Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg are possibly the ultra-high net worth individuals most famous for their frugal spending reputations.
Despite his estimated net worth of $85 billion, Buffett has lived in the same Nebraska home he purchased more than 50 years ago for a mere $31,500. Meanwhile, Facebook’s founder now owns a $7 million Palo Alto estate (and at least another $30 million in other California real estate, part of his estimated $57+ billion net worth), but he also drives a very unpretentious, roughly $30,000 Vollkswagen GTI (he used to own an equally entry-level Acura).
It begs the question, "Why?" because the luxuries a bottomless bank balance can afford are really only limited by imagination.
Of course, the more you earn, the higher your spending capacity. But no matter where you sit on the earning scale, the income-to-expenditures ratio must remain in check. Just ask Rihanna, who declared herself “effectively bankrupt” back in 2009, thanks to what she claimed was poor management by her accountant, who let her squander funds on a house and other expenses. She decimated her $11 million cash reserves down to $2 million by year's end.
That probably won’t ever happen to these five incredibly wealthy celebs known for their judicious spending.
1. Sir Paul McCartney
The rock music legend reportedly sent four of his five kids to state schools instead of private schools, whose costly tuition he could easily have afforded. It never hurt his daughter, Stella, who’s since emerged as a star fashion designer. As the man once famously penned, “I don't care too much for money/Money can’t buy me love,” and apparently it’s not required to get a decent education.
2. Jay Leno
Leno may have one of the most impressive car collections on earth (at least 130 are parked in his garage), but it turns out not a dime of his “Tonight Show” income was used to acquire any of them. He reportedly made around $350 million during his 17-year late-night stint, and hasn't touched any of it. His spending money was actually earned through stand-up performances.
3. Dave Grohl
He drummed his way to mega wealth in grunge band, Nirvana, but the Foo Fighters frontman is known to be one of the most grounded celebrities around. He’s rumored to be afraid of running through his mega millions, as he has no education (not even a high school diploma) to fall back on. He happily leads an average suburban lifestyle with his wife and three kids.
4. Tyra Banks
“I’m frugal,” the “America’s Next Top Model” host once told "The New York Times." “I’ve always been this way. When I was young, my mom would give me my allowance, and I’d peel off a little each week and have some to spare.” Despite her impressive financial success, Banks has by no means abandoned her frugal ways. She can afford toiletries dipped in gold, yet claims to stock up on free hotel shampoos, soaps and shower caps to use at home. Perhaps skimping is in her beautiful DNA.
5. Jennifer Lawrence
Smart money habits were instilled in "The Hunger Games" star by her hardworking middle-class family, and they appear to have stuck. The multi-millionaire supposedly still hunts for bargains at the supermarket, clips coupons, proudly drives a Volkswagen and skips valet parking to save. “I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it," she once told "Fabulous," a publication of England's "The Sun."
The Bottom Line
Just because you’re insanely rich doesn't mean you have to be crazy with your cash. The fact is, none of us – regardless of fame or fortune – can afford to ignore the fundamentals of personal finances and good money management.
Investing wisely and spending modestly are basic keys to accumulating and keeping wealth. And as ironic as it sounds, we could probably follow these well-heeled celebrities' examples.