They looked like any family on vacation. Tori Spelling and her kids, Liam, 16, Stella, 15, Hattie, 11, Finn, 10, and 6-year-old Beau toted their sunscreen and towels to a beach near the Ventura County RV park where they’ve been staying in a rental recreational vehicle. “It’s like a big adventure to the kids,” an insider tells In Touch. “To them it’s kind of cool to be camping out under the stars.”

But it’s not just a holiday for the 50-year-old and her brood, who were previously housed in a $100-a-night motel. Between a mold infestation at her house and her crumbling marriage to Dean McDermott, the 90210 alum has hit the skids. 

“Tori is broke,” says the insider. “For most of her adult life, she’s lived way beyond her means and had no control over her spending and it’s coming back to haunt her.”

Poor Little Rich Girl

It wasn’t always that way. Tori, the daughter of famed TV producer Aaron Spelling, grew up in luxury in the most expensive home in Los Angeles, the 123-room Spelling Manor. But after his 2006 death at 83, his widow, Candy Spelling, inherited the bulk of his $500 million estate, with Tori and her brother, Randy, receiving just $800K each. The Scary Movie 2 actress was not surprised by the amount.

In 2008, she recalled having a “hard” conversation with her father before his death. “We had lunch and he said, ‘You’re gonna be OK. I made sure. You’re getting just under a million.’” Not surprised, but also not prepared. The Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? vet, who wed Dean in 2006, quickly ran through her money, says the insider. Her husband, 56, was no better at finances. At one point, the pair owed $88,731 to American Express. “Bad shopping habits die hard,” she once said. “In all honesty, I grew up a certain way. I never had to worry about money.”

Moneybags Mom

Her mother — who famously had a room dedicated to gift wrapping at Spelling Manor — took note. “She would close a store and drop like $50,000 to $60,000,” Candy told The New York Times. “I never did anything like that. She just went crazy.” Mother and daughter have had a rocky relationship for years. The 77-year-old once even alleged that the So NoTORIous author had cut off contact with her and Aaron. “It was sad because that’s what killed my husband, actually,” she said in 2009. “He just didn’t want to live after that.”

While Candy brushed off a reporter’s question about why she’s not helping her daughter, the insider says she has opened her wallet over the years. “She’s done so much for Tori and offered to buy her a house not that long ago, so to be branded this unsupportive parent is both hurtful and cruel,” says the insider.

All in the Plan

As in other times of financial stress, Tori is hoping to turn to reality TV to fatten up her bank account. “She’s talking about getting fit enough to be on Dancing With the Stars,” says the insider. “She’s desperate to do something to earn her way and is calling all her contacts in the business.”

Some even suspect the Tori & Dean star’s very public struggles are a sort of audition for another reality show about her life. “She’s doing all this for exposure,” notes the insider. “Her dream scenario and her hope is that by flagging how dreadful and chaotic it’s gotten, it’ll finally get TV bosses to offer her a deal.”

Maybe call it Sad STORI? 

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