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Billionaire Elon Musk Lives “Below the Poverty Line,” Says Grimes

File this under “things you probably never imagined:” the world’s richest man, billionaire Elon Musk, lives very frugally. “Below the poverty line” is how his ex Grimes describes it and, while it’s not an entirely accurate description, it serves to offer an insight into the personal life of one of the most fascinating public figures of the moment.
Elon Musk and Grimes at the MET Gala 2018, where they made their red carpet debut as a couple 7 photos
Photo: YouTube / TheHollywoodFix
Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live on May 8
Elon Musk isn’t just the CEO and principal shareholder of two of the biggest and most promising companies right now, Tesla and SpaceX, but also an oftentimes controversial public figure, if only for his apparent lack of a filter online. Say what you will about Musk – and many of those things have probably been said already – but one thing he is not: a rich bro who hoards his wealth and lives a life of luxury.

The latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine has Grimes, singer and artist, and Elon’s former partner, as the cover girl. In the accompanying interview, Grimes (Claire Boucher) talks mostly about her upcoming album and her art, but she also touches on more personal topics, like her relationship with Musk, the fact that they recently and secretly welcomed a second child, and how they find common ground in everyday life.

Grimes has since clarified that she and Musk broke up after the interview, but everything else she said about him stands. Of note is the mention that he’s not a hoarder of wealth, because he lives “below the poverty line.”

“People are like, ‘He's hoarding money!’ No, he's spending everything on [research and development],” Grimes explains, adding that most of Musk’s money goes into the Mars project “for the benefit of humanity.” Musk plans to put man on Mars with SpaceX in a matter of years, and then to colonize the Red Planet in the eventuality that Earth will have become inhabitable by then. It’s a huge mission and it eats up a lot of resources, including Musk’s own. “Bro might say a lot of stupid s**t, but he does the right thing,” Grimes adds.

Whether Musk has always been fond of a more frugal lifestyle or not is uncertain, but right now, it’s a given, despite the fact that he’s worth over $220 billion. The singer recalls how he told her to bring the mattress from her home, to replace the one he had at his place, because there was a hole in it.

“Bro does NOT live like a billionaire,” Grimes says. “Bro lives at times below the poverty line. To the point where I was like, can we NOT live in a very insecure $40,000 house? Where the neighbors, like, film us, and there’s no security, and I’m eating peanut butter for eight days in a row?”

As commenters have pointed out, Grimes has a different understanding of poverty than, say, people who actually live below the poverty line. That aside, this tidbit about Musk offers a rare insight into his personal life and, to a certain extent, his dedication to what Grimes calls “The Mission,” i.e. “Sustainable energy, making humanity a multiplanetary species and the preservation of consciousness.”
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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