Celebrities from actors on the small and big screen, to rock stars who play on a nightly basis have been typically noted as living glamorous and luxurious lifestyles. Once they hit it big, oftentimes they do not look back at their previous mid-income lifestyles. This is where many celebrities find themselves in trouble, when they overspend their fortune that results in a massive line of debt. Keira Knightley, the English actress most known for her part in the Pirates of the Caribbean films is an exception to this rule, as year after year, she excludes herself from living the extravagant lifestyle of her contemporaries. Instead, she gives herself a small maximum limit of what she spends annually, not unlike an allowance.
Knightley, 29, who is set to be featured in five films released this year, is unique compared to what many consider the typical celebrity, i.e. spending their salaries gratuitously. Recently Knightley has revealed to Glamour Magazine that she sets a limit of $50,000 a year for herself, a mere fraction of what she typically makes on a Hollywood production. Reason being is that unlike the prestigious luxury that is commonplace among celebrities, she feels that by overspending she will alienate herself from the rest of the world, particularly friends that she has maintained since childhood.
The actress furthermore believes that by living such a luxurious lifestyle that she would not be able to spend her free time with those who are not under the same blanket of financial flexibility that she has. She also stated, “Some of my best, most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places.” As such, Knightley appears to be a rare thing in Hollywood. She prefers the simplicity of life opposed to a self-indulgent lifestyle.
Additionally, Knightley’s lack of spending allows her to not be at risk as so many celebrities have been over the years. Having a rumored net worth of $50 million, she very well could fall into the pitfalls that so many do such as bankruptcy, prison time, and drugs to name a few. What is remarkable about her patience in not spending a fortune is that she is relatively young; thus, she has figured out that by not spending now, she allows herself to have financial flexibility in the future if needed.
This is unlike her peers such as Nicolas Cage who is known for his obscene spending habits in which he has blown over $100 million in salaries to the point of bankruptcy. This includes the actor owing the IRS $13 million this past tax season. Unlike Knightley, his spending has become a disease. He enjoys a lavish lifestyle, where he can, at least in his mind, spend freely. As mind-boggling as it is, he owns 15 personal homes including an $8 million castle in England and upwards of $17.5 million in his home base of Bel Air.
Cage is not the only one to fall victim of his own greed as a celebrity. Many know of 1990s rap icon M.C. Hammer, who had an approximate $33 million net worth, but after spending partaking in a luxurious lifestyle and enlisting a large staff, he fell to bankruptcy in 1996, which ultimately destroyed his career. Elsewhere, famous R & B singer Toni Braxton has filed twice for bankruptcy, once in 2010 and the latest in 2013. Regardless of falling to bankruptcy a second time, she did not learn her lesson as she purchased a $3 million home months after, which may very well put her in debt once again.
In today’s modern world of the celebrity, many from all industries have the stereotype of being large spenders, oftentimes resulting in massive debt. Instead of joining them, Keira Knightley stands out from the pack. She could be another celebrity who takes advantage of her fortune, but instead she elects to be financially conscious, while knowing she does not need a luxurious lifestyle to be happy.
By Simon Mounsey