In 2003, People magazine wrote an article about how J.K Rowling had more money than the Queen and it wasn’t tongue in cheek humor. When people say that Harry Potter changed the authors life, they weren’t kidding. She is one Cinderella story that many of us can learn from.
She quite literally went from rags to riches and she did so just because she believed in herself. She found herself alone as a single mother after she left an abusive relationship. She had to start off on welfare because she wasn’t able to work at the time. She struggled day in and day out all the while puttering away on her stories.
Even when her first book was finished, she didn’t land herself a publisher right away. A lot of people thought it was silly to think that people would be interested in a wizard’s tale. She proved them wrong and these days, she is worth a lot of money. In 2003, People reported that she had $446.4 million in the bank account and these days, it has grown to $650 million. So, the big question is, what on Earth does she spend her millions on?
20 She Travels In Style
If you had close to a billion dollars in the bank account, you wouldn’t just spend a couple thousand on a vacation. You would take some of the most luxurious vacations possible. That’s what J.K. Rowling did when she spent $15,000 to cruise the Galapagos. They are some of the most beautiful islands that you can visit and it’s obvious Rowling spared no expense. It is said that they created Harry Potter tours on those islands now that you can take a cruise around them. That would definitely be worth it for any fan out there.
19 She Purchased a $2.2 Million Home
You would think for someone with so much money that she would purchase a huge mansion, but that’s just not Rowling’s style. No, she wanted something that had class and elegance so she purchased the gorgeous 19th century Edinburgh home that also has a walled garden. She lives in the home with her husband, GP Neil Murray. We can imagine just how relaxing it must be to live on a property like this. It looks like something you would see from one of her books. She definitely has some great places to live and they all look like something out of a book.
18 She Loves Spending Time in The Hamptons
Who wouldn’t love to vacation in the Hamptons? When J.K Rowling does, she doesn’t mess around. One time, when she vacationed there with her husband, she rented a seven-bedroom beachfront home that cost $76,000 a week to stay in. For some people, that is the cost of their home and yet, for Rowling, that’s just a week's worth of vacation. With seven bedrooms, her children likely stayed with her or she was expecting guests. Either way, it was probably a hell of a vacation. The Hamptons is the go-to for celebrities for a reason.
17 She Owns A Historic Perthshire Home
Did you really think that she only owned one home? This home in particular is said to look like something right out of Harry Potter like this structure in the photo. She probably uses these cool little dwellings for inspiration in her books. The home she did purchase is 136 years old and it cost her half a million dollars to purchase. The house is called a “retreat” and it might be somewhere that she goes to write. Her real estate agent said "Killiechassie House is a most attractive family home. This area of Perthshire is highly sought after.''
16 She’s Very Generous With Her Funds
She was actually bumped off the billionaires list with Forbes because she was so generous with her money.
“You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
She proved her generosity when she founded Lumos, a charity driven to help children in Eastern Europe. These children are usually institutionalized or disadvantaged in some way. Rowling knows what it’s like to come from hard times and she wants to give back. “I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that anymore is the biggest luxury in the world.”
15 $6,000 A Week Vacations in Seychelles
Seychelles is another place that is breathtaking if you like tropical vacations. It’s also a favorite for this writer who spends a lot of time traveling. J.K. Rowling has been known to tuck herself away to beautiful locations to enjoy time with family or to write her books.
“And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while is just bliss.”
Seychelles also looks like pure bliss as well and spending $6,000 a week means she’s in the most luxurious areas.
14 She Likes Designer Labels
When you are worth almost a billion dollars, you aren’t going to be seen walking around in just anything. Some of her money goes toward wearing designer clothes. One of her favorite labels is Oscar del la Renta. One of the best parts of being a rich and successful woman, is you get to wear designer clothing. When she thinks of herself, though, she never considers herself to be a famous person. She just doesn’t see herself that way. “I imagined being a famous writer would be like being like Jane Austen.”
13 She Has a $15 Million Yacht
It might be up for sale, though, so it might just be your chance to own something that a famous author owned. Before she owned the yacht, it was owned by Johnny Depp, now how cool is that. He named that yacht Vajoliroja after his former wife. Rowling fell in love with it probably because it looks like something out of a pirate fantasy. She only owned the gorgeous boat for eight months before she put it up for sale as well.
12 She Pays Attention to Details
J.K. Rowling is involved in anything to do with the Harry Potter franchise and that includes the theme parks. She wanted to give her opinion on the food that was being served at the park so she asked the chef to fly the meals to her via private jet so she could give her opinion.
“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.”
She created a whole world, so it's no wonder she wants companies to do it justice.
11 She Has A Bodyguard
We can imagine that anyone this famous and worth so much might need a bodyguard. Apparently, she spends $150,000 a year to have a bodyguard that makes sure that she and her family are safe from weird stalker fans. The bodyguard is actually a former SAS bodyguard so she probably feels very safe indeed. Sometimes, it’s not the strangers that we have to fear the most. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
10 She Loves Designer Jewelry
One of the things that J.K. Rowling likes to spend her money on is designer jewelry. She has a favorite jeweler as well that she goes to quite often. British jeweller Elizabeth Gage has designs that are worth upward of $30,000 per piece.
She “often used antiques as a starting point for her jewelry designs, and historical references are very important to her.
In fact, it was the jewelry of Catherine the Great that first made her ‘aware of the intense beauty of jewelry’ and spurred her on to spend six years training to become a goldsmith in the 1960s.”
9 She Employs A Huge Staff
When it comes to being a millionaire author, it helps to have some staff to give you a hand. She doesn’t always have time to read all her fan letters and she has stated that she gets about 1,000 letters a week. She has two secretaries that help her get through the letters. She also has a couple of personal assistants that keep her schedule in order and bookings on track. These are the people in her life that help her to stay sane and organized.
8 She Purchased Her Neighbor’s Home
You might think that she purchased it from the neighbor, but that wasn’t the case. She wanted to purchase the $1.6 million home so that she could demolish it and make her garden beside her own home bigger. Now that’s ballsy. The act really raised some eyebrows in her neighborhood and one neighbor stated,
“It is not every day you hear someone seeking approval from their neighbors to flatten a £1 million house to make their garden bigger.”
It was what the author wanted and she definitely has the money to do it.
7 Rowling Purchased A Mansion in Tasmania
There was certainly a time when Rowling couldn’t even afford to pay her rent, but those days are long gone. In 2011, she purchased a $10 million mansion in Tasmania. It also has a huge garden and 4 km of river frontage, not to mention seven bedrooms. The property provides her with “all the conveniences of commuter living close to a major regional city, yet the privacy and scale of a major farming operation." Anything in Tasmania is likely to be gorgeous property.
6 She Doesn't Want To Stand Out In Her Car
One thing about J.K. Rowling is, you won’t ever see her bombing down the roads in a Lamborghini. It’s just not her style, she may spend a lot of money on other things, but cars isn't one of them. When she purchases cars, she just wants the everyday model. It also allows her to stay unnoticed as she goes from place to place. A friend of the writer stated,
“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."
5 Her House Has An Electric Gate
When it comes to being a famous celebrity, there are some cons like needing an electric fence for your home. When you are famous and are a woman that has some high opinions, you could be the target of some crazy people. She spends upwards of $220,000 a year on home security measures. Not only does she have a bodyguard, but her homes are secured with electric gates and CCTV cameras. She’s definitely not taking any chances when it comes to the safety of her family.
4 She Makes Spontaneous Trips to Book Clubs
What would you do if a famous writer just randomly showed up to your book club. That’s what happened at Orkney’s library book club meeting one year. J.K. Rowling chartered a plane to take her to the book club and surprised all its guests. After she left the book club, she 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.” Now, that’s pretty cool.
3 She Likes To Give Gifts To Strangers
We already know that J.K. Rowling is a generous person. In fact, she’s so generous these days that she likes to give gifts to strangers. It’s likely because she lived for so long with so little that she wants to give back. One fan revealed how Rowling sent her some Harry Potter memorabilia that was worth upwards of $8,000. She has also given gifts that were roughly around $11,000. She’s also been known to invite people to the set of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She did so right after the death of her mother which probably made her feel like giving back again.
2 She Donates Over $160 Million A Year To Charities
One thing is for sure, Rowling is all about giving back and we can totally understand why. She knows what it’s like to be without and she probably enjoys helping people in similar situations. We already know that she was one of the first billionaires to drop of the Forbes list and it had to do with how much money she kept giving to charity. Over the years, she's donated a lot of money to charities, especially ones that involve single parents. It is said that she spends $160 million a year on charities.
1 She Bought An Odd Summer Home
When you have millions of dollars at your disposal, you are likely to buy some pretty interesting things. She decided she wanted to build a Hagrid-like hut right on the edge of her estate. She wanted the little hut to stand just on the edge of the forest just like it dopes in the Harry Potter series. She wanted it to be shaped in a circle with a sweet stone bench beside it. The roof would be made out of slate. She had to get permission by the council to let it happen. They gave her the go ahead but told her that no trees were to be cut down or damaged.