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Why Tyra Banks Is Worth So Much But Spends So Little

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American supermodel, author, entrepreneur, and creator of “America’s Next Top Model” Tyra Banks is ridiculously wealthy. Her seven-figure bank balance is unfathomable for most of us. She may be a full-fledged member in the elite club of gilded glitterati that dominates our tabloids, attend extravagant parties and have zero financial worries.

But Tyra’s lifestyle is incredibly frugal, despite being worth an estimated $90 million. She is known to be immensely intelligent, with a grand repertoire of achievements (including a degree from Harvard Business School). She is also famously down to earth when it comes to flashing her cash. This may be partly due to her mother’s influence, who according to the supermodel, encouraged and supported her throughout her rise to stardom and influenced her to be sensible with her hard-earned dollars. 

She Asks Permission From Her Accountant When She Wants To Spend

Despite her dizzying bank balance, Tyra openly admits to being “frugal,” as she stated in a New York Times article in 2008. As if she couldn’t be any more lovable, she also reportedly checks with her accountant to see if she can afford something!

Growing up, Tyra was always money savvy, and as a child, she saved a little every week from her allowance so she could afford to treat herself. She says now that her biggest indulgence is food–in particular, trips to The Cheesecake Factory. If you were worth $90 million, would your biggest expense be cheesecake?! Tyra’s other guilty pleasure is hoarding hotel toiletries. No luxury L’Occitaine shampoo for Tyra, she’s content with the hotel freebies! 

Tyra Banks: A Young Entrepreneur

As well as Tyra’s staggering plethora of talents, she also became a real-estate owner at the tender age of 20, with her mom reinforcing to her that “investing is super important.” In contrast to her glitterati supermodel pals, Tyra wasn’t “partying it up and going shopping and buying a closet of designer clothes or staying at the top hotels during fashion week.” She was “at the Doubletree or Embassy Suites, saving [her] money.” This discipline might be how she was able to afford a house at the impressively young age of 20.

‘You Need To Spend Some D*** Money!’

Incredibly, Tyra Banks, the global superstar, has been told off by her accountant (who, by the way, has been her accountant since the beginning of her rise to fame). In an interview with MONEY, she revealed, “About 15 years ago, my accountant pulled me aside and said ‘Tyra, you’re not spending any money. Nothing. You’re just giving it away to the government. You need to spend some d*** money!'”

Now, after receiving the advice from her accountant to “spend more money,” she decided to open a bank account named “F Account,” with the “F” standing for “frivolous.” More in line with her fellow A-listers, the supermodel-business mogul-author began to spend her “F Account” money on things like private jets and says herself she spent it “on stupid stuff” instead of “art and things to be appreciated.”

In fitting with her frugal roots (According to Tyra, she grew up in a one-bedroom apartment, in which her mother would sleep in the living room while she and her brother shared the bedroom), she still allocated a budget to her “F Account,” which she would not go over. “I had a budget to spend frivolously over the year, every year.” It seems Tyra is very rooted in her “normal” upbringing!

All of this makes Tyra Banks so heart-warmingly endearing, not to mention hugely inspirational. The model says she knows that the best way to succeed is through hard work, determination and commitment (and maybe a sprinkling of being one of the most recognizable faces in the world!)

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