Fame and fortune often make us think of the usual celebrity artifice that goes hand in hand with any big name in Hollywood: An endless cash flow, million-dollar bank accounts, extravagance, excess, prime real estate, luxury cars and maybe a little bankruptcy thrown in for good measure.
Not every star and starlet out there lives up (or down, however you look at it) to this stereotype. In fact, many well-known A-listers are actually some of the most financially responsible people … even more so than noncelebrities. One star who’s continually pointed to as a perfect example of this is Jennifer Lawrence. Though the “Hunger Games” trilogy and “Silver Linings Playbook” star’s financial wealth is climbing, she’s known for staying frugal.
At just 23 years old, Lawrence has been thrifty and realistic right from the start, making her a good role model for young people who haven’t developed good money habits yet.
Jennifer Lawrence: Oscar Winner and Frugal, Too
“J. Law” was born into a middle-class family in Louisville, Ky., in 1990. She credits her mother, a camp counselor, and her father, a former construction firm owner, for instilling in her good financial values from the start.
“I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it,” Lawrence told the U.K. magazine Fabulous last year. “My family is not the kind of family that would ever let me turn into an a**hole or anything like that, so I am fortunate to have them.”
What kinds of frugal banking habits does Lawrence practice? For one, she still lives in the same three-bedroom Los Angeles apartment she moved into several years ago, and hasn’t rushed out to buy a house yet.
Lawrence has no personal assistants to do her shopping and she won’t be found frequenting any uber-high-scale stores, preferring to clip coupons like the rest of us.
She’s also cautious to use valet parking, but she compensates by driving an economical car. Lawrence still has the same Volkswagen she’s owned for years now — unlike other rich stars, she hasn’t run out to buy a Bentley or Bugatti. Since her Best Actress win for “Silver Linings Playbook,” she has been spotted in a new Chevy Volt, but at a $39,000 price tag, it’s 10 times cheaper than what most other celebrities get behind the wheel of.
“I still look for bargains when I go to the market,” Lawrence said in another interview. “What I am doing now is allowing someone to park my car but for that I have to pay four bucks.”
Lawrence also said that she can’t envision spending lots of money on frivolous purchases — think $6 for a Snickers bar. Frugality is so ingrained in her lifestyle, she apologetically admitted that a $500 order of Gummy Bears while hanging out with Lenny Kravitz was, in fact, an accidental purchase.
Top of the A-List
Her thrifty lifestyle is impressive for anyone, but it’s made more remarkable for the fact that Jennifer Lawrence’s net worth is in the tens of millions of dollars. The actress’ net worth is estimated to be $34 million according to Forbes, and will likely climb with the success of the two last “Hunger Game” installments.
For Jennifer Lawrence, salary growth has happened at a meteoric pace since her film career started blossoming in 2010. She was only paid a scale rate for her role in 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.” Because she received an Oscar nomination for that film, many people criticized Lawrence’s modest $500,000 pay for the first “Hunger Games” installment in 2012, considering how the movie grossed more than $691 million.
“Seeing as the movie has surely beaten any and all goals … we expect Lawrence should be receiving her payout,” said Kirsten Acuna of Business Insider upon the film’s release.
According to publication Screen Rant and other sources, Lawrence will be getting her due, after her Best Actress win and past “X-Men” success. For the “Hunger Games'” sequel, “Catching Fire”, she earned $10 million, plus bonuses and escalators, placing her on the fast track to becoming the world’s highest-paid actresses.
A Silver-Lined Financial Future
Combined with her smart financial choices, Lawrence is one of Hollywood’s rare figures, commanding high earnings through pure talent — and using them to good measure. The actress isn’t an older star who learned financial management after years of money problems. She’s also not a ticking time bomb like the Lindsey Lohans of the world. She’s someone who can afford the best, but chooses to spend only enough to get by.
Lawrence is a member of a new generation of financially literate celebrities (like Zooey Deschanel) who are smart with the money choices they make. Anyone young or old can take several cues from her on striking a good balance between earning and spending — proof that not all million-dollar celebrities are wasteful with their money.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore