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Frugal Fame: Millionaire Celebrities Who Actually Live Simple Lives

Darren March 13, 2023

Ryan Reynolds

Many celebrities claim that they lost their privacy when they became famous. They claim that they can’t go anywhere without people bothering them or paparazzi photographing them. But then they’ll post their entire life on Instagram or live in L.A. Unfortunately, they can’t have it both ways.

People

Reynolds and his wife, Blake Lively, are one of the most well-known famous couples today. They enjoy a lot of success but they live away from the rat race in Bedford, New York. Meanwhile, when they’re not working they focus on their young family. Reynolds and Lively prove that it’s possible to be famous and to enjoy simple lives (via People).

Rob Gronkowski

‘Gronk’ loves a party but that doesn’t mean that the legendary tight end splashes the cash. The Super Bowl winner is one of the few NFL players who manages his money sensibly. He refuses to spend any of his contract money and saves it all. Instead, he uses his endorsements to fund his lifestyle (via Kiplinger).

Fox News

He knows that money doesn’t last forever and that it is more difficult to earn cash after a playing career. That’s why Gronkowski and his family enjoy relatively simple lives. It doesn’t mean that they don’t eat in nice restaurants or have amazing holidays. But he holds back on buying the latest Lamborghini because it’s a waste of cash.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a huge success in the ’90s and turned Gellar into an icon. However, somehow she successfully disappeared from the limelight for almost a decade. She decided that she wanted a break from acting and decided to focus on raising her children.

CNN

Gellar returned to the small screen in 2023 after her lengthy hiatus. She prioritized her children over getting juicier Hollywood roles. But she already made huge sums of money from her Buffy days. This satisfied Gellar who was happy living with her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. (via USA Today Sports).

Eric Clapton

Clapton is arguably the greatest living guitarist. However, he dresses like an ordinary person and many people would pass him on the street without noticing him. These days the veteran musician tries to live a simple life because he had a lot of substance abuse problems. The crazy tour days took over and weren’t good for him.

Rolling Stone

The legendary guitarist once spent $16,000 per week on heroin before he kicked his addiction. He realized that this was going to kill him if he wasn’t careful and he left his party days behind. Clapton focused on becoming healthier as he aged. Thankfully it worked and he’s a fit octogenarian (via Rolling Stone).

Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio is one of the highest-earning actors of all time. He also has one of the most recognizable faces in the world but somehow he still walks around Manhattan without people bothering him. Yes, DiCaprio has more money than he knows what to do with but it’s the simple things in life that make him happy.

Marca

Meanwhile, he donates vast amounts of money to charity. This incredible generosity often goes noticed and people focus on his young girlfriends. Nonetheless, DiCaprio is a kind man and dedicates a lot of time to his craft. The American never allowed his fame to go to his head (via Bright Side).

Hilary Swank

Swank’s father was a National Guard Master Sergeant so it’s no surprise that she has a lot of discipline. She came from a blue-collar background and this left a massive imprint on her. It didn’t matter that she earned tens of millions of dollars from her acting career. Swank refused to allow her fortune to change her habits.

AP News

She continues to cut coupons and tries to save costs when possible. Arguably, she was one of the hungriest actresses in Hollywood because her parents gave her a strong work ethic. She also knows that money dries up very quickly and that living simple lives makes it last longer (via Men’s Health).

Keanu Reeves

All of the celebrities on this list live simple lives but Reeves takes it to the next level. He earned tens of millions of dollars during his time making the Matrix franchise. But he gave most of it away because he didn’t think he needed all of it. This is a unique perspective because most actors wouldn’t do this.

The Guardian

Meanwhile, Reeves dresses simply and rides the subway like an ordinary person. Once, he suffered a flight cancellation so he hired a bus for his fellow passengers. Notoriously shy, Reeves is a gentleman who enjoys the little things. This makes him different from most of his contemporaries (via Business Today).

Dev Patel

It says a lot about Patel’s character that he lived with his parents even after his stunning initial success. He rose to stardom after the release of Slumdog Millionaire before becoming a bona fide leading man. However, he never forgets his humble origins or allowed the money to go to his head.

Hollywood Reporter

Patel’s father is an IT consultant while his mother is a care worker. He didn’t come from a traditional acting background and this keeps him humble today. Many nepo-babies take their status and opportunities for granted. People like Patel know that nothing is guaranteed in this life (via The Guardian).

Tobey Maguire

Maguire played one of the most iconic roles of the 2000s when he wore Spiderman’s famous suit. He made about $30 million from this role and became one of the most popular actors on the planet. This is a lot for anybody to handle and would cause many actors to go off the rails.

Variety

But Maguire came from a humble background with a construction worker father and a cook mother. They lived simple lives but worked hard for their son. The best thing they did was allow him the freedom to express himself. He knows what it is like to be poor and doesn’t want to go back to that again (via Screen Rant).

Sir Paul McCartney

The Beatles legend earned fame and fortune during his heyday before embarking on a successful solo career. He has an outrageous amount of money to his name but that doesn’t mean he’s a big spender. McCartney is notoriously tight with money. He once feuded with his children because he wanted to save money by sending them to government schools.

Guitar.com

McCartney and his fellow band members came from humble origins in the U.K. He never took money for granted because his family didn’t have a lot when he was a youngster. Now his children have access to things that he never dreamed of. But he wants them to live simple lives and to respect money (via Variety).

Warren Buffet

Buffet is one of the world’s most successful investors with a personal fortune of over $90 billion. However, he’s also a great philanthropist and gives money away to many good causes. Most people assume that he lives in a super-mansion but the opposite is true. Buffet’s house will surprise everybody because it is relatively modest.

CNBC

In 1958, Buffet bought his house for about $30,000. He never moved because it served his needs perfectly. This goes to show that people who enjoy simple lives find peace quickly. Occasionally, Buffet indulges in expensive purchases but he knows the best ways to manage his money (via Harvard Business Review).

Ngolo Kante

Kante is one of the greatest soccer players of his generation. The French international won the World Cup with his country. Meanwhile, he won league titles with Leicester City and Chelsea as he played key roles. Meanwhile, he made millions of dollars in contracts from these clubs but he is a frugal person.

ESPN

Most soccer players drive gaudy supercars with garish bodywraps. But Kante favored a $20,000 Mini Cooper. He said that he never dreamed of owning a car when he was a youngster. Now that he had one he was happy to keep it because it did the job he wanted. This says everything about his personality (via The Sun).

Elijah Wood

Wood was one of the faces of one of the most successful movie franchises ever. He starred as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings and instantly became a cinema icon. The trilogy made billions of dollars but this didn’t change Wood’s personality. He continues to live a relatively modest existence because the fame didn’t go to his head.

Des Moines Register

Even when he splashes the cash it’s for practical reasons. One of his most ostentatious purchases was home recording equipment but he uses this professionally. The level-headed star remains a likable and kind person who gives lots of money to charity. It’s impossible to hate him because he’s a good human (via Des Moines Register).

Renee Zellweger

There was a period when Zellweger was one of the highest-earning actresses on the planet. However, all of the fame and public exposure exhausted the Bridget Jones star and she took a break from acting. During her lengthy hiatus, Zellweger and her family enjoyed relatively simple lives away from the paparazzi.

Vanity Fair

Many people wondered what happened to the star but she made her money and was happy to disappear. She’s not the first star to do this but she was one of the most high-profile. It’s easy to underestimate the effect of fame on a person’s mind. They’re under so much pressure every day because we watch everything they do (via Today).

Carrie Underwood

Underwood is one of the most successful country music stars ever. The Grammy Award-winner sold over 60 million records and earned millions of dollars. But none of this went to her head and she enjoys a down-to-earth existence. Underwood goes grocery shopping by herself and also clips coupons.

Rolling Stone

Meanwhile, the singer loves a sneaky subway trip when she wants a treat. Some people will scoff when they read this but she has a net worth of $140 million. Many celebrities allow their wealth to go to their heads and it changes them. Underwood has more money than she’ll ever use but she doesn’t live that way (via Women’s Health).

Mark Zuckerberg

This Harvard dropout became one of the richest men in the world. Zuckerberg has a net worth of about $80 billion so he has more money than he knows what to do with. Most of his big purchases involve real estate or additions to his Meta empire. But Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, live simple lives.

VNEconomy

We all know that he dresses the same way every day. He doesn’t blow cash on indulgent purchases because they don’t interest him. Occasionally, he pays for quality when he pursues a new interest. He began training in MMA as a hobby and spent a lot on coaching but he usually doesn’t splash the cash (via Guest of a Guest).

Kirk Cousins

Cousins is one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the NFL today. Many people think the Vikings star is brilliant but others believe he is holding the franchise back. He is one of the highest-earning players in the league and saved a lot of money. Meanwhile, he has a frugal lifestyle and drives a van instead of a supercar (via Golf Digest).

Star Tribune

There’s no denying that Cousins is a unique character. He advocates simple lives over excessive spending and it is working for him. Occasionally, he splashes the cash like when he bought a golf course. But that’s because he loves the sport and it was also a business investment. Cousins is not a flashy person and doesn’t wear gold chains or fancy clothes.

Dave Grohl

Grohl is one of the most wholesome people on the planet. The former Nirvana drummer became a success in his own right with The Foo Fighters. He lives a relatively simple lifestyle and doesn’t make extravagant purchases. Grohl is also a great person as he showed up after a major storm in 2023.

L.A. Times

The rock icon towed his smoker to a rescue center and spent 16 hours grilling and cooking meat. Grohl didn’t announce his arrival or look for validation. In the end, cameras caught him in action but he wanted to give back. He recognized all of the money in the world doesn’t mean anything without people (via MSN).

Tiffany Haddish

Homelessness will teach anybody a lesson or two about the value of money. Haddish learned this the hard way as a youngster because she had a lot of family problems. However, she grew into a Hollywood star and now has a sizable bank balance. But this doesn’t mean that she spends her newfound fortune.

NBC News

The actress claims that she doesn’t buy luxury products. Meanwhile, the only reason why she owns a Fendi bag is that Jada Pinkett Smith bought it for her. Haddish says that she has money now but nobody knows where they’ll be in five years. Simple lives are the best way to save money (via HITC).

Chow Yun Fat

Chow is a Hong Kong cinema icon and starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He became a mainstream western following his role in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Chow is one of the richest actors in Asia but doesn’t live like it. He famously used the same Nokia flip phone for 17 years before finally buying a replacement.

The Telegraph

The Hong Kong native sold his vintage car collection because he is getting old now. Now he uses public transport because it’s more efficient in the city than driving. Fans regularly spot him at street food hawker stalls where he dines on a budget. These days he lives like a Buddhist monk and doesn’t waste money (via QZ).

Ewan McGregor

McGregor is a familiar face on the big screen because he starred as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars saga. The Scottish actor made millions of dollars from his movie appearances. However, he lives a relatively modest lifestyle in California. McGregor doesn’t drink and believes that family time is very important (via Men’s Health).

Times & Star

He grew up in a Scottish village and learned that simple lives are the best. McGregor loves to travel and famously logged over 40,000 miles on motorcycle journeys around the world. This is his main indulgence because he tries to live a sustainable lifestyle. He is also a proponent of electric vehicles and pioneered the change in The Long Way Up.

Jennifer Lawrence

Lawrence was the highest-earning actress in Hollywood for several years after she enjoyed incredible success. The X-Men star won an Oscar at the tender age of 22 and made millions of dollars. However, she doesn’t live like a diva despite a reported net worth of $140 million. She is one of many celebrities who enjoy living simple lives.

People

The actress drove a $20,000 Chevrolet Volt for many years because she didn’t see the point of buying an expensive car. Meanwhile, she doesn’t waste money on luxury clothes. Yes, she receives gifts from fashion houses but she doesn’t spend her dollars on them. Lawrence had a modest upbringing and this affects her outlook today (via Direct Expose).

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