Keira Knightley Gets By on Salary That Would Make Most Actresses Laugh

keira knightlyOscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley, presumably one of the highest paid stars under 30, revealed in the July issue of Glamour magazine that she gets by on a piddly $50,000 per year salary. This shocking news comes during the media blitz for her upcoming summer musical romance Begin Again, which also stars Mark Ruffalo. It's certainly strange considering the UK's Sunday Times Rich List says her net worth is estimated to be a whopping $50 million. So what the heck happened?


Much like Jay Leno -- who is famously rumored to have never spent a dime of his Tonight Show salary and spent only the money earned on his stand-up comedy performances -- Knightley chooses to draw this meager amount because she wants to stay in touch with reality and thinks the most fun things in life aren't expensive.

In a new Glamour interview, she said, "I think living an expensive lifestyle means you can't hang out with people who don't live that lifestyle ... It alienates you. Some of my best most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places."

So how does she do it while still seeming so fab? I've done the research and have a few ideas. Warning: Don't think you'll transform your life with her budgeting tricks -- most of these ideas only work if you are a beautiful highly paid actress. 

How a BIG star gets by on only $50,000 a year:

1. Her rock star husband

James Righton and Knightley got hitched in 2013. According to an annual list put out by People With Money, Righton is "the highest-paid musician in the world, pulling in an astonishing $75 million between May 2013 and May 2014, a nearly $40 million lead over his closest competition." So he probably at least takes her to the movies now and again, right?

2. She doesn't eat much

We are not calling her anorexic. In fact one tabloid did just that and got in big trouble. In 2007, Knightley won a libel case against the Daily Mail after they published a photo of Knightley and suggested the actress was somehow responsible for a teenager's death. But there's no doubt that Knightley probably doesn't pack away a lot of calories on a dinner date.

3. Chanel gig nets her outfits

Knightley did get props for wearing what became her wedding dress on at least two other occasions. But the actress reportedly had the white dress designed just for her by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. And Chanel is the designer she has been the face of since 2006. Bottom line: Girlfriend isn't paying retail. In fact, she's probably not paying anything.

4. Swag bags!

As a frequent attendee of awards ceremonies, Knightley gets showered with swag bags. The conferences you go to probably contain magazines, buttons, maybe a water bottle with a logo on it if you're lucky. But big-time events carry bags with big-ticket items. The BAFTA awards give nominees almost $5,000 in things like makeup, champagne, and fancy iPhone cases. And CNN Money reported that the 2014 swag bag for Oscar-nominees included more than $80,000 worth of stuff, including a home spa system and $27,000 in trips for world travel. There's no doubt a stuffed bag o' swag can help you pop the bubbly while sticking to your self-imposed budget.

5. She ups her allowance as needed

Unlike someone who earns only $50K and needs to stick to a budget, her allowance is flexible. In the Glamour interview, Knightley says, "I mean, if I want or need something that goes over that (her yearly allowance), I get it." Sure the rest of us might do that too, but we'd come away with spiraling credit card debt.

Do you think Keira really only lives on $50,000?


Written for The Stir by Susie Felber who will happily accept any swag bag

Image via Glamour

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