Paul McCartney reflected on how his attitude toward money was formed at an early stage in his life and said it hasn’t changed, regardless of his own financial situation.

He regularly appears near the top of musician rich lists, with a fortune estimated to be at more than $1 billion and earnings during 2019-2020 thought to be around $68 million.

Asked about his approach to financial matters, McCartney told The New York Times Magazine: “It has obviously changed. What has stayed the same is the central core. When I was in Liverpool as a kid, I used to listen to people’s conversations. I remember a couple of women going on about money: ‘Ah, me and my husband, we’re always arguing about money.’ And I remember thinking very consciously, ‘Okay, I’ll solve that; I will try to get money.’ That set me off on the ‘Let’s not have too many problems with money’ trail.”

He explained that "not having much money, when anything came into the house, it was important. It was important when my weekly comic was delivered. Or my pen pal — I had a pen pal in Spain, Rodrigo — when his letter came through, that was a big event. When they had giveaways in comics with little trinkets, I kept them all. Some people would say that’s a hoarding instinct, but not having anything when I was a kid has stuck with me as far as money. You know, I’m kind of crazy. My wife [Nancy] is not. She knows you can get rid of things you don’t need.”

McCartney described himself as a “keeper” rather than a hoarder. “If I go somewhere and I get whatever I bought in a nice bag, I will want to keep the bag," he explained. "My rationale is that I might want to put my sandwiches in it tomorrow. Whereas Nancy says, ‘We’ll get another bag.’”

He said the attitude represented an “instinct to preserve." “One of the great things now about money is what you can do with it," he noted. "Family and friends, if they have any medical problem, I can just say, ‘I’ll help.’ The nicest thing about having money is you can help people with it.”

 

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