Clothes, Cars, Computers…And Candy? How The Stars Spent Their First Big Paychecks

July 19, 2019  |  
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Premiere Of Disney's "The Lion King"

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If you think back to the years when you were a twentysomething, filled with new debts and responsibilities, if someone handed you a hefty check for your work, what would you have done with it?

For Lion King star Donald Glover, he told Jimmy Kimmel that his first big checks during his years writing for NBC’s comedy 30 Rock, he spent on fruit snacks. A specific type though, like upper-echelon.

“I had more money than all my friends, but I didn’t spend it well. You’re too young,” he said.

When asked about his specific purchases, he was honest.

“Like, Gushers,” he said. “I wasn’t allowed to have candy as a kid, so I was like, ‘I’m balling.’”

Glover, now 35, isn’t the first celebrity to have done something interesting with their first major check (or checks). Hit the flip to see who else couldn’t wait to ball out, or in some cases, put it straight in the bank.

2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party - Arrivals

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Kerry Washington

The former Scandal star said on the Save the Last Dance set she saved her per diem to buy something she really needed.

“This is so Bronx girl of me … Save the Last Dance was my second movie, and we had a per diem. I couldn’t believe somebody was handing me cash and I literally used to hide it under my mattress for the whole movie. I put myself on a tight budget of what I could spend. And at the end of it, I used all the cash from the three months and bought my first laptop.”

Premiere Of Disney's "The Lion King"

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Tiffany Haddish

The Girls Trip funny lady said she went HAM buying candy.

“First thing I did is I went to the bank and I opened up a checking account. It was like $120. And 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.”

2019 Miami Open - Day 4

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Serena Williams

The tennis ace was actually pretty responsible with her early winnings.

“I never touched [the money] — I just put it in the bank. I remember I went through the drive-thru to deposit my check, and then they were like, ‘I think you need to come in for this,’ and so I ended up going inside.”

2018 BET Awards -Show

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Big Sean

The rapper used his money to get a Rolex — a ring, not the watch.

“When I started getting a little bit more money, I bought a ring. A Rolex ring. It was all gold. Kind of like something you’d see on 2Pac back in the day. I had it recreated, and then made it a little bit bigger and put diamonds in it. It was my favorite.”

NBA Awards 2019 - Arrivals

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Shaq

The NBA legend balled out big time with his first major check.

“I went to the Mercedes dealership. The guy says $150,000. I write him a check, give it to him. So now, in my head, a million minus $150,000, I’ve still got $850,000 left, right? So, I get home. My father says ‘That’s nice. Where’s mine at?’
Go buy the same car for my father. I’m good. I’ve got $700,000 left. And then came back home. My mother said, ‘I want the smaller version,’ which cost $100,000, so in my mind, I’ve got $600,000. So now, I’ve gotta go do what all the homeboys do — gotta buy rings and diamonds and earrings and this and that.”

Premiere Of Disney's "The Lion King"

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Lena Waithe

The actress and writer splurged her first major check on fly gear.

“[I spent my first big paycheck] on shoes and sneakers. And as the checks got bigger, I bought a Tesla, which is sort of like an investment on the environment. It’s like swag, but I’m decreasing my carbon imprint.”

Universal's 'Pacific Rim Uprising' - Arrivals

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John Boyega

The actor used some of his first checks to impress the ladies.

“I literally took all the girls to the restaurant that I saw all the other rich guys go into.”

HBO Native Son Screening - Arrivals.

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Kiki Layne

Before the actress was able to buy the expensive fashion house stuff, she was happy to use her first big check on some Coach.

“The first thing I splurged on was a Coach bookbag. That was a purchase for me. I was like, ‘How much is it? I’m gonna do it because I’m in a movie now.’ It’s my go-to book bag. It’s a reasonable size, so I can fit a lot in it and it’s super cute.”

Float Fest 2018 - Performances

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Lil Wayne

Even though he was too young to actually drive it, Lil Wayne bought his first car after his mom told him he could keep his first big check to himself.

“I actually gave it to her, but she didn’t want a dime of it, and she gave it back. She said, ‘Well, I don’t want it. Whatever you wanna do with it, let’s go.’ So I went straight to Nissan and bought a Pathfinder.”

Premiere Of Disney's "The Lion King"

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Kelly Rowland

Like Glover, the Destiny’s Child singer bought food she couldn’t get as a kid with her first big check.

“When I got one of my first paychecks, I went to the grocery store and bought almost everything that my mom used to tell me was too expensive. I bought all of that s—, had a party at my house, and everybody ate up everything. I’ll never forget it, because it was fun and it was something I was able to fund myself.”

FX Networks Season 2 Premiere of Pose - Arrivals.

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Indya Moore

The Pose star’s first check wasn’t necessarily massive, but she wasn’t complaining.

“I bought organic tea and essential oils—like, a full bulk of organic tea and essentials oils. I mean, for me, I think $20 is a lot of money, so it was definitely…I bought a lot. Is that weird?”

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