Anthony Bourdain gets candid about financial struggles due to drugs and lavish vacations

Anthony Bourdain is one of the wealthiest chefs in the world with an estimated $6 million fortune, but that wasn't always the case.

The celebrity chef got candid in a recent interview with Wealth Simple magazine about his financial struggles, which he attributes to his lavish spending before the publication of his best-selling book, "Kitchen Confidential," in 2000.

"I don't want to sound like I'm bragging about this, but the sad fact is, until 44 years of age, I never had any kind of savings account," Bourdain revealed. "I'd always been under the gun. I'd always owed money. I'd always been selfish and completely irresponsible."

Anthony, now 60, survived for many years off money he made being a no-name chef and by playing poker. As soon has he got his check, however, he'd spend it on drugs.

"Weed was a major expense. Before I reached the point where weed made me paranoid and agoraphobic, it was costing me a few hundred dollars a week," the star recalled.

He also spent money he didn't have, using credit cards, for vacations to exotic locations.

"Going to the Caribbean was always the great indulgence," he detailed. "I'd find myself either with a fresh credit card, or maybe having somehow paid down the previous one though I don't remember actually ever doing that."

Usually, he'd quit his job and stay on the island until he maxed out whatever credit card he had at the time.

Anthony grew up in a middle-class family in New Jersey that had just enough money to get by. However, he attended an elite private school and was the poorest one out of his friends. He became motivated to make his own money because his friends could afford drugs and he couldn't:

"That was certainly a motivator, maybe a bad one, but a not unimportant one: my friends could afford drugs, I could not. They would share but, of course, the thing about cocaine is that you can never have enough."

He started by working as a bike messenger. After graduating high school, he went to college but dropped during his second year because he couldn't afford it.

Anthony then began his relationship with food by attending culinary school. As years went on, he earned money through books like "Bone in the Throat" and "Gone Bamboo," but that still wasn't enough.

When "Kitchen Confidential" published in 2000, Bourdain was struggling to make ends meet -- he was "seriously behind on rent," hadn't filed taxes in a decade and it had been years since he'd "communicated with American Express in a timely manner."

After the success of his book, he was able to become a celebrity chef full time. His struggles showed him a thing or two about being smart with your money. Now, he can't stand the idea of being in anyone's debt.

"Since that time, I am fanatical about not owing anybody any money. I hate it. I don't want to carry a balance, ever. I have a mortgage, but I despise the idea."

The culinary connoisseur has risen through the ranks to become one of the most famous chefs in the world. He was even labeled as the "culinary bad boy" by Gothamist.

He's broken bread with former president, Barack Obama, starred on several TV shows and traveled the world (without maxing out his credit card, we might add). He currently hosts a show titled "Anthony Bourdain: Parks Unknown," which airs on CNN.