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Despite the wealth she’s acquired, Bethenny Frankel can’t shake that frugal feeling.

“Money changed things for me because I was always so nervous about not being able to pay my rent and striving to pay my rent,” the reality star, 40, tells me. “Once I had some money, I didn’t know how to stop striving and being worried about money.”

She continues, “Like food noise, I have money noise. I don’t know what it means to be able to afford things, so I’m frugal. I’m not someone who can go out and buy something retail – or spend freely – because I have anxiety about knowing how many years I couldn’t pay my rent, and how many years I was way negative in my tax return and losing money.”

The married mom admits she shopped for shoes today at Kohl’s, and regularly shops on eBay, Bluefly and Shopbop.

“I’m an online shopper exclusively, and I buy everything at discount,” she says. “ 99.9% of things that I wear on the show are something I got on sale. I don’t walk into department stores and pay full price for things. I just don’t.”

Still, she splurges where it counts and doesn’t put a limit on how much she’s willing to spend.

“If I absolutely love something, I’ll j buy it. I like diamonds, jewelry and watches. Those are my little luxury areas. Even shoes, I have expensive shoes, but they’re all on sale or somehow I found them at a discount.”

Now that she’s a mom to daughter Bryn, 11 months, whose dad is hubby Jason Hoppy, she hopes to use her monetary blessings to do good for the children of the world.

“I’ve donated to charity over the years, but now that I have money I would like to get more involved and aligned with specific charities – for babies, to help unprivileged babies. If I would like to find a place to spend my money, it would be more charities because I’ve been haphazard about it. If someone asks, if I go to a charity event, I’ll donate. I’ll donate my services, or I donate clothes and end up doing eBay charities. I pick charity a month, but it’s all over the place. I’d like to be more focused on a charity.”

Here are my pix with Bethenny:

Pick up the OK! on newsstands now for Bethenny’s What I Ate Today diet feature and Ask Bethenny advice column. And, check out her book, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules For Getting Everything You Want Out of Life. Don’t miss her reality show, Bethenny Ever After, which airs Mondays at 10/9C on Bravo.
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