Author J.K. Rowling’s life sounds almost as dramatic as any of the Harry Potter novels that made her famous. When she wrote the books that would bring her fame she was a single mom unable to pay her own rent. Then she sold her book and became an overnight sensation!

Rowling is worth nearly $1 billion, and she spends her money on some pretty amazing items. To get a taste of how the other half lives, check out how she spends her fortune. You’ll be proud and envious at the same time…

1. Vacationing in the tropics: Because the Hamptons are fun, but the South of France is closer, Rowling takes her family on trips to the Seychelles that cost upwards of $6,000 a week. Tres chic, mais non?

2. Buying an Edinburgh home: You would think that with the size of her bank account Rowling would splurge on a massive mansion. Instead, she bought this $2.2 million home in central Edinburgh. It’s got a closed off garden, which acts as her private escape from the world.

3. Buying designer couture: Rowling may spend a lot of her money on other people, but she also knows how to treat herself. She loves clothes, and now that she’s worth almost $1 billion she makes the most of her budget, often buying designer pieces from her favorites like Oscar de la Renta.

4. Giving lavish gifts: Rowling is known for being an extravagant giver of gifts. She once sent a fan of her writing a collection of Harry Potter memorabilia worth $11,000! She also frequently surprises her passionate fans with tokens of appreciation.

5. Visiting the Hamptons: Just like so many other people, Rowling loves visiting the beach during the summer months. Unlike most of us, however, she has no problem dropping $76,000 on a one-week vacation rental.

6. Giving back: Rowling views the wealth she possesses as something to be shared, which she does through her charity for disadvantaged children, Lumos. “I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that anymore is the biggest luxury in the world,” she said.

7. Going yachting: Before Rowling bought a $15 million yacht, it once belonged to Johnny Depp! She loves spending time on the water so buying a luxury boat like this one just seems like good sense.

8. Focusing on the details: Although other people might be content to let others rule their empire, Rowling watches over all things Harry Potter, including the food at the Harry Potter parks, and the smallest details on the movie adaptations of her books.

9. Employing staff: When so many people adore you, you’re bound to get a lot of mail! Rowling pays two secretaries to help her manage up to 1,000 pieces of fan mail a week. Additionally, she pays the salaries of two personal assistants who manage her calendar.

10. Blinging out: Another one of Rowling’s costly indulgences? Designer jewels. This is a lady who isn’t afraid to embrace a little bit of sparkle. Her favorite designer is her fellow Brit, Elizabeth Gage, whose pieces cost up to $30,000. Gage’s earrings are a particular favorite of the author’s.

11. Staying safe: When you’re as famous and as wealthy as Rowling is, you have to take extra care for your safety. She spends up to $150,000 a year on private bodyguards who escort her whenever she is out in public.

12. Going green(er): If money were no object, there are things we would all like to do to our homes. Because that’s the case for Rowling, she had no problem dropping $1 million on the house next door to her existing home just so she could tear it down and extend her garden to include this whimsical backyard fort.

13. Cruising the Galapagos: Many people dream of having the money to take a dream vacation and Rowling is no exception. She once tapped into her fortune to spend $15,000 on the trip of a lifetime, a cruise to the Galapagos islands. Charles Darwin, eat your heart out!

14. Living like a wizard: Looking at photographs of this 136-year-old Perthshire country home it’s no surprise to learn that its owner is the author of the Harry Potter series. She paid $500,000 to own this fairytale estate nestled into the countryside.

15. Going down under: Travel is a luxury that the wealthy often enjoy and clearly Rowling is no exception. She loves Australia so much that she bought a $10 million farm in Tasmania to serve as her own slice of heaven on Earth.

16. Keeping a low profile: When you are super successful like Rowling, privacy and safety become top concerns. She spends up to $200,000 a year maintaining the elaborate security system that protects her home.

17. Joining book clubs: In perhaps one of her most endearing expenses, Rowling often spends her extra cash flying around the world surprising different book clubs by joining them in their monthly discussions. Imagine seeing her walk into your book club to talk about organic gardening!

18. Staying normal: Rowling owns several different cars, but none of them are flashy at all. She prefers to drive inconspicuous vehicles so that she can live as private a life as possible.

19. Supporting single parents: This author is known for being exceptionally charitable. She gives away up to $120,000 each year. One of her favorite charities helps provide support for single parents. Does it get any better than that?

20. Playing pretend: It’s not surprising to learn that the creative author still loves to play pretend. After expanding her back garden, Rowling had a replica of Hagrid’s hut built on her property. Talk about bringing your dreams to life.

It’s amazing to see that she spends so much on giving back and still manages to treat herself from time to time! This famous author is truly living the high life.

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