20 Celebrities Who Could Afford To Live The ‘High Life’ But Instead Live Down To Earth Lifestyles Like Us Commoners
Rich and famous celebrities are known to live lavishly. They have houses worth millions in Bel Air or New York City. They traipse around the world in their private jets and only drive expensive sports cars. Tom Cruise, for example, owns 5 private jets. Jay Leno’s exotic car collections–he owns 169 cars–cost him roughly $60 million. Beyoncé spent $145,000 on an organic blonde wig. Kim K once plunked down $100,000 during a shopping spree at Hermes, and even purchased herself a watch worth $115,000.
But other rich celebs and business moguls admit to being frugal. They can afford a castle or estate but choose to live as a commoner. Sure they have expensive property, but their everyday spending habits are just like ours. Some stars like Halle Berry and Tobey Maguire live frugally because they don’t want to repeat their deprivation when they were children. Berry even lived in a homeless shelter in New York while trying to land a gig. Many stars don’t have personal assistants and do their groceries themselves. Kristen Bell and Sarah Michelle Gellar, among others, cut coupons and only buy food that’s on sale to get the best deal. Kate Middleton shops for furniture at IKEA. That’s true! And Keanu Reeves chose to live in rental homes and hotels while gaining fame and, until recently, he was one of the only Hollywood stars who didn’t own a mansion. That’s true too! In defense, Reeves said, “I live in a flat, I have everything that I need at anytime, why choose an empty house?”
So you get the picture. These stars like to live down-to-earth. They don’t waste money. Here, then, are 20 celebrities who could afford to buy a castle, a yacht or a private island but instead choose to live modestly, just like a commoner.
20 SARAH JESSICA PARKER
Sarah Jessica Parker’s net worth means she doesn’t have to work a day in her life, although she returned to HBO to star in Divorce last year. It’s hard to believe, then, that she grew up on welfare. This must be the reason why Carrie chooses to live like a “commoner” when she can buy anything she wants.
First off, she doesn’t live in a sophisticated penthouse on CPW. She and her hubby live in a modest brownstone in Brooklyn. In a 2008 interview with Parade, Parker shared her thoughts on having money. She loves people who work hard for their money or who have money but don’t spend it on lavish private jets, personal assistants, and second or third homes. She relates how she used hand-me-down clothing on her son James Wilkie when he was young. Parker was influenced by her mother, who saved her brother’s young clothes. As a result, Parker revealed that she never bought anything new for her son, as well as the fact that she had never “bought him any clothes.”
19 VINCENT KARTHEISER
Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser lived modestly while he was single and working. He lived in a 580-square-foot cabin. It may be small but the cabin is cozy and designed in a way to be efficient and to maximize space. He has an elevated bed and a coffee table that functions as a fireplace. Rather than moving to a larger home, he fixed it up first before making any commitments.
He bought the house for $547,000 in 2014 and, according to Daily Mail he put the house up for $808,000 to make a profit after all his renovations. Living in tight spaces and fixing it up to sell to make a profit is not what celebs normally do. But Kartheiser did exactly that, which makes him a rich person who lives modestly rather than lavishly, a move that mirrors how the upper to middle class live. But he’s probably more conservative than others as he doesn’t own a car and takes public transportation. It was only after he started a family that he left his cherished bungalow.
18 ZOOEY DESCHANEL
It’s been reported that Zooey Deschanel made $125,000 per episode of New Girl. Rather than spending her money from the Fox comedy, she saves it.
In 2012, after divorcing her husband, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, her finances became public. They showed a young woman who lived frugally and was careful about what she spent her money on. Her lack of expenses reveals that she’s smart with her money. She didn’t pay off her mortgage on her house and chooses to pay monthly. With her money, she could’ve paid the mortgage in full. For stars who make millions or make the money she does, this is a rarity, as these celebs usually buy estates that are paid in cash. When was the last time you heard a celeb had a mortgage? Unbelievable right? Well, here’s another one. She has three credit cards with a zero balance. She could max them out easily, but she’d rather conserve.
17 JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar winner and an A-list actor who’s worth millions and yet has never splurged on purchasing a million-dollar-plus home until 2017. She’d rather be conservative.
While starring in the Hunger Games trilogy, she lived in her parents’ condo. Then she stayed in a modest apartment. She told Elle, “I think it would be very bizarre to live in a big mansion by myself.”
According to Go Banking Rates, she shops by herself amd still looks out for deals, sale items or any bargains or promotions. To top that off, she still drives a Chevy Volt, not a Porsche. In 2013, she told Fabulous magazine the reason why she lives modestly:
“I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it.”
In 2017, she finally bought herself a home, loft-style condo in New York City worth $9 million. Still, we praise the actress for not showing off or being showy.
16 MARK ZUCKERBERG
Mark Zuckerberg, the billion-dollar Facebook founder, lives a down-to-earth lifestyle despite having so much cash in hand. He and his wife Priscilla Chan wanted to live in Palo Alto, but homes there were prohibitively expensive. So they purchased the cheapest one they could find, a house that cost $7 million, which is rather “modest” for the area.
Besides buying the house, Facebook founder lives a frugal life in comparison to other billionaires. Zuckerberg doesn’t buy new and expensive clothes. He wears the same thing every day, jeans and a T-shirt under a hoodie. The couple also does not travel all the time. Over the holidays they take two weeks off and go on vacation, but most times they go to China to visit Chan’s family. You’d expect him to drive a fancy car, but he only has a manual transmission VW hatchback, which he bought in 2014 after trading in his $30,000 Acura.
His wedding to Chan was also modest, taking place in the garden of their Palo Alto home. This reserved lifestyle exists because Zuckerberg shuns grandeur. Business Insider UK backs up this claim, saying that Zuckerberg “aims to clear his life of material possessions and is wholly unimpressed with the trappings of wealth.”
15 SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR
Sarah Michelle Gellar made millions while starring in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. is also a millionaire. Though the power couple live in a million-dollar-plus mansion, Gellar lives frugally in everyday life just like us. Gellar was inspired by her upbringing. Her father left her family when she was young and her mother taught her how to live within your means.
That’s why Gellar shops at Whole Foods. Once a place for the overprivileged, Whole Foods today sells groceries that are comparable in price to any other market, except that the store only sells fresh and organic foods. Gellar isn’t ashamed that she only shops for sales while at Whole Foods–her family loves fish but Gellar only buys it if it’s on sale–and does her best to get the best deal no matter what store she is in. Also, when she’s shopping for food, she always brings her own bags to get a discount. She’s so thrifty that she told Self:
“I use coupons all the time. Why should you pay more for something that someone else is paying less for?”
14 LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Leonardo DiCaprio, who once said he only dates models, is one of Hollywood’s hottest stars. You’d think that because of his playboy lifestyle, he must spend a lot of money on yachts, champagne, fast cars and gifts for all the girlfriends he’s dated over the years. This is partly true. He’s famous for buying an island near Belize for $2.5 million and owns a $10 million penthouse in New York City, which he upgraded to become more environmentally-friendly. But despite his massive fortune, the actor chooses to live modestly.
He only drives a Toyota Prius. He chooses to fly commercial instead to save money and protect the environment. So what does Leo really spend his fortune on? The least expected: charities. He supports a number of environmentalist causes, anything that can preserve the earth and, in 1998, the actor founded his own charity fund, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and transferred over $15 million to 30 different charities, including Amazon Watch, National Geographic: Pristine Seas, Save the Elephants and the World Wildlife Fund.
13 KRISTEN BELL
Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepard are worth millions, but like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristen lives as if she’s being paid minimum wage, cutting coupons to get an item for sale.
Even her wedding was modest. Maybe that’s not right. Her wedding was cheap. That’s the word. Bell and Shepard kept it real by getting married at the local courthouse. According to Bell, her wedding cost only $142,00, which included the gas it cost to drive to the courthouse! She even told Flaunt that she and Shepard are “hillbillies at heart,” which perfectly describes her spending habits. In particular, she loves to shop at Bed Bath & Beyond, but only if she has received one of the companies coupons for 20% off. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Bell detailed her frugal ways in hilarious detail, and said that the ” best coupon you can get, possibly in the world, is the Bed Bath & Beyond coupon.” Bell went into so much detail about BBB that O’Brien had to ask if she was a paid spokesperson for the store.
12 TYRA BANKS
Tyra Banks is a former superstar model, the creator of America’s Next Top Model and a businesswoman (she got her business degree from Harvard Business School.) Even though she’s worth millions, the smarty pants lives a simple life, the kind of life a middle-class person would live. She attributes her stinginess to her mother, who emphasized that she should live modest and stretch her dollars as far as she can.
In a 2008 interview with The New York Times, Banks claimed she saved some money from her weekly allowance as a child, and that today her only indulgence is spending money on food, above all going to The Cheesecake Factory on several occasions. She loves luxury toiletries but never buys any. Since she travels a lot and stays in hotels, she stocks up on a hotel’s fancy shampoos, conditioners and soaps. She even admits to eating leftovers the next day to save money. She also told Forbes that, before purchasing a significantly high item like real estate, she often asks her accountant for advice on whether or not she can afford these things. So, Banks proves us wrong. You can be worth millions, but you don’t always have to live an extravagant lifestyle.
11 HILARY SWANK
When Hilary Swank was growing up, she and her family lived in a trailer in a trailer park in Bellingham, Washington. While still young, she and her mom moved to California so she could find work as an actress. They had so little money that they lived in her mother’s car for a period.
Living on the edge of poverty turned Swank into a person who had a strong work ethic who carefully uses her money in a responsible way. She buys in bulk and clips coupons to save money. When asked about her achievements by the Daily Mail UK, she stresses what is important to her is that she now can live a life where she can afford to pay her bills each month. She also confided that she likes “a sale as much as the next person” and that she weighs the pros and cons when buying something for herself or her home because she’d rather spend money on her family. While she lives like a commoner, she does owns several multi-million dollar homes. One of them is a pied-a-terre in the West Village. But she does try to make money from the homes she’s not using. She’s leasing the New York pad for $20,000 a month.
10 LADY GAGA
Lady Gaga owns an oceanfront estate in Malibu, a 10,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired villa that she bought for $23 million. So you’d think Gaga would be living lavishly, but the truth is, that house is the only time she shelled out a lot of money. Known for being fashion-forward, you’d think she bought a lot of couture as well. But Gaga admitted on Twitter that she only looks at sales racks when shopping and, like Sarah Michelle Gellar, uses coupons at the grocery store to save a few.
And she hadn’t always lived in such an expensive home. Before she made it big, for many years she lived in a very small studio. And Gaga confesses that her manager on occasions calls her about her credit cards because there are no charges made on them. This is the way she likes to live. As she confessed, “But I am so happy.. . I am not bankrupt. Actually, I spend no money at all.”
9 KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
Keira Knightley, known for starring in period-piece movies like Pride and Prejudice, lives in 2,000+ plus square feet estate in the central London borough of Islington that had been listed for millions of dollars. But other than that, Knightley keeps her expenses down. When she was growing up, her parents taught her financial responsibility and the discipline stuck. She also has said that a rich lifestyle can be too alienating.
Each year, she gives herself a very small portion of her millions, around $50,o00, to use as spending money. She even saved money on her wedding, inviting only 12 guests for the wedding and 50 for the reception. She didn’t even buy herself a wedding gown. While it was designer, Knightly admits that she has worn the dress on many other occasions, like during Hollywood red carpet events.
8 KEANU REEVES
At first glance, Keanu Reeves looks as if he lives lavishly. His home in LA is worth millions. He owns several luxury cars and is really into bikes, leading him to spend $28,000 on a Harley Davidson. But at a closer look, he’s another Hollywood contradiction, someone who will buy an expensive home but who will insist on living modestly. As Reeves’ gained fame, he chose to live in rental homes and hotels and, until recently, he was one of the only Hollywood stars who didn’t own a mansion. In defence, he said, “I live in a flat, I have everything that I need at anytime, why choose an empty house?”
He is so rich that he gives a lot to charity, and was once seen spending time with a homeless man in Hollywood. He uses mass transit–just check YouTube–and was once seen giving up a seat to a woman. He’s often seen eating lunch by himself on a public park bench. And he has been known to take a pay cut for a movie, and is so generous that he often donates his total fee to other workers on his films. As Reeves puts it, “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
7 DARYL HANNAH
The actress Daryl Hannah is known as an active environmentalist who even runs a video blog where she extols lessons on sustainable solutions. Because she cares so much for the environment, she ends up saving a lot of money by going green. Reportedly, she lives in a home she restored herself, using recycled materials. It runs on solar power and was built with recycled and green materials, which cuts down Hannah’s expenses. She even drives a car that runs on biodiesel. She’s such an outspoken eco-activist that she once downed some biofuel on camera to make it known how much safer it was than conventional petrol.
Hannah has been arrested on multiple occasions in the past for protesting for environmental causes. One was protesting the construction of a major oil pipeline in Texas.
Being a vegetarian since she was 11, Hannah also grows her own vegetables to eat, as well as to sell and barter them at farmers markets. Yeah, it’s not because Hannah doesn’t have the money. She does, but she’d rather attempt to do her part in changing the world than spending a lot of money on fancy couture.
6 HALLE BERRY
You’d expect Oscar winner Halle Berry to live a pampered life. However, she insists she lives like the average joe, mainly due to her difficult childhood. After her parents divorced, Berry led a frugal life with her mother that was not out of choice. She has said that her upbringing forced her to become a “woman of strength,” which she has lived up to.
She caught the acting bug and moved to New York City to try to nab some roles. During this time, Berry was so broke that she spent many weeks living at a homeless shelter and in a YMCA.
Berry isn’t interested in the trappings of wealth. Her traumatic early years has served to ground her, and she told the Daily Record that she is not “someone who has to have 10 cars and lots of diamonds.” There’s another reason why Beery saves, not spends, money. It’s because she’s “always worried about when this trip is going to stop.” Even while living comfortably these days, Berry, to this day, fears she might lose it all.
5 INGVAR KAMPRAD
Ingvar Kamprad is the founder of IKEA, the behemoth furniture and home store that is notorious for its cheap prices and poor quality. Kamprad has a massive wealth, but he’s the most frugal person on our list. He owns a modest home. He never wears new clothes and instead chooses his wardrobe from thrift stores and secondhand shops. Like Keanu Reeves, he uses public transportation whenever he can.
One hilarious story about the billionaire is that, on the way to receive a businessman of the year award, he was denied entry because he arrived on a bus and the doorman didn’t believe who he was. Like many celebs, he could afford to own a private jet but chooses to fly economy if he needs to be anywhere. He is so frugal that, when he goes to developing countries, he gets his hair cut at such places because it’s simply cheaper. His own home is decorated with IKEA furniture, which he actually assembles himself rather than paying a fee to get the job done.
4 KATIE COURIC
Katie Couric, the former anchorwoman of the Today Show, is super-wealthy but lives like a commoner. She could buy anything she wants, and yet she’d rather save than spend. She buys generic drugstore products because she believes they’re just as good as their high-end counterparts, and uses them instead. When she worked full-time, Couric brought a brown bag for lunch.
On top of that, she says she rarely spends a lot of money on clothes, and that the fancy ensembles and high-end jewelry she wore for work were borrowed from friends, family and colleagues. In an interview with Woman’s Day, she said, “Matt Lauer used to tell me that when I opened my wallet, moths flew out. That’s funny but not 100 percent true. The joke implies I’m cheap, but really I’m just frugal.” But she does spend her money and is generous to a fault. Whenever she can, she gives money to charity and likes spending her fortune on family and friends.
3 TOBEY MAGUIRE
Tobey Maguire, best known for playing Spiderman, grew up humbly. He knew no other way of life, and this lifestyle stayed with him forever, causing him to spend wisely even when he was raking in the millions. These days he lives a modest life because, just like Halle Berry, he fears he may lose it all one day or somehow get caught in some kind of horrible financial situation.
This means that Maguire can be choosier when picking roles and never has to take on one just because his finances are getting low. Maguire once confessed he has more money than what he knows what to do with, and likens his success and his huge bank account to that of a Lotto winner. If he wasn’t so conservative, he believes he could end up spending a lot of it. The one luxury he has was buying a large property near Los Angeles, but that he considers is a smart investment.
2 CHRISTIAN BALE
Christian Bale, like Keanu Reeves, likes to live low-key and isn’t interested in the trappings of wealth. Because of this, he has saved a lot of money from his movies, has given a lot to charities and is now in the position of where he can hand-pick roles for himself that he only likes rather than roles he has to take on because of financial constraints. He doesn’t have a bodyguard, a private yacht or an island.
In 2003, Bale supposedly was still driving around in a 10-year-old Toyota truck to get to sets for his movies. He’s a family man, a devoted father and is never seen in high-profile restaurants or the hottest clubs. If you’ve seen him out and about, well, that’s probably because he’s on a press event or as a guest of Hollywood’s moguls. In the early 2000s, it was said that his home was not large, and moreover, not in the “right” neighbourhoods in Los Angeles. Since then, though, perhaps because he now has a family, he has splurged on buying many homes.
1 KATE MIDDLETON
Kate Middleton lives a frugal lifestyle despite being a part of the Royal Family. According to People, Middelton (and her hubby Prince William) don’t “have an army of staff to help them out.” There is no live-in chef. Middleton walks to the grocery store to buy food and she reportedly does most of the cooking for her family. Even their furniture is a steal. On a visit to Stockholm, Kate and William discovered IKEA and were reportedly delighted by how cheap the furniture is. So now Prince George and Princess Charlotte actually have beds and bedroom furniture from IKEA.
Then there’s Kate’s fashion. Most high-powered people who are in the public eye never repeat the outfits they wore. You might expect Kate to do the same, as she is photographed everywhere she goes. But Kate doesn’t like wastefulness and has been known to wear the same outfit when going about town or heading to a function. She also shops for sales on clothing and her trend-setting looks are not couture. For Kate, looking chic doesn’t mean your outfit has to cost a lot. She wears clothes from the Gap and Zara. She’s so modest that, on her wedding day, she did her own wedding makeup.