13 Surprisingly Frugal Habits of Past Presidents—and Their Families
From fake pearls to mooching off friends, these former presidents had some interesting money habits.
Franklin D. Roosevelt had money management help
If you have a hard time managing your money, it could be a frugal and smart move to have someone else do it instead. That’s what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did. His mom, Sara, held the purse strings on his $60 million fortune, according to History.com.
Barbara Bush wore fake pearls
This former first lady didn’t have much of an interest in fashion, instead focusing on other parts of the job. She was rarely without the three-strand faux pearl necklace that she wore strategically, according to the New York Times. They weren’t just an affordable way to accessorize, but they embodied her take on the role of the first lady—one without much fuss. The necklace designer renamed it as, “Barbara Bush pearls.” This is the funniest joke told by 23 U.S. presidents.
Thomas Jefferson tracked his spending
Thomas Jefferson is a bit of an ironic case. He gave good advice on not overspending or living beyond your means—but he didn’t take his own advice and actually ended up in debt at the end of his life. He famously wrote a letter to his granddaughter with various rules to live by. One was never to spend money before you have it. Jefferson also kept track of every single thing he purchased for more than 60 years, but he didn’t utilize that information to keep his spending on in check. Next, check out these 45 astonishing facts about U.S. presidents you never knew.