Back in the 1990’s the now worldwide famous writer J. K. Rowling was a single mother who, even with the help of government support, struggled to make ends meet. She lived in a mice-infested flat and tried her best to look after her daughter.
But even though reality was bleak, Rowling’s imagination was incredibly active. She conceived the idea of Harry Potter on a train journey from Manchester to London and soon enough decided to pen her story down.
Not knowing where else to go, Rowling decided to write down the story at a cafe named Nicholson’s which is located off Princes Street in Edinburgh. She’d order an espresso and a glass of water and would write for hours, her baby daughter sleeping next to her. She could never afford anything to eat.
When Rowling was done with her manuscript, she sent it off to various publishers. And she received countless of rejection letters. However, in 1997 Bloomsbury got back to Rowling saying that they would buy the manuscript off of her. And the rest is history.
15 A Luxury Yacht
In 2016 J. K. Rowling bought a luxury yacht that once belonged to the Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Depp first named the yacht Vajoliroja, a name made from combining the names of his ex-wife Vanessa Paradis, his own name and the names of his two children, Lily Rose and Jack. After he started dating Amber Rose, Depp renamed it Amphitrite.
Apparently, Rowling fell in love with the yacht after she got to spend some time aboard it as part of a charity event. She then bought it for around £22 million or around $31 million. However, less than eight months later the writer apparently decided to sell it.
14 Harry Potter Theme Park Dishes Flown To Her House For Her To Taste
We all know that J. K. Rowling cares greatly for her Harry Potter series and is incredibly involved in anything that has something to do with the magical world and its characters, including the Harry Potter film series and theme parks.
In 2016 Rowling asked the chefs of a Harry Potter theme park in Hollywood to send her the meals from the magical menu in a private jet, so she could give them a go and voice her opinion.
She apparently liked all of them and a source from the theme park said – “She pays as much attention to detail in the Harry Potter parks as she did in all eight films and she is right to be scrupulous because fans expect everything to be just as it is in her books.”
13 Personal Staff - Two Secretaries, A Personal Assistant And A Bodyguard
Another thing that J. K. Rowling spends a lot of money on is her staff. What kind of staff does the famous writer need, you might wonder? It is not chefs or maids that Rowling hires, but rather personal assistants and secretaries.
Apparently, the talented writer gets about a thousand letters from her fans a week and as you can probably imagine she doesn’t have the time to read all of them, let alone answer them.
Thus, she employs two personal secretaries who help her get through the letters.
In addition, Rowling also employs a personal assistant who helps her keep on top of everything. Plus, it is said that Rowling also hires a full-time bodyguard at a cost of £150,000 a year to protect her and her family.
12 Her Neighbor’s House Which She Demolished So As To Expand Her Garden
Before the talented writer became famous, she would have never even dreamed of buying her neighbour’s house. In fact, she couldn’t have even afforded to buy her own house. But now things have changed. In 2011 Rowling bought her neighbour’s house with the sole intention of demolishing it!
The house, located in Edinburgh, cost around $1.6 million and was promptly knocked down so that Rowling could expand her garden.
As you can imagine, Rowling’s plans raised a lot of eyebrows, including those of her other neighbours. One of them said – “It is not everyday you hear someone seeking approval from their neighbours to flatten a £1m house to make their garden bigger.”
11 A Castle-Like House
Back when J. K. Rowling was a poor single mother she couldn’t even afford a house. Nowadays she not only has a property in Edinburgh as well as a few holiday homes, she also owns a historic Pertshire house that some say resembles a castle.
It is said that the house cost around half a million pounds (so around 700,000 dollars).
Rowling’s new neighbors were pretty happy with the writer moving into the stunning house – “'She has been up two or three times during the summer to the house although I have not seen her myself. Most of the area knew she was going to live here already and we just hope she settles in well.''
10 Other Properties
Gone are the days when J. K. Rowling could barely afford her rent. Nowadays Rowling not only has her own luxurious house in Edinburgh – she also has countless of other properties too, including a home in Kensington, West London which is worth around £4.5 million or around $6.3 million.
It is also said that in 2011 Rowling bought a $10 million mansion in Tasmania. The mansion has seven bedrooms, a huge garden and 4km of river frontage. T
he property apparently provides “all the conveniences of commuter living close to a major regional city, yet the privacy and scale of a major farming operation."
9 Extravagant Holidays
Despite her riches J. K. Rowling likes to lead a simple life. However, everyone likes to go on a nice, relaxing holiday once in a while and Rowling is no exception. Over the years she has gone on numerous luxurious holidays.
Some of these holidays included a cruise tour of the Galapagos Islands in the Republic of Ecuador (which supposedly cost her £15,000 or around $22,000), a holiday in Mauritius (£14,000 or around $20,000) a break away in Seychelles and an outing to the Hamptons she stayed with her family in a seven-bedroom beachfront house that cost £76,000 a week (around $107,000).
8 Expensive Designer Clothes
For a woman, Rowling has very little interest in fashion. Unlike other celebrities with plenty of money, the author of the Harry Potter series cares little for extravagant clothing and instead opts for modest and relatively inexpensive options.
Rowling is not at all a fan of the consumer culture that we live in today and tries to avoid excess.
She does however like designer handbags and shoes, such as Jimmy Choo, Prada, and Dior.
However, she would never spend too much money on something as frivolous as clothing – “I've got a mental amount I can't spend beyond. I limit myself to what I think I would be justified in spending on frivolity.”
7 A Nice, Anonymous Car
The talented author J. K. Rowling couldn’t afford luxurious cars back when she was receiving government support. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that she ever wanted to – now that she’s a millionaire, we don’t see her spending money on flashy cars either.
In fact, sources indicate that both Rowling and her husband, Neil Murray, prefer to drive anonymous cars because it helps them to lead more standard lives. According to Rowling’s friend the writer doesn’t want to be flashy – “The point about Jo is that she doesn't want to be flashy or ostentatious, ever. She wants to be left alone to have a normal family life."
6 Her Own Charity Lumos
Another thing that J. K. Rowling can now spend money on that she couldn’t on before is setting up her own charity.
In 2005 Rowling set up Lumos, a charity that aims to end institutionalization of children all over the world.
Rowling decided to set up her own charity after reading The Sunday Times article on children being kept in caged beds in institutions – “I looked at that photograph of the boy in his cage bed and felt he had absolutely no voice. This touched me as nothing else had because I can think of nobody more powerless than a child, perhaps, with a mental or a physical disability, locked away from their family. It was a very shocking realization to me and that's where the whole thing started."
5 Security Measures
Before J. K. Rowling published her Harry Potter series, she was just another single mother living in Edinburgh. However, with her fame came threats and the need for security. This is why Rowling spends between £150,000 to $212,000 a year to employ a bodyguard to protect both her and her family.
And this is also why Rowling has made sure that her house in Edinburgh is equipped with secure, electric gates as well as a sophisticated CCTV camera.
As a millionaire with strong opinions, Rowling has to ensure that she doesn’t end up being the target of some psychopath, hence all the security measures the talented writer has taken.
4 Impromptu Visits To Book Clubs
Advocates of spontaneity often advise people to take spontaneous road trips or impromptu holidays. Of course, those who struggle with money know that being spontaneous more often than not requires lots of money.
Thus, when J. K. Rowling was a poor single mother she could not have afforded spontaneous trips to visit book clubs. But now that she is a millionaire she can be as impulsive as she wants to.
So, it came as no surprise when last year Rowling chartered a plane for an impromptu visit to Orkney’s library book club meeting. As you can imagine, the book club members were extremely pleased to have been visited by the talented writer. Rowling later tweeted – “I had the best time. Thanks for the wonderful chat, cake and of course, letting me touch The Book, Organic Gardening with Love by Thelma Barlow.”
3 Expensive Gifts To Strangers
Before J. K. Rowling became a famous author who earned billions from her books there is no way she could have afforded expensive gifts to strangers, no matter how much she may have wanted to. In fact, if anyone needed gifts back then it was Rowling herself.
However, now that Rowling has millions in her bank account she can be as generous as she wants to be. Recently, a Harry Potter fan revealed how Rowling sent her Potter memorabilia, worth between £5,000 and £8,000 or between $7,000 and $11,000, as well as an invite to the film set of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after the death of her mother.
2 Donating Over $160 Million To Charities
Before J. K. Rowling made it big with her Harry Potter book series, there was no way she could have afforded to support charities and donate money to them. Simply put, she needed the money herself.
However, now that J. K. Rowling has plenty of money, she is more than keen to share it with those who need it more than her. In fact, rumor has it that J. K. Rowling was the first billionaire to drop off the Forbes billionaire list as a result of her constant charity giving.
While that is not true – J. K. Rowling is not in fact the first billionaire to drop off the Forbes billionaire list due to her philanthropic work, it is true that she has donated an incredible amount to charity work. In fact, it is estimated that in total she has given about $160 million to various charities.
1 A Summerhouse Shaped Like Hagrid's Hut
Now that J. K. Rowling is a millionaire she can spend her money on seemingly ridiculous things, such as building a Hagrid-like hut on the edge of her estate. It was in 2014 that word got out that the talented writer was thinking of building a Hagrid-inspired summerhouse.
The summerhouse was to stand by the edge of the forest just like the actual Hagrid hut does in the Harry Potter series.
It was planned that the summerhouse would be shaped like a circle and that it would have a stone bench beside it and a slate roof on top of it.
The council apparently approved the application but warned Rowling that no trees must be damaged or cut down in the process.