Parks and Recreation may have taught people to "treat yo'self," but some celebrities have taken that saying to a whole new level of excessive. Sure, they can easily afford a luxury item or two, but some of these stars seemed so concerned with whether they could buy something, that they forgot to consider whether or not they should...
What: Electro Magnetic Field Detector
How much: $47,000
Is that ectoplasm we spy? Move over Ghostbusters, we can call Lady Gaga now. The pop sensation believes firmly in paranormal activity and is deadly afraid of ghosts, particularly one simply named Ryan. Her solution? She drags her ghost-detecting machine on the road with her to stay safe at all times. You do you, Gaga!
What: bronze O.J. Simpson statue
Worth: $3,250 — Millions
Contrary to popular belief, Flavor Flav didn't actually steal or buy his life-size statue of O.J. Simpson; it was gifted to him by radio host Mancow Muller. In fact, Muller got a pretty sweet deal for the bronze back in 1999 — a reasonable $3,250. Still, the piece is worth a lot of money these days; Flav is apparently trying to sell it for at least six figures.
What: Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton
How much: $276,000
Nic Cage must be making some serious bank because aside from growing his comic book collection, he's splurged on a whole host of other expensive items, including on two albino cobras, an octopus, a Gulfstream jet, a private island, and a $276,000 dinosaur skull. Unfortunately, the skull became the center of a scandal. Turns out, it was actually a stolen artifact from Mongolia.
What: Gold-plated iPhone
How much: $33,000
Have you ever dropped your smartphone and dreaded shelling out $100 to get the screen replaced? You probably won't be able to relate to Victoria Beckham, whose gold-plated iPhone set her back $33,000. Now imagine dropping THAT. Rumor had it that the lavish handset was a 'push present' from husband David Beckham, but an inside source quickly dismissed the tattle, "She's had the phone for ages," the rep explained back in 2011. "Nothing new."
What: Kabbalah bottled water
How much: $10,000+ per month
Despite the Christian meaning behind her stage name, Madonna's spirituality is focused more towards the wisdom of Kabbalah these days. She insists on drinking only Kabbalah-blessed water, which sells for $5 per bottle. And the "Vogue" singer must be pretty thirsty because she orders over $10,000 worth of the holy water every month.
What: A comic book
How much: $2.1 million
Nicolas Cage's real name is Nicolas Coppola, but as a kid, he wanted to be a superhero and named himself after his idol, Luke Cage. As an adult, he's spent hundreds of thousands on comics, including the ultra-rare Action Comics No. 1. It seems the value outweighed his passion for comics, though, because he later sold the issue for $2.1 million!
What: A first-class plane ticket... for his hat
How much: $1,700
Bono is often spotted wearing statement headwear, but his most recognizable piece is a sand-colored woven cowboy hat. In fact, he is so fond of this particular item, that he forked out an eye-watering $1,700 so it could have its own seat on an airplane. There's some dispute over the truth of this tale, but the hat was supposedly a lucky charm for the U2 frontman. We guess that's okay then, right?
What: A private Island
How much: Unknown
Tyrese Gibson purchased a whole island as a Christmas present for his daughter Shayla who was eight years old at the time. He called the top-secret location "Love Island." We're not sure what you make of that, but we're thinking it sounds like we've got to start being nicer to Santa.
What: An ultrasound machine
How much: Unknown
When Katie Holmes was pregnant, Tom Cruise bought her an ultrasound machine so they could look at their unborn child from the comfort of their own home. Although Cruise's representatives declined to comment on how much he spent on the extravagant gift, at the time, the machines would set you back somewhere between $15,000 to $200,000.
What: Nike Air MAGs
How much: $37,500
Expensive sneakers are a pretty common phenomenon, but shoes that cost nearly $38,000 are hard to believe. Still, that's how much Tinie Tempah spent on his Nike Air MAGs from the movie Back To The Future. They are supposed to lace themselves, but we're not sure that price tag is worth the luxury of not having to bend down.
What: A gold bathtub
How much: $2.2 million
Mike Tyson might not look like it, but he's a man who loves a long soak in a luxurious bubble bath! In fact, he loves 'em so much that he spent $2.2 MILLION on a solid gold bathtub. Hey, if you've got it, why not? Let's just hope his cleaner doesn't drop anything that might crack that fancy veneer!
What: Golden tights
How much: $100,000
We know Beyoncé is always bringing her A-game when it comes to her outfits, so regular leggings simply won't do for this member of R&B Royalty. In fact, Queen Bey reportedly spent a whopping $100,000 on just one pair of gold tights. They were designed by Balenciaga, and the flashy purchase did not go down well — even by 2007 standards!
What: A diamond mine
How much: Unknown
Most rich people just buy diamonds, but that wasn't enough for Akon, who purchased a whole diamond mine but wouldn't tell anyone how or why. As for the ethics, an interview with The Independent newspaper in 2007 didn't leave Akon with a glittering reputation. "I don't even believe in conflict diamonds," he announces. "That's just a movie," he asserted. Thankfully, the star says he's since sold up his shares in the business because of the shady — and very real — dark side to diamond mining.
What: A barbie doll
How much: $85,000
Beyoncé may treat herself hard (as she should), but her daughter Blue Ivy isn't left wanting for more either. For her first birthday, she received a Barbie doll that cost her parents $85,000. What's so special about this doll? Blue's Barbie is covered in real diamonds and white gold jewelry. Life in plastic must really be fantastic!
What: A race horse
How much: $55 million
With mother and child happily spoiled, Dad can't be left behind! Jay-Z doesn't really ride horses, but he apparently loves to see them race. He bought a famous champion of the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome, for a staggering $55 million. And it seems the rapper's mogul move was a good choice, "I could not be happier about the reception I have gotten since the news broke. My fellow racehorse owners have welcomed me with open arms."
What: Taxidermy collection
How much: Unknown
“I have a miniature zebra Seth MacFarlane bought me, and a baby horse, but that’s the biggest I’ll go to. They’re twice the size of my dog Finn, and they’re called Kevin Sparkle and Antoine Woodberry. On top of that there’s an owl called Beatrix, a chick called Linda, and a deer called Sha’ Dynasty,” Seyfried to Conan O'Brien while on his show in 2012. “It’s a real menagerie.” Hopefully, she'll stick to animals and won't go full Norman Bates on us...
What: Backyard waterpark
How much: Unknown
People might confuse Celine Dion's previous home for a hotel or a waterpark. She used her land to install an enormous pool in her backyard complete with gazebos, slides, a fire pit, and a lazy river. When she was done splashing around she could also go inside and turn on her $2 million humidification system. The house sold for almost $40 million when Dion sold up in 2017. Shockingly, that was only half the asking price.
What: A mattress
How much: $17,000
Daniel Radcliffe doesn't have the need to show off his wealth, but he does prefer luxury when it comes to the comfort of his home: he spent almost $20,000 on a mattress. For that price, it must be pretty magical, and a lot more comfy than sleeping under the stairs.
What: A movie prop car
How much: A six-figure sum
For those of us who aren't actual wizards but are big fans of the series, a movie prop will probably do. Liam Payne supposedly bought the Weasley family's Ford Anglia for at least six figures. For that kind of money, it better be able to fly. "I bought the Harry Potter car and I put it in my garden. You know the blue car, the flying car? I bought one because I'm a bit of a geek."
What: A village
How much: $20 million
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes $20 million to buy that village. That is how much Kim Basinger paid for the town of Braselton, Georgia. Her plans to make it a tourist attraction failed, and she sold it for only $1 million. Real estate is a tough business.
Famous people are running wild when it comes to their expenses! To be fair though, what would you do if you suddenly got a million dollars? This question is just a fantasy for most of us, but it was very real for stars when they first landed their big breaks. 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!
After signing his first contract in 1992, Shaq blew through $1 million in only a couple of hours. All it took was buying cars for his entire family, paying off his parents' debt, and stocking up on lots of jewelry. “I was just writing checks,” he said. “I was buying TVs. I was just buying stuff I didn’t even need. So after that, I said, ‘You know what? I need to get me a business manager.'”
While shooting the first film in the wildly popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Rupert promised himself that one day he'd buy himself an ice cream truck. He made good on those plans and even brought it on set on the series' final day of filming. "My first ambition was to become an ice cream man, which is why I bought the Bedford van. Not long after I first got it, I pulled into a pub to do a U-turn and there were eight kids with their pocket money out," he said in an interview. Apparently, he now keeps the truck well stocked with goodies so as not to disappoint any hopeful kiddies.
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 a new instrument. "The first real purchase that I recall was a blue electric guitar," she shared with GQ. It's official — we'll never be cooler than Brie!
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 it wasn't long before she forked out on a flashy treat. The money came from a per diem — sort of like an allowance for actors and actresses. But instead of forking out on essentials like food, Kerry blew it all on a shiny new laptop instead!
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. And what's more — the humble machine wasn't even for her to enjoy. "I bought my mom and dad a washing machine," she told TIME of what she spent her first paycheck on. "Later on, I bought some boots for myself that were like the coolest boots I had ever seen in my life."
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. Less fortunately, it was a moment tinged with sadness, "it was a huge deal, though I was signing the lease to the car and breaking up with my boyfriend the same week. We were in the dealership and I was crying," she spilled to The Hollywood Reporter.
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. "When I received my first paycheck from my now-known day job, I spent it on a period Craftsman chair and a Frank Lloyd Wright-wannabe lamp. With my second paycheck, I bought a stereo."
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! Best save the window orders for burgers, Serena.
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. Apart from that, she apparently treated herself to some shoes and a new set of wheels.
It turns out that Tiffany's got a big appetite. Her first showbiz check only amounted to $120, but she was still over the moon. Feeling as giddy as a little kid, she spent the entire thing on candy! "I bought a big box of Snickers and lollipops, Jolly Rancher sticks and Blow Pops. Oh, and Corn Nuts. I'm surprised I don't have diabetes right now because I love Snickers."
Before the actor received his first Friends check, Matt only had a measly $11 left in the bank. That's right, just like his on-screen character, he too was a struggling actor! And in a move that would make Joey Tribbiani proud, he kept things simple and decided to blow his first payment on sitting down for a nice hot meal.
However, not all Friends stars made such humble purchases when they started raking in the dough. Right after the pilot aired, Courtney bought a new car. Cox reportedly made somewhere in the region of $22,500 for that first episode, so we can't blame her for setting her sights on something flashy.
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. And when Grohl broke his leg in 2015, he took his passion to the next level. After experimenting with barbecuing techniques, he started hosting for upwards of 400 people!
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. "I went to the grocery store and bought almost everything that my mom used to tell me was too expensive. I'll never forget it, because it was fun and it was something I was able to fund myself."
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. Here's hoping he's managed to get some sleep since dipping his toe into the ways of the barista. We can only assume he's mastered his latte art by now.
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 ride. The purchase put him in debt, but he paid it off before too long. Before that big break, though, Rock kept it low-key. "In the beginning, it really just meant I could buy more food. I swear to you, I was like, 'Wow, I can get two slices now!' When you've been on a ghetto diet your entire life, you're just happy to get a large soda instead of a medium," he shared with Oprah.
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. We're talking a lot of shoes, "I think I bought some serious shoes. I bought a lot of shoes. I love shoes."
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 helps children with heart disease. This is especially meaningful to Kaepernick, as his parents lost two children to the disease when they were only young. The quarterback continues to support the camp with fundraisers and other work.
Before she owned her own set of wheels, America had to make her way to auditions by catching a string of buses or just getting there on foot. But once her first paycheck finally came in, she spent some of her hard-earned cash on a used Mitsubishi. Keys in hand, she was finally able to get around L.A. with ease.