Close this search box.

Episode 146: The first lady of….

The life (and some finances) of Betty White
The first lady of - Podcast - Money With Mak and G


In this episode, we look back on the life of Betty White, how she achieved her fame, and the wealth she accumulated across her acting career…


It’s the end of 2021 and we’re looking forward to 2022 and achieving the goals we’ve set for this year.


Sadly, Betty White died on the last day of 2021, so I look back at her life, her achievements, and how much wealth Betty accumulated across her acting career…


“It’s always good to make sure your money is growing for you.” – Ben Jones


“A goal without a plan is only a wish.” – Ben Jones

Time Stamps:

00:23 – The first step to making a budget.

00:50 – Some deaths we sadly had at the end of 2021 and over the last week.

01:40 – The interesting life of Betty White.

02:37 – How Betty found her passion for acting.

03:38 – When TV was invented and the different industries it created.

04:32 – The start of Betty’s acting career and her appearance on ‘Grab Your Phone’.

05:54 – The huge number of game shows Betty appeared on.

06:39 – How much Betty got paid for her work in Golden Girls.

07:23 – Betty’s net worth when she died.


Connect with Ben Jones:



Welcome back to Money with Mak & G. Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT. 2021 is officially over and it’s time to think about 2022. The kids got slammed this last week, so I’m here on my own.


We started off the year with our budget.  Absolutely important to hit a goal by having a plan.  The first step is to figure out what you want and put that resolution in place. I’m so excited about being in 2022, I can’t even tell you.  My friends and I are talking about our new battle cry “2022 is OUR year”.


It’s got to be better than the torment we went through in 2020 and 2021.  It’s fantastic to think that 2021 is over, and it feels very good to put it behind me and look forward. 


A business associate’s father just passed away this past weekend.  It’s been on my mind and made me think about a lot of stuff. Especially with COVID.  Sidney Poitier and Bob Saget also died today.  It made me think about the great things I’m going to do this year.  And, after the funeral today, it made me think about the loss of someone who most of us knew in one way or another at the end of 2021.  Yes, it was December 31st, and her

name is Betty White.  What a way to say goodbye to last year, and I think hello to the start of what I believe is going to be a great year.  


I think parts of her story are very interesting, and there is some good money stuff in here.  So, she was a little over two weeks away from turning 100 years old, which is amazing, because I always thought of her as an energetic person.  Not old.  She was born on January 17, 1922.  And, from all accounts, she was living up to her authentic self.


I didn’t know she was born near where we lived in Chicago, it was called Oak Park, IL. Shortly thereafter she and the family moved to LA.  But, at the time, you made less than 66 cents an hour which meant less than $30 per week.  Did you hear that? A dozen eggs were around 50 cents and a woman could buy a dress anywhere from $1 to $1.50.


Isn’t that nuts?  You need a lot more than that now.  Are you following me, that stuff takes more dollars in the future than it does now, so it’s always good to make your money grow.

At first, Betty wanted to be a forest ranger, but women weren’t allowed to do that.  Really, they weren’t allowed to do it.  I don’t know if they ran you off with a gun, or just threw your application in the trash.  But, it wasn’t happening.  So, she played a role in a high school production and discovered acting.

It was the 30’s and she was alive when the Stock Market Crashed and made it through the Great Depression.  Her dad actually made Crystal Radios and exchanged those for other goods, sometimes dogs!!!  It was like creating his own currency, kinda like Bitcoin. 


In 1939, around the time Betty, which is her real name and not a shortened version of Elizabeth, was 17 years old.  She accidentally appeared on television.  She sang at her high school graduation and was one of two students chosen to be part of an “experimental television transmission”. Almost sounds like the start of a Marvel movie.


Ok, does anyone know when TV was invented???  I’ll give you a second to think about it. Doo doo doo doo … Ok, I found it was 1927, but it had earlier origins from various areas because it was complicated.  Talk about a story. But, think about it. It created brand new industries.  It actually burst onto the scene in the ’40s and ’50s, color tv in the 1960s, cable tv in the ’70s, VCRs in the ‘80s. Those were all big industries.  Now we’re doing Netflix which is worth over $200 billion, Hulu is pushing $20 Billion and ESPN is $50 Billion or so. Without TV, they wouldn’t exist.


Things can change quickly and fortunes can be made which is a great lesson to learn. But, Betty did this experimental transmission and it appears it was in a building and it was transmitted through a whopping 6 floors of the building.  She was there at the beginning.  And, that was considered an accident.


She drove a supply truck to the military’s supply stores around Hollywood Hills during World War II.  After the War ended, she went to movie studios to be an actress and was turned down because she was “not photogenic”.  She took a radio job because she didn’t have to worry about being photogenic.  


However, in 1949 she got a gig on a new game show called “Grab Your Phone”. They wanted you to call into the show to answer questions for money.  There were four ladies, who each had a phone in front of them.  She was one of the four. A guy by the name of Wes Battersea would ask a question to the audience, the ladies on the panel would grab the phone as people called in.  They were giving away $5 to each person who answered correctly.  She got paid $20 per week to do the show because she bantered with the host Wes. She was a natural, and she was asked not to disclose her salary, because the other three ladies were only getting $10/week, supposedly.

But, it opened doors.  She was recognized for the famous sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and won Emmies.  But, she was also called the first lady of game shows. Because she was on so many of them.  She was witty, beautiful, had a great smile, had incredible comedic timing and was fun to watch.  Do you remember


It’s your bet

Hollywood Squares

Family Feud

What’s my line

To tell the truth

Liar’s club


The Price is Right

Chain Letter

Make the Connection

And many, many more.


She had over 120 credits to her name, spanned 8 decades, that’s 80 years, and she was the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live at 88.  She was well known for being on Golden Girls.  Her name was Rose and she was known for telling the most ridiculous stories from the fake midwestern town, St. Olaf, and her Scandinavian heritage. On the show, they lived in Miami, but the actual house was in Brentwood California.  It sold in 2020 for $1million over its $3million asking price.  That’s $4 million.  But, the show was a huge hit with many accolades, awards, and above all laughs.  Even after the show ended, she was paid an estimated $3 million a year just for the reruns!!!


Her net worth at her time of death was around $75 million.  Not bad for someone who was earning $20 per week and accidentally got introduced to television.

If you haven’t thought about it. Make 2022 your year.  It’s time to be like the animal in the lunar Chines New Year, the water tiger, who is associated with strength and bravery.  I’ve committed myself to do 3 triathlons this year, and get out and travel at least 3 times while knocking a couple of items off my Bucket List, thank you Sydney, Bob and Betty. I’m going to make Betty White proud and make my New Year’s resolutions come true.  Join me, and commit to a goal and get your plan together.  Remember, a goal without a plan is only a wish.  Here’s to 2022.

Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you next week for more Money with Mak & G.


Never Miss a Beat of Our Podcast

Get notified about updates and be the first to get early access to new episodes

Scroll to Top