Here's why Jay Leno almost never uses credit cards

Jay Leno hosted "The Tonight Show" from 1992 to 2014
Kevin Winter | Getty Images

Jay Leno has done well for himself.

After the comedian's 22-year run hosting NBC's "The Tonight Show," he shifted gears and began hosting CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," a series that explores Americans' obsession with cars. Just last month, he launched a car-care product line.

But Leno's massive success hasn't altered his financial philosophy, which has "always been really conservative," he tells CNBC.

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In fact, "I barely use credit cards," he says. "I don't carry any debt. I don't write checks at the end of the month for anything."

And that includes a mortgage, Leno says: "I didn't buy my house until I had cash. When you own something and you don't have to write checks every month, you're just better off."

His conservative philosophy gives him financial peace of mind. "I own everything. I own my buildings. I own my cars. That way, if it ends tomorrow, I know what I've got," Leno explains.

"It's a little old fashioned, I suppose, but it seems to work pretty well for me."

CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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