The Crafty Way Jackie Kennedy Onassis Supplemented Her $30,000 a Month "Allowance"

You probably do this every few months, but Jackie O' did it first. 

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was many things — a style icon, socialite, editor, wife, and mother, to name a few — but frugal she most certainly was not.

When she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968, the billionaire immediately took issue with his new wife’s spending habits. According to The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee, the former First Lady spent $1.25 million (around $9 million in today’s currency) on clothing in just the first year of their marriage.

Jackie Onassis and Aristotle Onassis at Airport
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Onassis gave Jackie a $30,000 per month “allowance” in the early days of their matrimony, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the most-watched woman in America’s expensive tastes. Not one to beg, Kennedy found a sneaky way to increase her fortune: she’d use said allowance to buy couture, wear a piece once or twice, and then resell it to a consignment shop and pocket the money.

Jackie Kennedy with Aristote Onassis
Alain Dejean/Getty Images

Jackie would also sell various personal items at auction — including picture frames and nursery furniture — and reap the proceeds through the private secretary Onassis had given her.

Moral of this story: Next time you find yourself waiting in an ungodly line at Buffalo Exchange to sell some old plaids, remember that Jackie O’ (kind of) did it first.

Jacqueline Onassis and Her Husband
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