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Here's how Jay Leno refuses to spend his money

Jay Leno spends a lot on cars. His impressive auto collection consists of more than 100 vehicles, including a McLaren F1 that he bought for $800,000 that is now worth $12 million.

Otherwise, the host of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" is pretty frugal. His financial philosophy has always been "really conservative," he tells CNBC Make It, partly because he had Depression-era parents: "They just frightened me to death, saying, 'You gotta save every penny!' And I'm glad they did."

If cars are his big splurge, the main thing Leno refuses to spend on are clothes.

"I'm not a big shopping guy. I'm just not interested in clothes" outside of the essentials, says the self-made millionaire. "To me, it seems like a complete waste of money. I just want to have enough clothes to cover legally what parts I have to cover."

Jay Leno, former host of NBC's  "The Tonight Show"
SGranitz | Getty Images
Jay Leno, former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show"

Over the 22 years he hosted NBC's "The Tonight Show," Leno didn't have to worry about shopping: "When I did the Tonight Show, I was lucky, because the Tonight Show just paid for all the clothes. I go to a store now thinking shirts are 40 bucks and [I see] $180. What! Get out of here! That's ridiculous."

Leno, who rarely uses credit cards and has yet to spend a dime of his "Tonight Show" money, says that his conservative money 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 told CNBC Make It in 2016.

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

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Video by Andrea Kramar