20 Wild Purchases That Celebrities Splurged On After Their First Big Paychecks

20 Wild Purchases That Celebrities Splurged On After Their First Big Paychecks

What would you do if you suddenly got a million dollars? Maybe you would spend it all at once on a private jet, or maybe you’d save it for a rainy day. Either way, this question is just a fantasy for most of us, though it becomes a very real issue for stars who land their big breaks.

These stars all spent their first paychecks in fascinating ways. Some covered the bare necessities, while others adopted the lifestyle of the rich and famous overnight, complete with caviar and umbrella carriers. Which ones would you most like to go shopping with?

1. Johnny Depp: It’s no surprise that Jack Sparrow knows how to spend his treasure wisely. When Depp hit it big on 21 Jump Street, he played the dutiful son and bought his mom a horse farm in Kentucky!

2. Shaquille O’Neal: After signing his first contract in 1992, Shaq blew through $1 million in a couple hours. All it took was buying cars for his entire family, paying off his parents’ debt, and stocking up on lots of jewelry.

3. Rupert Grint:  While shooting the first Harry Potter film, Rupert promised himself he’d buy an ice cream truck. He made good on those plans and even brought it on set on the series’ final day of filming.

4. Brie Larson: Though we know her today as an award-winning actress, Brie Larson started her career as a hopeful pop singer. She’s got legitimate musical chops, which is why she spent her first real payday on an electric guitar.

5. Kerry Washington: Just like the rest of us, Kerry can’t live without her electronic devices. At first, she hid her entire salary from Save the Last Dance under her mattress, but she later went out and bought herself a nice laptop.

6. Nicole Kidman: Who says movie stars aren’t practical? Nicole didn’t get blinded by the lights when she hit the big-time. Instead, she sensibly put her wages toward a new washing machine. By the looks of it, she invested in a new hairdo as well!

7. Jennifer Lopez: Back in the early 1990s, J-Lo’s boyfriend gifted her a Honda, but she couldn’t bear to keep the car after they split up. Fortunately, she landed a regular role on In Living Color and used her first paycheck to purchase a Mercedes.

8. Brad Pitt: Quite a few struggling actors have to sleep on air mattresses. Maybe that’s why Brad Pitt used his first movie paycheck to upgrade his apartment furnishings. He got a Craftsman chair, a stereo, and a “Frank Lloyd Wright-wannabe lamp.”


9. Serena Williams: A true champion Like Serena knows not to waste all your energy — or money — in the opening round. When she collected her first tennis winnings, she put them straight in the bank. Her only error was trying to deposit her seven-figure check in the drive-through window!


10. Selena Gomez: In order for Selena to accept roles on Barney and Friends and The Disney channel, her entire family had to move from Texas to Los Angeles. That’s why her first wages went entirely toward covering their rent. 

11. Tiffany Haddish: It turns out that Tiffany’s got a big appetite. Her first showbiz check only amounted to $120, but she still was over the moon. Feeling as giddy as a little kid, she spent the entire thing on candy!

12. Matt LeBlanc: Before the actor received his first Friends check, Matt had only $11 in the bank. In a move that would make Joey Tribbiani proud, he simply decided to sit down to a nice hot meal. 

13. Courteney Cox: However, not all Friends stars made such simple purchases. Right after the pilot aired, Courtney bought a new car. We can only assume she blasted “Dancing in the Dark” on the stereo as she drove home.


14. Dave Grohl: When Nirvana had their breakout with Nevermind, Dave Grohl had his mind on drumsticks — of both the musical and meat variety. He bought a house in North Carolina, where he spent a few years eating nothing but barbecue.

15. Kelly Rowland: When Destiny’s Child hit it big, Kelly wasn’t too worried about “Bills, Bills, Bills.” Instead, she went to the grocery store and splurged on fancy food that her family couldn’t afford when she was younger. She hosted a bunch of friends that night for an extravagant feast.


16. Rami Malek: The Bohemian Rhapsody star always looks quite alert, probably because he absolutely loves coffee. Once his first payment from Mr. Robot arrived, Rami treated himself to an espresso machine. Hopefully, he’s gotten some sleep since then!

17. Chris Rock: Taking a page out of his pal Jerry Seinfeld’s book, Chris splurged on a sports car. While he adored his new Corvette, he didn’t realize he also had to pay taxes on the vehicle. The purchase put him in debt, but he paid it off before too long.

18. Ariel Winter: This Modern Family star managed to legally emancipate herself from her parents as a teenager. As a result, she had full access to all her earnings. Ariel made good use of her first payday, filling up her closet with all kinds of shoes.

19. Colin Kaepernick: During his 2011 rookie season, Kaepernick realized he didn’t want to blow his entire paycheck on himself. Instead, he gave away the lion’s share to Camp Taylor, a charity that aids children with heart disease.

20. America Ferrera: Before she owned a car, America had to make her way to auditions by catching a string of buses or just walking. Once her first paycheck finally came in, she sprung for a used Mitsubishi, which finally allowed her to get around L.A.