‘New Girl’ Zooey Dechanel Is No Stranger to Managing a Massive Bank Account

Do you catch every episode of New Girl? Check out the latest posts on HelloGiggles.com? I sure do. Anyone who knows me well is all too aware of the super-serious obsession I have with Zooey Deschanel. And what’s not to love? This girl not only has the best bangs in Hollywood, but top-notch budgeting and savings skills, too.

Ever since landing the roll of Jess on New Girl, Deschanel has been elevated from little-known indie film actress and musician to sitcom star. Her paycheck has grown considerably as well, and the whole world now has intimate knowledge of her finances thanks to her lawyer. Following the divorce of her husband, Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard, in December 2010, Deschanel’s lawyer released the divorce paperwork, including her personal income and expense declaration, showing that she earned close to $100,000 a month at the time.

Even so, despite the big bucks (which are likely much bigger now that New Girl has been contracted for a third season), the documents also show that Deschanel manages her money very wisely, a rare quality among 33-year-old actresses pulling in six figures a month.

Zooey Deschanel Net Worth and Budget

According to aptly named celebritynetworth.com, Zooey Deschanel’s net worth stands at $7 million. She’s not the richest person in Hollywood by any means, but I think we can all agree she’s a bit better off than the rest of us.

And that’s what I love most about Zooey Deschanel: Even though her paycheck says “big-time actress,” her budget shows she’s down-to-Earth and financially-savvy, lacking the major diva qualities so ubiquitous among Hollywood’s elite young women.

zooey dechanel net worthSource: TMZ.com

These numbers may seem extreme to the average person, but when you examine exactly where her money goes each month, it’s obvious Deschanel has a pretty frugal head on her shoulders. For instance, her $2,000 per month clothing budget means there’s certainly no shortage of high-waisted shorts in her wardrobe, but the number isn’t even close to outrageous considering she allocates just two percent of her budget to shopping. Can you claim the same? I most certainly cannot.

Even more impressive than Deschanel’s modest spending is her focus on saving. As of last year, her bank accounts alone totaled more than $1.5 million, while investments neared $1.7 million. Then, of course, she donates to charity often enough to require a line item for charitable giving in her budget. Can she do any wrong?

How to Save Money Like Zooey Deschanel

You’re likely thinking, Sure, I could be “frugal” too if I raked in $100k a month. Fair enough. Deschanel definitely has it easier than the rest of us in terms of income. However, there are a few lessons here you can learn and apply to your own finances, regardless of the size of your paycheck.

Here’s how to save money, Zooey-style:

  • Track everything: Have you ever gone on a successful diet without writing down what you ate every day? I doubt it. If you want to change your current habits, you have to know exactly what they are first. I’m not a big advocate of traditional budgeting, but I do recommend keeping tabs on your income and spending to keep everything in check, and Deschanel obviously keeps pretty tight records on her money.
  • Don’t spend it if you don’t have it: Relying on credit can turn into a vicious cycle that prevents you from ever making progress in your savings goals. Deschanel pays her credit card bills in full every month, and boasts zero credit card debt. Do the same and you’ll never lose wealth to interest charges.
  • Invest: While she has a major money in the bank, Deschanel also contributes an equal amount to investments that will generate a bigger return than a saving account ever could. Saving money is important, but you’ll never see big numbers unless to take on a bit of market risk.

Whether you can’t get enough of Zooey Deschanel’s quirky style, or can’t stand the whole saccharine, I-love-kittens-and-rainbows act, there’s no denying Deschanel breaks the mold of Hollywood starlet when it comes to money management. Hopefully, more actresses will follow her lead and set positive examples for viewers — even if it means going through a painfully public divorce to do it.

Photo: Genevieve via Wikimedia Commons