8 Celebrities Who Prove the Famous Can Be Frugal

Photo (cc) by Daniel P. Fleming

Celebrities make headlines for financial extremes, whether they are buying a multimillion-dollar mansion or filing for bankruptcy protection.

But some rich and famous folks have learned to balance living large with living on a budget. They are not roughing it, but are not spending with abandon either.

The following athletes, supermodels, Hollywood actors and TV personalities prove that some celebrities worry about (or at least plan for) their financial futures like the rest of us.

Ryan Broyles

Ryan Broyles
Photo by Flickr user davelawrence8

This Detroit Lions wide receiver and his wife have lived on $60,000 a year (“more or less”) since he started his professional career a few years ago with a contract that guaranteed him more than $1.4 million, Broyles tells ESPN.

Knowing some NFLers end up filing for bankruptcy, he came up with a budget as part of an effort to avoid that financial fate. So the rest of Broyles’ income is set aside for investments and retirement savings.

Broyles also invested time in educating himself about personal finance:

“I studied as much as I could. Talked to people wealthier than me, smarter than me. So that definitely helps.”

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay
Photo by Flickr user taedc

The actress best known for playing police Detective Olivia Benson on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” tells More magazine that she is saving for her post-TV future:

“I constantly worry about money. I make a lot now, but I don’t feel that way, because I was poor and had no money for a lot longer than I’ve had it.

“As an actor, if this show ends next year, then what? As an aging woman, then what? I’m saving money to live on, for the future. There are not that many roles for women, and I’ve been blessed with one of the great ones.”

Kiera Knightly

Keira Knightley
Photo by Flickr user tonyshek

This Hollywood movie actress told Glamour magazine last year that she has been giving herself a budget of “something around” $50,000 a year. (Granted, she also said if “I want or need something that goes over that, I get it, but, yes, around [$50,000].”)

She explained:

“I think living an [expensive] lifestyle means you can’t hang out with people who don’t live that lifestyle. It alienates you. Some of my best, most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places.”

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel
Photo by Flickr user hangstrom

The spending — and saving — habits of this actress and singer-songwriter were made public after she filed for divorce in late 2011.

Despite an income that averaged $95,000 a month at the time, her expenses were averaging $22,500 a month and her three credit cards were carrying balances of zero, TMZ reported.

The greatest portion of her net worth was in investments like stocks and bonds.

Jay Leno

Jay Leno
Photo by Flickr user armymaterialcommand

The stand-up comedian and former late-night TV show host told Jerry Seinfeld that he has been saving half of his income for as long as he has been working:

“When I was a kid, I always had two jobs, and I would bank one and I’d spend the other. And then when I got the ‘Tonight Show,”‘ I just continued to do that. It kept me working, and it made me take gigs I might not normally take.”

Ashley Greene

Ashley Greene
Photo by Flickr user cybermelli

The “Twilight” actress told Marie Claire magazine that she was thinking about her financial future as the movie series neared an end in 2012:

“I’m lucky because my dad taught me to be frugal and save. And that’s important because 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.”

Greene wouldn’t even splurge on a first-class plane ticket despite getting accustomed to the luxury while working on “Twilight,” she said:

“‘Twilight’ has ruined me. When this is all over, flying internationally is going to be very hard for me. It is just not worth it to buy a first-class ticket, because of the cost.”

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks
Photo by Flickr user disneyabc

The former supermodel behind the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model” has a wardrobe that’s mostly within the budget of her audience, The New York Times reported in 2008.

Banks told the publication she’s “frugal”:

“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.”

She also takes that mindset to work:

“When we moved into these offices, I didn’t like the carpet. But … I painted the walls instead. Painting is much less expensive than carpet. …

“One of the first things I ask when I hire someone who deals with the financials of the company is about their spending habits. How you spend money reveals a lot about you.”

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett
Photo by Flickr user fortunelivemedia

The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway chief executive is the third-richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine. But he’s also famous for still living in the same Omaha home he purchased in 1958 for $31,500.

He told CNBC a few years ago that he’s “never had any great desire to have multiple houses and all kinds of things and multiple cars.” A time-saving private jet is “the one thing [he does] that costs a lot of money.”

To learn about more about the famous and frugal, check out “10 Rich and Famous People Who Use Coupons.”

Are you surprised by any of these celebrities’ focus on their financial future? Or do you think they still live too large? Share your thoughts with us in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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