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These Celebrities Are Rich, Famous — and Cheap

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Queen Elizabeth II
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Hanging on to Their Millions

Private jets, luxury cars, and designer clothes may seem like everyday comforts for the rich and famous, but that's not always the case. Many celebrities are frugal in spite of their wealth, an attribute often acquired during a humble upbringing, which appears to be the case for outed cheapskate Brett Favre, but definitely not the case for the late Queen Elizabeth II. Remember, when someone is a millionaire, that means they have a million dollars — not that they've spent a million dollars.


Related: Strange and Expensive Celeb Purchases

Queen Elizabeth II
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Queen Elizabeth II

She was worth an estimated $530 million, the Express says, but that doesn't mean the late ruler liked to throw money away, or evidently gift wrapping paper, either. According to Kate Williams, author of "Young Elizabeth: The Making Of Our Queen": "After Christmas, Elizabeth would collect up the wrapping paper and ribbons and would smooth them out to be saved," a tradition that reportedly continues. At Buckingham Palace, the stories go, light bulbs over 40 watts are banned, and old newspapers are shredded for horses' bedding.

Brett Favre
Brett Favre by Arnie Papp (CC BY)

Brett Favre

Legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre was recently outed as a cheapskate by his daughter Brittany on "Claim to Fame," a reality TV show where contestants are all related to a celebrity. According to her, No. 4, who grew up poor in Mississippi, chained a broken muffler to his favorite truck's bumper in order to keep it attached. When he drove her to school, it would scrape on the ground and sparks would fly, prompting kids at school to ask her whether the NFL star had enough money to fix it. "He's still that way," she said, despite his possible involvement in a recent welfare fraud scandal that is currently being investigated. 


Related: Big Celebrities Who Grew Up in Small Towns

Mick Jagger
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Mick Jagger

Rock ’n’ roll legend Mick Jagger (estimated net worth: $500 million) prefers the fix-it method to buying new; he even taught his children how to repair their vehicles. His ex-wife, Jerry Hall, told the Daily Mail that he can be generous when it comes to gifts and presents, but "he's pretty tight with the day-to-day stuff."


Related: The Most Expensive Celebrity Cars

Sarah Jessica Parker
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Sarah Jessica Parker

Unlike her on-screen character Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker leads a frugal life. She told The New York Times that her frugal mindset stems from her childhood, when her parents struggled to make ends meet while raising eight children.


Related: Celebrity Parents Who Don't Spoil Their Kids

Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett

One of the richest people on earth is also one of the least likely to spend his money on appearing wealthy. Warren Buffett is famous for living in the same house he bought in 1958 and driving a reasonably priced car; his latest is a 2014 Cadillac XTS, which is a savvy investment in a way. His last Cadillac sold at a charity auction for more than $120,000 (about $110,000 more than the Blue Book value). Buffett is known for his generosity, and has given away millions from his fortune.


Related: Warren Buffett's Best Advice Isn't Just for Millionaires

Jay Leno
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Jay Leno

You might not guess it by looking at his famous car collection, but Jay Leno has made a lifelong habit out of holding two jobs and spending only the money he makes from one. All the money he earned from hosting "The Jay Leno Show" and "The Tonight Show" went to savings, and he has an estimate net worth of $450 million. He lives off the income he makes from comedy acts and other jobs.

Jennifer Lawrence
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Jennifer Lawrence

Never one to mince words, Jennifer Lawrence's on- and off-screen antics have earned her admiration worldwide. Despite being worth tens of millions, she hesitates to pay for simple luxuries such as valet parking. But she can remain inconspicuous if she wants, disappearing into traffic in the VW she's had for years or in a newer, economical Chevy Volt. Even her "luxury" cars aren't much to gawk at: a Tesla Model S, Cadillac CTS Coupe, and Audi Q7, according to HotCars.

Paul McCartney
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Paul McCartney

Despite a net worth in excess of $1.2 billion, Sir Paul McCartney was once called a "tight bastard" by his daughter Stella, a fashion designer, for not wanting to pony up to send her to private school. Stella later said she appreciated her dad's move and said she would take her kids out of private school if they became "too posh." Also worth noting: The ex-Beatle, who is said to prefer economy flights and non-designer duds, was still touring as he approached his 80th birthday.

Katie Couric
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Katie Couric

Her years as a TV anchor made Katie Couric a household name and wealthy to the tune of tens of millions, but that doesn't mean she's forgotten the money-saving lessons learned from her mother. In an interview with Woman's Day magazine, she said, "Matt Lauer used to tell me that when I opened my wallet, moths flew out. That's funny but not 100% true. The joke implies I'm cheap, but really I'm just frugal." Couric regularly packed a brown bag lunch for work and said much of the fancy clothing or jewelry she wore was borrowed. But she is generous and has no qualms giving money to charity or spending it on friends and family.

Tyra Banks
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Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks is well-known for her frugal ways, an attribute she says comes from being raised by a money-wise single mother. Banks has been known to bring home the soap after staying at a hotel and save so much money that her accountants told her to spend more. With a net worth of over $90 million, she probably can.

Halle Berry
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Halle Berry

More concerned with having a comfortable life in the long run than an ultra-luxurious one now, Halle Berry keeps a tight hold on her finances. Berry, worth an estimated $90 million, told the Daily Record that she is "not someone who has to have 10 cars and lots of diamonds. I'm pretty frugal. I save a lot because I'm always worried about when this trip is going to stop."

Keanu Reeves
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Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves seems to care more about his film crews than his personal fortune, which is worth an estimated $380 million. He reportedly gave away $75 million from his cut of the "Matrix" sequels to the special effects team and behind-the-scenes talent. And an unconfirmed source says Reeves gave one of the set builders a $20,000 Christmas bonus when he found out the man's family was having financial trouble. When filming "The Devil's Advocate" and "The Replacements," he also took a big pay cut (90% for the latter) so the producers could afford to bring on Al Pacino and Gene Hackman, respectively.

David Grohl
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Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl has earned fame and fortune as the drummer for Nirvana and front man for the Foo Fighters. He's reportedly worth more than $320 million. But without a high school diploma to fall back on, he's made a habit of being cautious with his finances.

Britney Spears
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Britney Spears

This pop singer was only recently released from a financial conservatorship that meant her spending was revealed in court documents when she wanted out. TMZ trawled them and found that while Spears paid $3,400 on Christmas lights while earning nearly $14 million one year, she was also an avid dollar-store shopper. The gossip rag found a receipt for $11.92 from a Pay 99 Cents Or Less store.

Tobey Maguire
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Tobey Maguire

The Spider-Man actor keeps a close watch on his finances. While he's made a few lavish purchases, he prefers to dress casually and save his money. His frugal outlook allows him to live comfortably without feeling any pressure to grind out movies just for a paycheck. In a Parade magazine interview he said, "You know those Lotto winners who win big and then blow all the money? That would never happen to me."

Zooey Deschanel
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Zooey Deschanel

In "New Girl," Jess' salary as a school teacher didn't provide much spending money. Zooey Deschanel made plenty in real life ($125,000 for each episode) but she sticks to a modest budget despite an estimated net worth of $25 million. As she told InStyle magazine, "Style isn't when you buy yourself the most expensive things. It's being creative and able to put together what you've collected."

T. Boone Pickens
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T. Boone Pickens

T. Boone Pickens was a businessman, a public voice on energy policy, and one of the richest people on earth until his death in 2019. In spite of his wealth (more than $1 billion), in 2011 he told Politico that he wore the same pair of loafers he bought more than 50 years ago. He said he wasn't a coupon clipper, but instead bought the best and made it last.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
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Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinz Jr.

For actress and entrepreneur Sarah Michelle Gellar, eating right means going to Whole Foods with her husband, Freddie Prinz Jr., where they ask which fish is on sale, even though they have a combined net worth of $60 million. "On sale doesn't mean it's bad! It probably just means it's overcaught," she once told Self. The actor known for her "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" role also launched a line of baking mixes called Foodstirs with a couple of friends.

Carlos Slim Helu
Carlos Slim Helu by Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México (CC BY)

Carlos Slim Helu

A Mexican businessman and multibillionaire, Carlos Slim was the world's richest man from 2010 to 2013; he's since dropped to No. 12. He has lived in the same house for more than 40 years (despite buying a New York City mansion for $44 million in 2010). He also drives himself to work, forgoes luxuries such as yachts and private planes, and buys modest clothing.

Vincent Kartheiser
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Vincent Kartheiser

Best known for his role in "Mad Men," Kartheiser continued to take public transportation and live in a 580-square-foot apartment in Los Angeles long after he was rich and famous. He did use some of his wealth (now estimated at $6 million with wife and fellow actor Alexis Bledel) to redecorate the place, though; it originally had no toilet.

Shailene Woodley
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Shailene Woodley

While on publicity tours for "Divergent" and, later, "The Fault in Our Stars," star Shailene Woodley said it was hard to dress for the flurry of photo shoots because she owned three T-shirts and three pairs of jeans — everything she owned fit into a single bag, because she gave her house to her grandmother, choosing to stay on friends' couches instead. Woodley has an estimated net worth of $12 million.