Jay Leno didn't always make millions. Before his career in entertainment took off, he earned more money working in a car dealership than he did doing comedy gigs — and, to stay afloat, he made sure to spend only the smaller source of income.
"When I was younger, I would always save the money I made working at the car dealership and I would spend the money I made as a comedian," Leno tells CNBC. "When I started to get a bit famous, the money I was making as a comedian was way more than the money I was making at the car dealership, so I would bank that and spend the car dealership money."
Even after he started hosting NBC's "The Tonight Show," Leno continued doing comedy gigs on the side "so I never had to touch the principal," he says. To this day, he's never touched a dime of his "Tonight Show" money.