon, personal gym, and a full bar. We need an invite ASAP. 

Another big spending category is beauty. You might be shocked to learn that Teresa Giudice spends around $22,000 on makeup and beauty treatments. "If you see my vanity, I have so much makeup," she told Glamour. "Like, you don't even know, I have so much makeup. Everyone who comes over is like, 'You think you have enough makeup?!' You know what I do? I always buy two of everything, so if I'm traveling I have an extra set. I keep one at home and one in my bag if I'm going out." Dang, girl.

Then there are the luxurious vacations. It seems like every other day these stars are jetting off to some fancy locale, like when Aydin went to the Bahamas in July 2019 and posed for a vacay photo clad in Chanel. Trés chic.

What goes up must come down, even for RHONJ stars

Of course, it's not uncommon for celebs to appear wealthier than they actually are in real life. Someone who knows a thing or two about this is Teresa Giudice, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges in March 2014, following a federal investigation into her and husband Joe Giudice's finances. Not only did the couple both serve time as a result, but Teresa also had to pay $414,588 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Margaret Josephs (pictured) is another member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey who knows a thing or two about financial strife. In December 2017, she received a foreclosure notice on a $1.125 million mansion she had been renovating, Page Six reported. Adding insult to injury? She had to cough up a ton of legal fees for a copyright infringement case filed against her fashion company, Macbeth Collection, by retailer Vineyard Vines. She was also sued by Capital One Bank in December 2019 for allegedly not paying her credit card bill, per The Sun. "I filed bankruptcy on my business," she said (via The Sun). "They put a lien on my property. I'm up to my eyeballs in legal bills."

As the old adage goes, all that glitters is not gold.

Teresa Giudice's on a long road to financial success

As we mentioned, Teresa Giudice has struggled with money after pleading guilty fraud charges in March 2014, following a federal investigation into her and husband Joe Giudice's finances. The reality star has since repaid the IRS $414,588 in restitution, and as she told ABC News in February 2016, her New Jersey mansion is no longer in foreclosure. Despite these gains, Celebrity Net Worth reports she's in debt to the tune of $11 million. A piece of the distressing puzzle might have to do with Teresa and Joe Giudice's credit card debt, which as of June 2010, included "nearly $20,000 on credit cards for Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus," and $104,000 in debt on "at least eight credit cards," per The New York Post

Since these issues, Teresa has made a conscious effort to become financially solvent. She released two memoirs in the span of one year, including a New York Times Bestseller. And her Real Housewives of New Jersey paycheck isn't anything to sniff at — she reportedly rakes in $62,000 per episode, according to Radar Online. So, although the mom-of-four crashed and burned her finances early on in her RHONJ career, it looks like her bank account is shaping up big time.

Melissa Gorga has had some real estate issues

Unfortunately, Teresa Giudice's sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, isn't doing much better than her in the financial department. Melissa, who is married to Giudice's brother, Joe Gorga, has a reported net worth of negative $1.5 million. The low balance might have to do with a debt Melissa and Joe supposedly had with Sterling Bank, where they took out two mortgage loans totaling $405,000 for a home purchased in 2005, per Radar Online. Considering Joe took out the loans with interest, they were reportedly on the hook for $2.25 million as of June 2012. "They are portraying a life they that they really didn't live prior to the show," a source told Radar Online. "Melissa likes to drop name brands now and has become very arrogant. Joe loves the fact that Joe Giudice has financial issues, yet he's in the same boat!"

Fans also became suspicious when, in 2017, the Gorgas put a home they had been living in since 2016 on the market. Melissa denied money motivated the sale, explaining to Entertainment Tonight, "Most of my kids are gonna go to a high school in another town. So, eventually, we'd like to make our way toward the town that our kids are going to high school too." The Gorgas took their home off the market in November 2019.

When Melissa isn't trying to sell her home, the TV star manages Envy, a clothing store. 

RHONJ star Danielle Staub's finances are complicated

Controversial Real Housewives of New Jersey vet Danielle Staub announced on a January 2020 episode of Watch What Happens Live that she plans to leave the series for good. The surprising revelation occurred after Staub left the show at the end of Season 2 and then came back at the start of Season 8. No matter how you might feel about the reality star, it's possible fans will agree the move isn't the best idea considering her net worth is reportedly negative $1 million. The debt probably has something to do with Staub's bankruptcy filing for $1.9 million in June 2012, a mess which included $100,000 to the IRS, and $70,000 in taxes to her "local township," per Radar Online. Other debts involve $5,162 in New Jersey state taxes, as well as an unpaid bill from Nordstrom totaling over $7,000, to name just a few items. Staub was absolved of this debt in July 2013, paying $35,000 in order to settle the suit, per TMZ.

As for how Staub plans to make income going forward, she intends to launch a new business venture. "I am going to start my own cooking channel," she told Andy Cohen on WWHL. "I love [cooking], Andy ... Cooking is therapy to me, so I'm basically calling it cooking therapy. And I find my peace in the kitchen." Good luck to the former RHONJ star!

Jacqueline Laurita's reversal in fortune changed her life

Jacqueline Laurita is doing a tad better than her former RHONJ co-stars Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub, as she reportedly has $500,000 in the bank. It's a testament to Laurita and her husband, Chris Laurita's, ability to navigate tough financial blows as a team. There's too much to list here, so we'll just say the Lauritas' issues include multiple tax liens, including one for "nearly $340,000," and lawsuits involving Chris' business ventures. In the case involving the dad's company, New Star, he was ordered to pay $1.8 million following a 2017 ruling.

On top of all this drama, Jacqueline and Chris were busy supporting their young son with autism. But instead of pretending their problems didn't exist, they swallowed their pride and sold some of their belongings on Facebook, including a pricey $5,000 chandelier (via Bravo). The duo also sold their home in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and in 2019 moved to Las Vegas for a new business opportunity. Chris is apparently appreciative of the way Jacqueline handled the ups and downs, writing on Instagram in April 2017, "Nobody knows Jacqueline like I do. We've been together for a long time and have stuck by each other's side no matter what life throws at us ... She never puts herself first and treats everyone the same. Doesn't matter if you're rich, poor, have something to offer, have nothing to offer. It doesn't matter. She just truly likes to see people happy."

Jackie Goldschneider's frugality has paid off

Jackie Goldschneider gets a lot of flak for supposedly being frugal, like when she served pizza and Nutella cake at her twins' birthday party. Fellow cast member Jennifer Aydin called her "cheap," although the reality star didn't mind the dig considering she's secure in her financial success. "When you imply that I'm taking things away from my children for my own benefit and spending the money on myself instead, then A, you clearly don't understand the type of money that I have. Because buying my kids food wouldn't take anything away from me," Jackie explained on The Daily Dish podcast in January 2020, adding, "When a party is from 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock in your driveway and it's a drop-off party, how much food do you really need to supply to adults? ... I don't care about impressing anybody ... my main focus at a party is what the kids will like and what makes the kids happy." Fair enough.

Outside of petty dramas, Goldschneider prides herself as a "former real estate attorney" who "has built a successful second career as a freelance journalist and newspaper columnist," according to her Bravo bio. And it's Goldschneider's business acumen that has helped her acquire a reported $2 million in the bank. Not too shabby.

RHONJ star Siggy Flicker inspires people for cash

Siggy Flicker, who starred on RHONJ for two seasons before leaving in 2017, has a reported net worth of $4 million. Flicker's husband, Michael Campanella, might have something to do with the high number as he has owned a successful car dealership since 2008, per his LinkedIn page. The former reality star also authored a self-help book in 2015, called Write Your Own Fairy Tale: The New Rules for Dating, Relationships, and Finding Love on Your Terms. It looks like the Israel native has parlayed this success into a motivational speaking business, sharing her story and personal beliefs at various events across the country. 

Oh, and did we mention Flicker's VH1 reality dating show, Why Am I Still Single? The show debuted in 2011 and helped put the mom further into the spotlight. So although Flicker isn't making RHONJ money any longer, it appears she's doing just fine without the drama and cameras. 

Dolores Catania works hard for her money

Teresa Giudice's longtime bestie, Dolores Catania, has held multiple jobs throughout the years, always working hard to earn her cheddar. Not only did Catania once hustle as a correctional officer, but she also was a surgical technician before becoming a successful real estate agent. Making matters even more impressive? She co-owns multiple gyms under the Powerhouse Fitness Center umbrella, with the mom opening her second location in 2017. 

All of this diligent work has reportedly earned Catania a net worth of $4 million, providing a nice nest egg for herself and her two children. And don't think for a second the RHONJ star takes her fortune for granted. "I've been in so many different positions in my life. I've been a waitress — the person struggling, the person who has money. I've had relationships when I was happy and unhappy. I was a mother that was married and then a single mother," she explained to Baltimore Outloud. "I learned something from each stage of my life and I want to help others because I've have had a lot of experience to share."

Major props to Catania for making her dreams come true with a hard work ethic.

Jennifer Aydin lives a life of luxury

As we previously noted, RHONJ newbie Jennifer Aydin (she joined the show in 2018) caught heat for calling fellow cast member Jackie Goldschneider "cheap." The jab might have been inspired by Jennifer's reported $11 million net worth in her treasure chest, a figure she earned largely thanks to husband Bill Aydin's plastic surgery practice, Aydin Center For Plastic Surgery, in Paramus, N.J. 

Jennifer loves to throw parties with her oodles of money, like when she put on a fabulous bash for her daughter's 7th birthday. The reality star reportedly rented out a private room for a "singing-and dancing-filled party," complete with an "MC teaching kids dance moves," per Bravo. Where it concerns Jennifer's penchant for talking about money, she claimed on the show that her Middle Eastern roots — she's Turkish, Aramean, and Armenian — are to blame, because it's supposedly an accepted topic of discussion in her culture (via E! News). She also argued that her not coming from money makes her interested in how people obtain their wealth and are able to own multiple properties, sharing on the topic, "I have the biggest house here, yet that's my only house."

Hey, at least Aydin is honest about her preoccupation with money — to each their own!

RHONJ star Caroline Manzo has a full treasure chest

Caroline Manzo left RHONJ in 2013, which was just fine for her bank account considering she's reportedly worth a cool $12 million. Fans might remember that Caroline and her husband, Albert Manzo, own a popular event facility in New Jersey called The Brownstone. The business hosts everything from weddings to banquets, while also offering off-site catering. Caroline also worked in real estate before the show, explaining on her sons Albie and Chris Manzo's podcast, Dear Albie, "I pretty much stopped real estate when I started Housewives. Very few may know this but I owned my own real estate company for many years and it's what put [Albie] through college and everything else, so hooray for me, but then it got to be too much when Housewives started so I stopped it."

Given Caroline's success, it's understandable she was annoyed when Bravo execs didn't pull out the stops to have her return to RHONJ. "Pay me what I'm worth," she argued on Dear Albie. "You got an OG here, and I'm gonna be arrogant, okay?" Spoken like a true diva.

Margaret Josephs might be struggling, but she's still on top

Jackie Goldschneider proclaimed to be extremely wealthy on Watch What Happens Live by boasting about the cost of her Hamptons rental home. Goldschneider chatted about where her cash comes from via The Daily Dish podcast: "My parents were very smart about it. My father also did very well for himself and everything that they made together, they started investing. They invested in stocks, they invested in real estate, and they really did amazingly well for themselves." The reality star has followed in her parents' footsteps by running a "small real estate management company" and investing in properties. 

Goldschneider is apparently doing so well that she felt qualified to comment on co-star Jennifer Aydin's so-called flashy ways (she has 16 bathrooms, remember?). Goldschneider declared that "it's tacky to flaunt your money all the time," during her January 2020 appearance on Watch What Happens Live. "...Do I think [Aydin's] the richest on the show? Not by a long shot." When asked who is, Goldschneider oh-so-humbly quipped: "Well, I don't want to brag..."

In reality, those bragging rights go to Margaret Josephs, who has an estimated net worth of $50 million, despite her financial issues. Goldschneider's net worth is estimated at $2 million, per Floor 8. But don't go just yet, because there's more to discuss in our ranking of the richest Real Housewives.