Follow the Financial Lead of These 3 Money-Savvy Actresses
There are some stars who have excellent financial track records, and you don't have to have a celebrity-sized paycheck to follow their lead. From saving money to making smart investments, these actresses are great role models for financial advice that anyone can use. Here's how they do it.
Keira Knightley: Extravagance in Check
You might never know it from looking at her splashy outfits in lush movies like "Anna Karenina," but Keira Knightley is one actress who knows how to watch her pennies.
Last year, her company, Kck Boo Limited, brought in over $2 million through commercial deals and film fees. Knightley, however, only paid herself about $45,000, more than half of which came from her company's dividends.
Perhaps even crazier is the fact that Knightley managed to live a celebrity life within those means. The actress's largest expense through Kck Boo was approximately $63,000 spent on security. Yet she spent just $6,240 on travel -- pretty reasonable considering constant jet-setting comes with the territory for an acting career.
That understated approach to the trappings of celebrity extended to Knightley's wedding last month. Whereas other celebrities may have shelled out big bucks for a dress and an extravagant wedding, Knightley invited only 11 guests to the wedding and 50 to the reception, and wore a simple (and super-elegant) strapless sundress to the ceremony. Her frugality means she and her new husband will begin their life together without the burden of huge wedding bills that hangs over the heads of so many newlyweds.
Zooey Deschanel: Keeping Credit Card Bills in Check
Actress, singer, and star of the Fox hit "New Girl," Zooey Deschanel has her head screwed on straight when it comes to money.
The star's financial information became public following her divorce from indie rock star Ben Gibbard in 2011, but Deschanel came out smelling like a rose with an impressive $0 in credit card debt.
Additionally, Deschanel has put a healthy chunk of her money into assets that should reap her major returns in the long term. As of 2011, she had more than $1.6 million in stocks and similar investments. If she continues to add to that annually and hold it in smart investments, she'll likely end up with a far fatter pile of cash a couple of decades from now. Her financials also also showed Deschanel's heart is in the right place -- the actress donates $1,500 to charities each month.
Jennifer Aniston: Playing the Real Estate Market and Coming Out Ahead
Rachel on "Friends" may not have been all that wise about her finances, but the same cannot be said for Jennifer Aniston. The star has made a fairly impressive splash in the real estate market, turning her personal struggles into profit as a result.
In 2011, Aniston made a tidy profit selling the house in Beverly Hills she had purchased immediately after divorcing Brad Pitt. She spent $13.5 million when she bought "Ohana" (Hawaiian for "extended family") in 2006. Upon its sale, the property was worth approximately $36 million. That's a $22.5 million profit, which is far from chump change even in Beverly Hills.
Whether you're living on a mega-star budget or a more modest one, it usually pays to put a little TLC into your major assets -- your house, car, or what have you. You never know how profitable that extra care could become when it comes time to sell.
Manage Your Money Like a Starlet
These ladies have built impressive resumes -- and are reaping the financial rewards of their hard work. While the rest of us may not be buying and fixing up multimillion-dollar mansions, we can certainly apply these stars' examples of fiscal responsibility to our own lives.
One important lesson is that it's important to set your own spending priorities -- whether it's investing for the future (like Deschanel), personal security (Knightly) or restoring architectural gems (Aniston).
For the rest of us, those priorities could be building up a financial safety net via an emergency cash stash; saving up enough money to pay cash for a family vacation or a child's first two years of college; or donating more time or money to a favorite charity.
Once you choose your most essential expenditures, set a smaller budget for the things that are lower on the priority list. And every time you get a raise or a small windfall of cash, stash it away and continue to live on the budget you've grown accustomed to.
As each of these ladies has proven, even if you're a celebrity, you don't have to spend like one.