Nowadays, we’re bombarded with info about the spending habits of one celeb or another. Every time our favorite celebrity figure buys a new house, buys a couple of fancy cars, or goes on a spending spree and splashes their cash, we come to know about it, whether we want to or not. That’s the thing with this kind of news; some people read about it and marvel, are in awe about these celebs and the lifestyles they lead, but on the other hand you have people who read and weep, shake their heads in utter disdain after reading about what they deem to be their frivolous spending habits. But who are we to judge? They’ve worked hard for their money – well most of them have anyway – so they can spend their cash on whatever they desire, so long as they have their finances in order, and most do just that; after all, who wouldn’t want to live that kind of luxurious lifestyle?
But some celebs, for whatever reason, even though they’re earning megabucks, are a lot more circumspect about their spending habits. Some of these men and women are worth in excess of $100m, yet they’re living their lives as if they’re earning regular salaries. Despite their fame and fortune, they haven’t let everything get to their heads, and when it comes to their spending, they have their feet firmly on the ground and are very responsible with their cash, leading comparatively humble lives. These are 15 wealthy A-list celebs who are thrifty with their cash and live their lives well below their means.
15 Eva Longoria
The Desperate Housewives actress is stunningly beautiful, and always seems to look incredibly glamorous when spotted out and about. You’d therefore think that she spends loads of cash on living the high life, on her look, and on maintaining that image, but in reality, she couldn’t give a sh*t what people think and is happy to live a frugal existence, despite the fact she’s earning megabucks. When Eva Longoria was playing the character that essentially made her famous to the masses, Gabrielle Solis, she was raking in the cash, earning a whopping $375,000 per episode. She’s also appeared in a ton of other stuff, movies and TV appearances, and has business interests away from the movies.
The reason Eva’s, well, let’s say thrifty, stems from her childhood. As a youngster, her dad used to take her camping, and when doing so, they had to live off the land – something he did to teach her the importance of saving money.
At her wedding – sure it was a huge event – she gave all of her guests freebies so no one left the ceremony empty handed, and Eva’s pockets weren’t emptied either. She’s pretty smart with her cash!
14 Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton’s one of the greatest musicians the world has ever seen, and because of that, he’s earned plenty of dough. He’s been around since the 1960s and has established himself as one of the greatest guitarists ever, and he’s not a bad singer-songwriter either. He holds a tremendous amount of influence in the music industry as a whole, and is still going strong at the age of 72. And even now, he's still raking in the cash, but what does he do with it? God knows, perhaps saving it for a rainy day, but that day hasn’t come.
He’s had frugal celebrity status for a while now after being seen in an L.A. laundromat scrubbing his own clothes, and then bundling them into the washing machine and waiting around for the load to finish. He does this quite a lot actually, and most people don’t even recognize him because his guise is just totally unlike what you’d expect a man of Eric’s stature and status to be. He wears scruffy clothes, old jeans, and basically doesn’t like to stand out from the crowd when out and about. He does have some pleasures though; his art collection is certainly worth a considerable sum.
13 Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence, the Oscar-winning star of The Hunger Games and various other movies, is renowned for her down to earth, girl next door type of personality. It must have been pretty hard to stay that grounded, especially after she began to achieve worldwide fame. She’s one of the best, hottest, and most recognizable actresses in the industry at the moment, and consequently she earns a hefty salary. But she has said she still finds it tough to live that Hollywood life, the life of a typical Hollywood starlet, which may surprise a lot of people considering she’s only 26 and hers is the age where people normally go crazy with their spending.
Jennifer’s still someone who does her own shopping, groceries and essentials, and has even said she hates paying for valet parking. She still owns the first apartment she purchased when moving to L.A.in search of stardom, and she’s yet another star on this list who’s pretty thrifty and uses coupons. The star of The Hunger Games certainly won’t be going hungry any time soon!
12 Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire achieved fame and fortune as Spider-Man in those iconic superhero movies. Appearing in the trilogy propelled Tobey to a new level of fame, but he’s one guy who made a conscious effort to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
His frugal lifestyle has a lot to do with the way he was brought up. He wasn’t exactly brought up in poverty, but money was always tight and it taught him the value of the dollar. He had a rocky upbringing too, always being shuttled between his parents - who were divorced – and later battling with alcohol addiction during his teens. So, Tobey’s learned to save and doesn’t spend lavishly. He has said he wants to be financially set for life, that he wants to do movies because he loves to do them, not because he has to for financial gain.
Despite his big house – which he feels was a necessary purchase for the security of his family – Tobey lives a pretty modest existence. After the Spider-Man movies, his work has slowed considerably, but he’s still very comfortable living in his grand house with his wife and kids, which just goes to show he’s pretty savvy when it comes to managing his finances.
11 Carrie Underwood
American singer, songwriter and actress Carrie Underwood is perhaps one of the most underrated stars on this list. She’s only been in the limelight for just over a decade, and is gradually starting to make a name for herself, starting to branch out into other avenues of work. Compared to a lot of other stars on this list, her career’s still in its infancy, but that hasn’t stopped her earning fame and fortune, and pretty sizeable fortune at that too. But she’s also a very grounded person and hasn’t let the success get to her head, which must have been tricky to do because her rise to stardom occurred when she was in her twenties.
Carrie’s a country girl through and through, and she loves to live the country life and stay away from all the flashy goings on that city life has to offer. She lives in a pretty modest house, and buys her makeup from drug stores, often opting to shop at Walgreens. This is one down to earth celeb!
10 Sarah Jessica Parker
Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City was the woman about town. With her designer clothes, perfectly tussled hair, and expensive handbags (and the shoes!), Sarah pulled off that role so perfectly, many people must have thought that it was because that persona was second nature to her, that that’s what she’s like in her own life. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sarah Jessica Parker isn’t like Carrie in any which way. Even now that she’s earned a ton of cash because of that series, and due to everything else she’s achieved throughout her career, Sarah lives a modest life well below her means. She kept most of the clothes she wore as Carrie, and dresses her kids in hand-me-downs, and she doesn’t splash her cash on frivolous purchases and just remains very grounded. Perhaps that’s because of the fear that she could one day lose it all and go back to living the life she lived before becoming a star. Growing up, her and her seven siblings were on welfare, and those experiences she has had certainly seem to have affected Sarah for life.
9 Dave Grohl
Very few have achieved more fame and fortune than Dave Grohl in the music world. The rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, director and producer, achieved a ton of fame during his time as the drummer in the band, Nirvana, but then rose to superstardom when he founded Foo Fighters. He still earns his money as the lead singer of the band, and it’s something that’s led to him amassing a cool $225m. So, Dave’s never going to be hard up for a bit of cash. You’d expect him, being in the profession he’s in, to live the rock and roll lifestyle, to splash the cash around and spend it on all kinds of things. But being a father, Dave wants to set a good example for his kids, and teach them the value of dollar. He’s also pretty conservative when it comes to his spending, because of his fears that if it all fails, he won’t have anything to fall back on. He didn’t get a great education, so he vowed, when he started raking in the cash, he’d be financially savvy to ensure he and his family won’t have any financial worries in the future.
8 Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger, the actress who portrayed the lovable Bridget Jones, is another A-list celeb you wouldn’t expect to live a frugal existence. When spotted out and about, of course, Renee looks incredibly glamorous. You might think she likes to splurge and spend plenty of dough on glamorous outfits, but looking fabulous as she walks the red carpet is just about her only pleasures. But when the cameras aren’t being shoved in front of her face, and when the paparazzi aren’t out in full force, Renee keeps things very simple and likes to live the simple life. Some may actually go as far to say that she’s a bit of a miser, because she actively seeks out bargains. There’s nothing wrong with that, but come on, how many A-list celebs out there do you know of that collect coupons? Well, now you know one. Her dad taught her the importance of saving money, and his thrifty ways have certainly rubbed off on her.
7 Jay Leno
Comedian, actor, philanthropist and television host, Jay Leno is a deserved member of the Television Hall of Fame after everything he’s achieved over the years. Pretty much everybody knows his name which transcends beyond the TV screen – he truly is a global superstar when it comes to being a TV host.
Those of you who know a thing or two about Jay will know that he loves his cars. He owns a fleet of classic cars, his pride and joy, and you can guess that this collection costs a bomb. But that’s pretty much his only luxury. He didn’t spend a penny of his Tonight Show salary, preferring to save those millions and instead live off the cash he made from doing comedy gigs. He and his wife don’t live in a grand home, and it’s even been alleged that he gets rather anxious when it’s time to cough up and pay mechanics, some saying that he short-changes people too – not something you’d expect from someone in Jay’s position.
6 Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio has seemingly been around for years. He’s still perpetually good looking, he just doesn’t seem to age, and has starred in some of the greatest movies of all time. Nowadays he chooses his films carefully, and he can afford to do so too, because the amount of cash he makes from one movie is probably the same as the accumulative earnings of a lot of the other guys in the industry.
His net worth is staggering, and sure, he does enjoy the fruits of his labor in some ways, but he’s frugal in many ways too. How many other stars in Leo’s position, earning that kind of dough, would you see driving a Toyota Prius? Not many – but that’s the only car Leo owned for a long time; he’s obviously not a car person like Jay Leno. He has said he likes to save as much as he can and spend his cash on others, by doing good deeds, and by helping people who are less fortunate than him. Sounds like one hell of a guy!
5 Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay has been a permanent fixture on Law & Order: Special Victims since its inception in 1999, and she’s won a ton of awards and accolades during this time too. She’s without a doubt one of the finest actresses of her generation, and demands a ton of cash for her roles, all of which is certainly warranted. But she’s certainly not one of these A-list celebs who spends lavishly. In fact, if you trailed Mariska as she goes about her day to day life, you’d have no idea that she was a TV star. She and her husband live a very modest lifestyle. They prefer to save rather than spend, because they’re aware that Mariska’s time in the limelight could end at any moment, because things tend not to last forever. She’s actually said that she seriously worries about money. She’s been poor in the past, and if her show were to end, she could see herself being back there again. Since she’s one of the older actresses on the scene, finding a new project to sink her teeth into wouldn’t be easy. She wants to be a financial role model for her kids, and she’s certainly doing just that.
4 Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar has gained a bit of a reputation over the years as one of the most likeable actresses in the industry. She’s humble, very down to earth, and doesn’t like to flaunt her cash - she doesn’t like to flaunt anything for that matter, because she’s very rarely seen out and about. She’s not one for the red carpet, prefers to stay away from celebrity events, and doesn’t hang around the usual celebrity hotspots. She and her hubby, fellow Scooby Doo actor, Freddie Prinze Jr., live a very frugal lifestyle, in an effort to teach her young kids the value of money. She’s yet another prominent name on this list who uses coupons, prefers to buy sale items rather than spend lavishly on big-money purchases, and she donates a lot of her wealth to charitable causes, donating her time as well as her money. Sarah credits these lifestyle choices to her mother, who always told her to give back, that there’s always some way you can give back to people in need. That’s a great life to lead, and it’s led to Sarah getting all the richer – in many different ways – for it.
3 Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney’s regarded to be one of the greatest composers and performers of all time, and he’s not a bad singer and musician either. He’s held in such high regard, and he’s done so much for the industry as a whole but certainly for the British music scene, that he was given the honor of being knighted by the Queen, hence why he’s now known as a Sir, and no one deserves it more. Having been active (amazingly) since the 1950s, Sir Paul, on his road to superstardom, has amassed a sizeable fortune; he’s actually considered to be in the "ultra rich" category, and is one of the wealthiest composers and performers of all time.
That would be great if he actually gave a damn about the state of his finances, which he doesn’t. He once said that he only cared about love and that how much money he had in his bank account didn’t matter to him. He must be one of the only billionaires to have sent his kids to state schools; private education is costly, but Sir Paul could certainly afford it. Another way he lives a frugal lifestyle is by letting his friends pick up the tab and pay for their own drinks; fair enough, but if you’re Sir Paul’s friend, you’d expect him to shell out for a little something, being a billionaire and all.
2 Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell's career is red-hot at the moment. She’s been killing it as both a singer and an actress, and so she’s one celeb who’s certainly raking in the cash. Combine her earnings with her husband’s, Dax Shepard, and together they’re earning megabucks, and are in no way struggling for cash. When celebrity couples have the type of cash these two have, they tend to spend it, perhaps not on frivolous things, but spending lavishly on a wedding, on your own special day, which can’t really be classified as frivolous spending. Pretty much every celebrity couple out there, when they decide to tie the knot, they tend to go all out to make it a special occasion, a day to remember for themselves and all of their guests, and that usually means getting out the wallet and spending hard. But after attending Jimmy Kimmel’s wedding, they were put off by all the glitz and glamor and decided they wanted a simple day, but they ended up taking simple to the extreme.
They literally paid for nothing – well, they spent $142 which is basically nothing for a wedding, but after returning one of their wedding gifts that $142 was essentially cancelled out - at their wedding, had a really simple ceremony and got what they did get for free. Only spending $142 on a wedding when you’re earning millions – what has the world come to!
1 Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks has to be number one on this list, because despite all of her accomplishments over the years, despite the fact she’s rolling in dough, she’s actually really frugal, and plenty of people would go as far to call her creepily frugal.
When traveling in hotels and on flights, she’s been known to pack as many freebies into her suitcase as she can when she leaves, even things that aren’t meant to be taken. Shampoos, soaps, towels, she takes them and uses them at home rather than shelling out for her own stuff. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Her mom – yes, her mom of all people – has come out and said that her daughter’s pretty frugal. She recalled an incident when Tyra was a bit younger, when she was at a friend’s party, and actually picked leftover meat off chicken wings, took it home, and used it in an omelette later. Wow, that’s something we wouldn’t have expected from Tyra!