Most people remember Jay Leno from the Tonight Show he hosted for several years. Some may even remember his days as a comedian, working a few side gigs a week. There’s a new side to Jay, and this one has been around for a while, just not in the limelight that it is now.
His love for cars led to a vast collection of vehicles and hosting a new show all about automobiles. Before all that went down, he had meager beginnings, trying to climb the ladder to success. CNBC shares a brief look at how Jay got his success.
Jay Leno’s net worth and how he got there
Jay Leno, known for being one of America’s best clean-cut comedians and popular late-night television hosts, is worth $400 million as of 2020. His self-made millionaire lifestyle is evident with his massive car collection of rare and vintage cars, but even those cars didn’t hurt his net worth.
He started saving back when he worked his McDonald’s job. He adopted the philosophy that working multiple jobs would make him rich if he used the lesser paychecks to live on and take the bigger ones and let them sit in the bank.
Even when he became big as a television host, he still only lived off the money he made from comedy side jobs and just put the TV money in the bank. He always saved the higher income.
How his car collection doesn’t hurt his net worth
Another philosophy of Jay’s is that he wouldn’t use any credit cards. Nor would he ever buy a house using mortgage loans. He was a big believer in buying when you had the total amount of money to pay for it.
He would only buy a house if he could pay it outright and never to have to write monthly checks to spend more on it. This same belief went for the cars he bought for his enormous car collection. He wouldn’t take out a loan; he wanted to pay it all at once. There would be no interest to drain his bank account dry.
How his love for cars led to Jay Leno’s Garage show
Jay took an interest in cars way back when he was young and growing up in Massachusetts. Imagine tinkering with abandoned cars to see what made them work and what he could do to get them running. That was a good part of his childhood.
Over the years, he found himself buying vintage or classic cars that he liked and wanted to own. Car collecting was the furthest from his mind. He had the money by this time, so he splurged on what made him feel good. Cars filled that bill.
He also said that he was buying not only the cars but the stories behind them. Whether they were about the brand or the car itself, each of his vehicles’ stories told fascinated Jay.
When the Tonight Show hosting gig ended, he went straight to work on a car web show put on by NBC. This led to the now popular Jay Leno’s Garage, where he showcases a car and test drives it or performs some fun challenge with it.
Jay’s net worth continues to be $400 million, so his love of cars hasn’t changed that in any way, even though he owns several hundred vehicles and even motorcycles.