Kardashian-Jenner Fans Don’t think the Family is Actually as Rich as They Claim to Be

If you ask someone with only a casual knowledge about who the Kardashian-Jenners are, they’re sure to tell you one thing: they’re a very rich celebrity family.

Even if you’ve never seen their popular reality show¬†Keeping Up with the Kardashians and don’t follow them on Instagram, you can’t avoid the headlines and glimpses of their wealthy lifestyle. They seem to be the very representation of excess and luxury, and that’s exactly the image they want to portray.¬†

Some fans, however, aren’t convinced that the family is actually as rich as they claim to be. Are the fancy clothes and expensive cars just smoke and mirrors? 

The Kardashian-Jenner family members flaunt wealth

Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian
Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

It is certainly true that the Kardashian-Jenner family members look wealthy. They make a big deal out of their own net worths. Kim Kardashian’s husband Kanye West has gone out of his way to make it clear that he is a billionaire. The youngest member of the family, Kylie Jenner, was famously declared the world’s youngest self-made billionaire on the merits of her cosmetics line. 

On top of these titles and accolades, the Kardashian-Jenner family is quick to show off their luxurious lifestyle. They are constantly photographed with expensive handbags and pricey jewelry. They’re rarely seen in the same (brand-name) outfit twice, and they live in extravagant houses (sometimes with multiple locales spread around the country). 

They also make a show of spending their money on each other. Kanye West donated $1 million to his wife’s favorite charities for her birthday. They also like to show off their household purchases. West and Kim Kardashian spent a whopping $30,000 (more than many people make in a year) on a custom bathroom sink

Net worth is not the same as wealth

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It would be ludicrous to say that the Kardashian-Jenner family members don’t have money. Clearly, they’re spending a lot on extravagant lifestyles, and they make an unbelievable amount of money for their endorsements and public appearances. The important thing to understand, though, is that net worth is not the same as wealth. 

For one thing, not all the calculations of the family’s worth are equal. Yes, Kylie Jenner received “billionaire” status, but it wasn’t actually a valuation of her individual net worth. It was a valuation of her company, which is a separate entity with its own expenses. 

More importantly, net worth and wealth are not the same thing. According to Business Insider, “Wealth refers to the net worth of a household, i.e. all of its assets minus [the] liabilities.” The reality is that “[h]ousehold income is merely realized income to be reported on one’s personal income tax return.” By studying people who are actually millionaires (in terms of overall assets), that “income is only 8.2% of their wealth.”

In other words, spending a lot of money to look like you have tons of resources does not necessarily mean that you are wealthy. You could simply be spending as much as you are bringing in, leaving little left to accumulate into actual wealth. 

Fans suspect the Kardashian-Jenner family is not all that wealthy

Fans recently took to a Reddit thread to speculate about the state of the Kardashian-Jenner family’s actual wealth. One commenter pointed out that being wealthy is not necessarily a given for a celebrity: “I think most celebrities generally aren’t [wealthy]. They live like regular people do on a larger scale and sometimes/often beyond their means which is why they don’t have a large amount of disposable income like people would think they do.”

Others pointed out that the expenses to live the lifestyle the Kardashian-Jenners do is excessive and eats into their overall disposable income: “I also think people aren’t adequately factoring in all the costs that go into their lifestyles – assistants, photographers, hair and makeup, security, etc.”

Ultimately, many fans are convinced that there isn’t a lot of extra in the budget. “I do think they have a lot of money coming in, however they definitely spend as much as they make. The mansions, cars, nannies, personal chefs, private jets, private school for all their kids, etc. All of those things definitely take up a good chunk of their earnings,” one wrote.