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What Jay Leno Can Teach You About Saving


Recently, Jay Leno retired from the Tonight Show (again). But don’t worry about him going broke anytime soon.

The man has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank, the result of a life-long financial plan that can work for you too, even if you’re not in line to host a late-night talk show on a major network anytime soon.

During an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, Leno revealed his secrets to always making sure he had money in the bank — don’t spend it.

Hosting the Tonight Show has earned him over $320 million, and he has saved every last penny of it.

So what’s he living off of, exactly?

Jay has a side job.

Well, as it turns out, Leno still does stand-up comedy, and has been doing it non-stop, week in and week out, even while hosting the Tonight Show.

That money, combined with endorsements, equals a cool $15-20 million a year.

This is the money Leno uses to eat, live, and amass his giant collection of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and airplanes.

Leno has been doing it this way since he was a kid. He always worked two jobs (in his case, a car dealership and a McDonalds), living off of the income from one while banking the other.

Not only did this always ensure that he had money stashed away just in case, but it instilled a lifelong savings habit that he observes to this very day.

He will very likely continue to keep his Tonight Show money saved, as he is still a full-time touring comedian.

The only thing he doesn’t do anymore is appear on television five nights a week.

We should take note of Leno’s savings habits, as it’s not something only multi-millionaires can pull off.

Even when he was working regular jobs and struggling to make it in comedy, he was doing this. You can too.

Yes, finding a job is difficult, never mind two, but it’s still doable.

Manage two incomes for maximum savings.

Once you do, take the money from one of your jobs and spend that. Pay your bills, buy your groceries, and just plain live your life.

But the other job? Instead of treating it as disposable income or “fun” money, just stick it in the bank and pretend it doesn’t exist.

You’d be shocked at how quickly it can add up.

Even if it’s just a part-time 20 hour a week job at $10 an hour, that’s $200 (roughly $150 after taxes), stashed away every week.

That, after taxes, would net you $7800 in savings per year.

And in a world where anything can happen at any time, and every penny is precious, constructing a near-$8000 safety net is an incredible boon, especially since you’re doubling that every year you stay at that job or work a similar one.

If for some reason, you’re unable to commit to an extra job (perhaps you’re salaried and always on-call at your job, or family situations make it impossible to work extra) there are still ways to earn extra income that can then go right into the savings account.

Some suggestions:

Freelancing on the Internet.

There are countless websites out there that offer money for various services, such as creative writing, editing, copy, blogging, or Photoshop.

Whatever your expertise, you’re bound to find many a site willing to pay for your help.

And since it’s all online, you can do this at home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere else you can access the Interet.


You don’t have to be King or Queen of Wall Street to build up a successful portfolio.

Educate yourself on the basics of trading, invest a bit of money into a few reliable stocks, and any money you make can go right to savings.

Rent out a room.

If you have a spare room in your house, or space in an insulated basement, renting it out to someone can bring in several hundred dollars a month.

Just make sure the person you’re renting it out to is reliable and can pay the rent every month (a couple meetings, plus a request of paystubs, should tell you all you need to know.)

Whether it’s through a second job or a secondary activity, saving 100% of the income is easier, and more productive, than you might have imagined.

You might not be able to amass a priceless automobile collection like Leno, but you will be able to live your life comfortably, knowing all your expenses are paid, food is always on the table, and your extra-hard work is keeping you and your family secure for years to come.

Mary Hiers is a personal finance writer who helps people earn more and spend less.


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