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I have always been amazed at individuals who are very wealthy (by objective standards) and at the same time, frugal.

I have always been amazed at individuals who are very wealthy (by objective standards) and at the same time, frugal.  Take for example, Warren Buffett, who still lives in the home he bought in Nebraska for the past fifty years.  It’s fascinating!  People who have serious lifestyle deflation as opposed to lifestyle inflation are major personal finance idols for me.  I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s the humility and humbleness that being able to control how you spend exemplifies, and it shows that money doesn’t own you and at the same time, you respect the money you worked hard for.

I admit it, I like to follow the latest gossip (to an extent) and I have always been fascinated by celebrities who are frugal and money savvy. Some of these I had no idea about and thus many of these celebrities garnered even more respect from myself for them!  Not only do they entertain, they are great with money.  Win- win, I would say.

Jay Leno

I have always been a fan of Jay Leno as opposed to David Letterman (there’s something about Letterman that oozes ‘sleazy’ for some reason, and I apologize to Letterman fans in advance).  Jay earned more of my respect when I learned from reading Business Insider that he has always worked two jobs and he only lives off his stand-up job, and not his NBC ‘The Tonight Show’ job.  He calls his television job the “TV job” and hasn’t spent a dime of the earnings from it.

Sarah Jessica Parker

She’s definitely no Carrie Bradshaw from ‘Sex and the City’ in real life. According to Wisebread, she grew up in a family of 8 that lived off of Welfare.  This inspired her to share her frugal habits with her son James Wilkie.  Most of his clothes are hand-me-downs and she is quoted as saying that she wants to show her son by example that he needs to give back to the community and he is not entitled to the benefits of their hard work.

Kirsten Bell

‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ was when I first heard about Kirsten Bell.  She became cooler when I found out that she only spent $142 on their wedding.  Yeah, ridiculous!  She had sandwiches for her reception and asked someone in the courtroom to officiate her marriage to Dax Shephard.  CBC.ca says she is worth an estimated $16 million but she has been seen sporting a $45 Target (you know, pronounced Tar-jay because it’s so fancy) dress.

She also uses a lot of coupons, but I wonder if she was ever addicted to the extreme couponing habit.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Oh, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr!  Brings me back to the 90’s (ahh, the good ol’ days when music was real and I had no serious responsibilities except for school and keeping my room clean).  Yahoo! Finance states that Sarah  Michelle Gellar likes to clip coupons, doesn’t like to buy things full price, and although she shops at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheque), she buys things that are on sale.

Lifestyle Deflation is the Way to Go

As you can see, even though you might be worth millions of dollars (wouldn’t that be a nice problem to have one day), you don’t have to be burning through millions of dollars.  As a celebrity (not that I would know what being a celebrity feels like, but I am just being empathic) it is very easy to inflate the lifestyle to keep up with the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  However, as we learn from Jay Leno, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirsten Bell, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, you don’t have to succumb to lifestyle inflation just because you are a celebrity.

Living below your means is the key to growing wealth.  If you make a ton of money but also spend a ton of money, it means you are not saving a ton of money.

I certainly was inspired by the lifestyle deflation capabilities of these celebrities.  If you’re also inspired by these celebrities’ sense of lifestyle deflation, here are some more lifestyle deflation idols that I am fond of.

Readers, are you shocked by this list?  Do you know of any other frugal celebrities?

Article comments


Great article! I never knew some of these famous people were so frugal. I love it!

I’m kind of bad for lifestyle inflation. I’ve always lived below my means and saved money wherever I can but, for me, the real issue is time. There is never enough time and I have started trading time for dollars very aggressively. I try to make more money and pay people so I have enough time to do it.

I have a house cleaner, get my cars professionally cleaned once a year, hire out almost all the work around my house, etc. If I didn’t do these things, I’m pretty sure I would go insane. I’m already a “try to do it all” kind of person so learning to let go of some of these things has definitely helped.

Great article!

Young says:

@SW- I haven’t succumbed to the house cleaning yet but I do get my car washed at a shop. It’s $25 but worth it! My boyfriend (mr frugal himself) refuses to get his care professionally washed lol.