A TV, bouquet of flowers, and a bottle of wine may seem like simple pleasures. But for actress Jenny Slate, being able to afford all three at one time was something of a financial breakthrough.
“I panicked when I bought my TV,” Slate said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s like $300, but I was just like, ‘Do you need a TV?’ I’ll never forget how it felt to be a stand-up on unemployment.”
Though she’s found recent success on the big screen—she’s co-starring with Chris Evans in Gifted this spring—the frugality that was a necessary skill to have as an up-and-coming comic has been tough to shake.
She’s been making small strides, though: Slate recently moved into a “sunny one-bedroom” apartment in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, and indulges in trips to Whole Foods from time to time.
“Instead of buying the prosciutto that’s packaged, I’m getting the sliced one from the counter,” she said. “That was important to me.”
Fellow comic (and Time 100 honoree) Jordan Peele seconds Slate, saying having enough money to buy things isn’t the end game for him. Real success is something entirely different.
“When I was on MADtv, I was still living month to month,” Peele told Bloomberg. “My obnoxious buy would’ve been an Xbox. You realize the value is in not having a side job. Even today I don’t splurge—I’m the anti-Scarface. All these things you imagined you’d buy—none of those would bring me much joy or peace.”