Famous and Frugal: 8 Rich People Who Pinch Pennies

The majority of Americans—that is, the 99% --work avidly to adopt a frugal lifestyle. “Take in more than you spend”, is the new motto. Considering that the U.S. economy has been shaky over the past decade, more people are choosing to cut costs in their living conditions in order to save, invest, or pay down debt. It’s smart, and, technically, it’s necessary. The entire country could do with a little penny pinching. Nonetheless, it is completely surprising and a breath of fresh air to note that even some of the 1 percenters are following the same route.

Sure, they may command millions of dollars during a concert tour, run a Fortune 500 company, or play a leading role in a blockbuster movie but these rich people have no intentions of throwing away their hard-earned funds on an overly excessive lifestyle. Some live off of an allotment of cash flow and tuck away the rest, while others incorporate frugal habits into nearly every aspect of their existence.

Everyone who doesn’t have money always talks about how they would spend it if they had it. We expect the rich to work hard, play hard and look good while they do it. Well, these 8 rich people are showing the world that no matter how many zeros you see on your bank statement: it pays to spend wisely.

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8 Ashley Greene

Unlike many rising starlets who drop a boatload of money on fashion and outlandish trips, Ashley Greene looks at her spending habits much more sensibly. The insanely gorgeous Twilight star feels “lucky” because money management practices were instilled in her long before stardom came upon her. Although she enjoyed the perks of being cast in one of the most popular teen movie series, her normal life is much less extravagant. The actress claims “I want to know that I don’t have to take an acting job for two or three years if I don’t want to and that I’ll still be able to make my house and car payments and buy food for my dogs”. She has certainly lived up to that statement, often spotted out and about in thrifty clothing choices that match her frugal lifestyle.

7 Hilary Swank

While she may have grasped her claim to fame in Million Dollar Baby, Hilary Swank is conservative when it comes to cash. She is certainly able to spend how she wants and pick and choose movie roles as she sees fit. She’s shy of 40 and has already won two Academy Awards for Best Actress. Still, this celeb hasn't forgotten her humble childhood growing up in a trailer park and let her $40 million net worth get to her head. In fact, she’s not ashamed to admit that she tries her best to avoid paying full price. The actress bargain shops and even clips coupons. Looks like Ms. Swank has held on to many aspects of her modest upbringing.

6 Jay Leno

The Tonight Show definitely made Jay Leno a rich man in the 22 years of the shows airing. However, he hardly enjoyed the benefits of such a successful role. Jay shared that as a young man he worked two jobs- at McDonald’s and at a Ford dealership. His strategy was to live off one income and save the other. He states that he has kept that same method with show business—living off his earnings as a comedian and tucking away those from TV jobs. While he may have been putting away one paycheck for a rainy day, he was far from unadventurous. The guy owns an extensive collection of vintage cars. Yet, even those could be viewed as wise spending decisions since they are all certainly appreciating in value with each passing year.

5 Jennifer Lawrence

Who doesn't love a star who is immensely talented and hilarious with a charming personality? Jennifer Lawrence is the “Girl on Fire” in more ways than one. Plus, she has long-standing spending habits in place that would make even the biggest penny-pincher look over with envy. This starlet has no shortage of cash from the Hunger Games empire to a whole bunch of other projects but one could say she actually cares more about the work itself than spending the money she gets from working. The actress upgraded her old Volkswagen for a modestly priced Chevy Volt but still lives in the apartment she called home long before fame came calling. What’s more, she hunts for bargains when shopping and considers a lavish night out to consist of wine and TV on her couch. There’s a girl who hasn’t let money and fame spoil her.

4 Keira Knightley

The British actress who reigned supreme in the Pirates of the Caribbean films takes frugal living to a whole new level. Celebrities and regular folks alike can take a leaf from this low-key actresses’ money management book. She became an internet sensation when she chose to wear a recycled dress to her 2013 wedding--one that she has been publicly photographed in three times. What’s more, news sources show that the actress paid herself a meager $50,000 in 2012 even though Forbes listed her as the second highest paid actress in 2008. Apparently, this frugal girl simply enjoys living a normal life free from the excesses of Hollywood glamour.

3 Leonardo DiCaprio

You may have spotted him living it up in the film The Great Gatsby, financing elaborate parties for New York’s upper class, but in real life, this award winning actor is not a million dollar playboy. Well, at least not the million dollar part. He thinks of his money as merely a factor of comfort and security. His status as an environmentalist further affects his modest spending habits. The guy avoids flying private jets, choosing coach instead; in addition, he drives a Prius, the only car he owns. He is protecting the environment and his pocketbook by cutting costs in economically green ways. With his estimated $100 million net worth, this A-lister has a desire to save his money so that he can use it to impact the world someday.

2 Tyra Banks

This woman has ranked among Time magazines Most Influential People and juggles the roles of TV personality, author, actress, and supermodel. One could predict she’s raking in the dough, and she is. Ms. Banks ranks among the richest supermodels with a net worth of $90 million. However, you won’t catch her being wasteful with that money. Ms. Banks credits her humble beginnings being raised by a single mother for helping her make wise financial choices. She budgets for larger purchases, makes smart investments, and gets the most function out of everyday products such as her numerous uses for Vaseline. Ms. Banks even made the decision to refrain from selecting designer duds and wore apparel that fit her audience’s financial capabilities when filming The Tyra Banks Show.

1 Warren Buffet

The world-renowned investor, business magnate, and philanthropist, Warren Buffet is the last person one would expect to be adopting a frugal lifestyle. At 83 years old with a net worth of approximately $65.5 billion dollars, he has all the authority to enjoy himself to the fullest. Yet, he doesn't. Buffet is legendary for financial advisement and he actually walks the walk of actively using his own tips. He has concerned himself more with amassing wealth than with the act of doing away with it. In Buffet’s eyes, a billionaire doesn't require fancy digs. He still lives in the $31,000 Omaha, Nebraska home that he purchased more than 50 years ago. Another suggestion from the Oracle of Omaha: enjoy your job. Obviously, people who are passionate about their work spend less unnecessary cash on luxuries. Judging by the figures this octogenarian is pulling in from his “passion”, it appears he may be on to something.

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