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Q&A with country singer Kellie Pickler

Bankrate: Now that you are famous, have you gone out and allowed yourself a big splurge?

Kellie Pickler: I've always been a big shoe person, so my splurges almost always involve shoes somehow. I don't care what brand it is, as long as the heel is really high and they look good on my feet. I honestly don't know how many shoes I have because half of them are still boxed up from when I moved to Nashville, but there are a lot ... I don't spend my money as freely as much as I did before. It's so funny, when I go into a shoe department and see something I like, I remember I already have them in my closet. So it's kind of taken the fun out of it.

Bankrate: You were raised by your grandmother and didn't have a lot of material things in life. What was the first financial lesson that you had to learn the hard way?

Kellie Pickler: I have never been one to get in over my head when it comes to finances. I can't stand the fact of not owning what I have, and I think that comes from my upbringing. I just think that you can't spend what you don't have. You can't assume that you're going to make a certain dollar amount, because you don't know until you get that paycheck, especially in my business.

Bankrate: Have you invested or saved?

Kellie Pickler: Yeah I've saved, but I also spend a lot, too. I'm not a role model when it comes to spending your money wisely. I think I'm guilty like a lot of people of throwing money on so many things you don't really need. It's things you might really want, but you don't really need.

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Bankrate: What would you say are things you've noticed as you've gotten older?

Kellie Pickler: I think I've grown more mentally. They always say that wisdom comes with age but I don't believe that. I believe that wisdom comes with experience, and I think I've experienced a lot in the last couple of years. As soon as I finished "Idol," I was pretty much taking on the responsibility of a house. I employ people. I have a lot more responsibility than what most 19 year olds would have. For once, it was like it's not about me; I have a team of people around me that I have to make sure are taken care of. If I don't work, my band doesn't get paid, (and) my manager and driver don't get paid.

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