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10 A-List Celebs Who Live Like Normal People

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / DFree / Shutterstock
Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey

When most people think of famous A-list celebrities, we usually think these superstars live a life of luxury all of the time — likely because many of them make large sums of money from starring in blockbuster films, appearing in endorsements, and starting other —usually highly successful — business endeavors.

We tend to think that celebrities love spending their free time blowing their money on expensive cars, luxury homes, and flashy jewelry. 

However, there are some A-list stars who tend to keep it pretty low-key with their spending habits, choosing to live a more simplistic lifestyle. They don't spend their entire paychecks on flashy, materialistic items, instead opting to use their finances in a more productive or logical way — something most of us non-famous people can relate to.

Here are 10 A-list celebrities who live like normal people.

1. Jay Leno

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Leno is regarded as one of the most famous late-night talk show hosts and has built quite the nest egg over his 30-year career.

As of 2021, Leno's net worth is estimated to be around $450 million, according to Hot Cars, with an annual salary of $15 million.

However, since retiring from 'The Tonight Show,' Leno allegedly put most of his money on the show into a savings account and chooses to live off of the money he's made through his stand-up career.

Leno has reportedly "never spent a dime" of his late-show money, according to a Parade article written by Leno himself. "I live on the money I make as a comedian, and I put all the TV money in the bank. I’ve never spent a dime of TV money — ever."

Being conservative with his fortune seems to be a common factor throughout his life. When speaking with Los Angeles Times, Leno went on to explain the very unromantic-yet-completely-practical reason he and his now-wife married.

They wed with a small ceremony and only a few friends in attendance in 1980, shortly after meeting 4 years prior, but Leno had never believed in marriage beforehand — instead, he decided to marry Mavis to make sure she could be on his insurance policy (in case something happened to him). It wasn't until 10 years later that they even bought her engagement ring, as they prioritized buying their house first.

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2. Kristen Bell

Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Bell has had a rather steady career throughout her time as an actress, and reportedly has a net worth of $40 million, according to Parade. However, if the actress has an opportunity to avoid spending money, she'll take it.

During an interview with late-night host Conan O'Brien, Bell revealed she is a major fan of coupons. "I use a lot of coupons," Bell shared. "The best coupon you can get, possibly in the world, is the Bed Bath & Beyond coupon.”

Bell also joked that she may have even gone to the extreme level of stealing some coupons from her neighbors.

She's well known as one of the most down-to-earth celebrities too — famously breaking down in tears over meeting a sloth on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, wearing matching pajamas with her equally-famous husband, Dax Shepard for Halloween, and always (always) carrying purse snacks wherever she goes

And — just like us — Bell has had her share of experience with anxiety and depression, opening up to TODAY about her struggles with modern-day social media pressures and raising her children in view of the public eye.

3. Sarah Jessica Parker

Photo: Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Unlike her character in 'Sex and the City,' Sarah Jessica Parker isn't spending over $700 on a pair of designer heels. With a net worth estimated to be around $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Parker shared that she doesn't use money as freely as Carrie Bradshaw does.

In an interview with The Edit, according to Vanity Fair, Parker revealed that she dressed her son, James Wilkie, in hand-me-down clothing throughout his younger years. Most of the clothes came from Parker's "older nephews" as well as clothes her mother saved of Parker's brother's growing up.

It meant she had no real reason to buy her son new clothes, even saying that she didn't think she'd "ever bought him any clothes."

Her recent move back to New York City has brought her even closer to what we'd consider a "normal" life, too. In an interview with Town & Country, Parker explained "I’m forced to be on the streets and bump into people and connect with humanity," and stressed that especially now — after the pandemic — it's more important than ever to support the local small businesses in NYC. 

"I feel that they owe it to the city to reinvest, to come home to make a city that is now unfamiliar familiar again. Your favorite deli and restaurant—those businesses can’t wait for you."

4. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Photo: Liam Goodner / Shutterstock

Despite Gellar being a well-renowned actress, most known for her role as Buffy in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' Gellar isn't that much of a big spender.

With a net worth of $30 million, according to The Things, most people would assume Gellar lives an above-average lifestyle. However, the actress isn't ashamed of using as many coupons as she can find in order to save money.

According to Self, Gellar frequently uses coupons and even regularly buys fish at Whole Foods when it is on sale. "I use coupons all the time. Why should you pay more for something that someone else is paying less for?" Gellar told Self.

Gellar has always been conservative with her money — in an interview with CNBC Make It, she explained that instead of spending her first big Buffy paycheck, she knew she needed to put it away for safekeeping. "You heard all those stories about actors that make money and people run off with it. And I remember thinking, ‘If I ever had money like that, I would know where it was at all times.’”

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5. Matthew McConaughey

Photo: Joe Seer / Shutterstock

McConaughey has definitely had a boisterous career, starring in many blockbuster films, including 'Dallas Buyers Club,' and 'Interstellar.'

With a net worth of $140 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, it is almost shocking that the actor likes to keep things minimal. McConaughey chooses to reside in Austin, Texas, so he can be closer to his family, telling ABC News, "It just feel at home there. A mile feels like a mile, 60 minutes feels like an hour and a day feels like 24 hours. A relationship with time is important to me."

McConaughey also owns a trailer in Malibu, but it's not quite a decked-out living space like many people would think. In an interview with Architectural Digest, McConaughey explained, "If it looks good but it's not functional, then it's not worth anything."

The 52-year-old actor also shared to The Guardian in 2017 that he prefers to keep things simple. "It's as stripped down as it gets. I live in my trailer. I wake up and I've got a pair of pajamas and one pair of pants. I have a singular focus."

6. Jennifer Lawrence

Photo: alberta seddon / Shutterstock

The Oscar-winning actress likes to keep things pretty minimal when it comes to her lifestyle choices.

Lawrence reportedly has a net worth of $160 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but chooses to save as much of it as she can.

Lawrence allegedly doesn't have any personal assistants, likes to do her own shopping, and lived in the same apartment she had before getting famous.

According to Go Banking Rates, Lawrence drove a Chevy Volt and is always looking for deals. “I still look for bargains when I go to the market,” Lawrence said. “What I am doing now is allowing someone to park my car, but for that, I have to pay four bucks.”

In an interview with Fabulous magazine, Lawrence opened up about how her values of money stem from how she was raised. "I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it."

7. Elijah Wood

Photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

The 'Lord of the Rings' star is reportedly around $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which is definitely enough to buy a pretty swanky mansion.

However, in 2013, the actor purchased a somewhat modest home in Austin, Texas, according to The Delite, at least at the standard of A-list celebrities.

Wood apparently also rides a scooter around town instead of a standard car, or — like many celebs — hiring a driver, according to Time. The actor has also been spotted around Whole Foods and other local areas in Austin.

In an interview with The Guardian, Wood shared that one of the most important life lessons for him is humility and that one of the most expensive things that he's bought for himself was "audio equipment for home listening."

“I was always taking care of other people, thinking about their feelings and not my own,” Wood told Evening Standard. 

8. Meryl Streep

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

While Streep is probably regarded as one of the biggest actresses of her generation, with a net worth estimated to be about $160 million, according to The Sun, she doesn't really spend very much.

According to New England Today, Streep has lived in Salisbury, Connecticut for many years. It's not a town booming with A-list celebrities and is known as a sleepy town, boasting a population of fewer than 4,000 people.

In 2011, after starring in the film 'The Iron Lady,' in which Streep won an Academy Award for Best Actress, she chose to do something special with the salary she'd earned while filming the movie.

In an interview on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' Streep said, "I made a million dollars but I gave it away. I gave it to the National Women's History Museum that we're trying to raise money for to build on the mall in Washington because we think that women's history needs to be told."

Streep has also been rather candid about the aging process, choosing to embrace it instead of run from it. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Streep shared, "It's not just women. You'd be amazed at how many men in this industry have gone down that road. I just don't get it. You have to embrace getting older. Life is precious, and when you've lost a lot of people, you realize each day is a gift." 

9. Keanu Reeves

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

The 'Matrix' actor is known as an extremely charitable celebrity, who chooses to use his money to help others.

One such time was when Reeves took a massive pay-cut to allow Al Pacino to star in 'The Devil's Advocate, according to Ranker.

Reeves also routinely donates millions to different charities and is also known for occasionally riding the New York City subway, which was documented in a video taken by a fan, even giving his seat up for other riders.

In a 2007 interview with Esquire, Reeves admitted he's just a normal guy, saying, "I'm just a normal guy, man," he said, though he admitted that being known as a "good guy" is "a nice thing to be known for."

There had been even a time when Reeves had waited patiently outside in the rain for 20 minutes outside the wrap party for his own film, 'Daughter of God,' after a mix-up just because he didn't want to cause a scene, according to the Daily Mail.

There's even an entire Reddit thread in which people share their stories about Reeves, and although this is unconfirmed, allegedly Reeves once drove a girl 50 miles out of his way because her car broke down.

In the Reddit post, the user's friend had been stranded on the side of the road because their car had broken down, when a Porsche suddenly pulls up, and it so happens to be Keanu Reeves.

"He tried to help her jump-start the car and when it didn’t work, he called AAA for her," the redditor wrote.

"When they towed her car, he offered her to drive her home, which she accepted. He drove about 50 miles out of his destination just to drive her home. She told me she hoped he would hit on her but he didn’t, he was just a gentleman, dropped her at her house, gave her his phone number and told her to call him if she needed further help."

10. Julia Roberts

Photo: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

Being an Oscar-winning actress doesn't mean Roberts is inclined to spend her money whenever she pleases.

With a net worth estimated to be around $250 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Roberts chooses to keep things simple.

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, the actress revealed she doesn't have a cook or a butler, instead preferring to do things herself around her home.

"I think people confuse the idea of having this fantastical job with somehow being a fantastical individual," Roberts said. "Like, 'How could you possibly make breakfast?' Well, hunger is a good motivator!"

Roberts went on to say, "If I wasn't here today, I'd be in the carpool lane ferrying my kids to school."

According to E! News, Roberts lives in Malibu and not Hollywood, and is often photographed in public wearing casual clothes while walking her dogs or hanging out on the sidelines watching her kids' soccer games.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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