Why Julie Bowen Still Has to Be “Frugal” With Money After Modern Family Success

Julie Bowen revealed why she couldn’t dream of buying an island like her Modern Family co-stars wanted to. Here's what the actress had to say on the topic of money.

By Alexandra Bellusci Sep 30, 2022 9:56 PMTags

You won't find Julie Bowen on a private island. 

The Modern Family actress, who played Claire Dunphy on the ABC comedy which ran from 2009-2020, gave listeners a peek into her finances during a Sept. 26 appearance on the All Good Things with Jason Nash podcast

"First of all, you and I are both California divorced," she joked to Jason Nash. "That's its own financial situation and you roll with it."

"I can't go into the details, because I have a lot of respect for my ex and we chill and we have really great kids together," Bowen continued, "but I did not go off and buy another house when Modern Family was done."

She continued, "A lot of my cast members were like 'Maybe I'll buy an island.' I was like, 'Huh, I am not going to be doing that.'"

While she didn't reveal how much she makes from Modern Family residual checks, Bowen did note, "I've gotten Happy Gilmore checks for twenty-five cents and that's pretty fantastic."

In 2018, the Emmy winner divorced Scott Phillips—the father of her now 15-year-old son Oliver and 13-year-old twins John and Gustav—after 13 years of marriage.

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And aside her divorce, the Horrible Bosses actress understands the art of saving money, confessing, "I am pretty frugal."

She shared, "I'll be perfectly honest. Before, I never had business managers or accountants and I literally took all my money and kept it in cash in a checking account."

Bowen admitted she is always worried that her next acting gig could be her last, saying, "I'm so afraid that I'm never going to work again and, I'm not kidding, I have such fear."

But some gigs simply aren't worth the money. In fact, the actress said she once turned down $700,000.

"It was a job that I didn't want to do because it would have taken me away from my kids, across the country or something," she recalled, "and I was like, 'I can't do it.'"

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Over the years, the Hubie Halloween actress realized how to better manage her money and ditch the old under the mattress stash with the help of a "really great" business manager. 

"Bit by bit, I handed over different little cash accounts that I had," she said. "$10,000 here. $30,000 there… Then, after six years he goes, 'Is that it? Are we done?' And I was like, 'Were done.'"

And as for those residual checks from old TV episodes, Bowen explained that her new setup with the business manager means that "no, I don't actually see the checks. It goes somewhere but I don't see them. I don't go to the mailbox and open the check."

For Bowen, it seems this way just makes cents. 

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