Actor, Age: 17
IN THE MONEY: July 23, Radcliffe’s 18th birthday, will be a magic day for the star of the Harry Potter movies: He’ll gain access to his $19 million investment fund – which he’s socked away in a company jointly held with his parents Alan, a literary agent, and Marcia, a casting director. But with two more movies still to go – for which Radcliffe will be paid a reported total of $50 million – he can conjure up plenty more golden galleons where that came from. British newspapers have estimated that Radcliffe currently has a total net worth of $35 million or more, making him the U.K.’s richest teen.
FIRST PAYCHECK: $320,000 at age 11 for the first two Potter films.
BIGGEST SPLURGE: He recently dropped $17,000 on a custom-made Savoir mattress. But come his landmark birthday, “I don’t think I’m going to do anything particularly exciting,” says Radcliffe, an only child who lives with his parents in London. “People seem to expect me to splash out on a classic-car collection, but I’ve never been into cars or anything like that.” He’s more into cricket, theater (he shed his clothes for a recent turn in Equus in London), reading (lately Nabokov) and painter-sculptor Jim Hodges. “I know I’m lucky to be paid all this money to do what I love,” he said in Britain’s Daily Mail, but “[money is] not something that affects the way I think about things.”
Actress-singer, Age: 19
IN THE MONEY: Her movie paychecks top $2 million, and she’s sold 13 million albums worldwide. But as CEO of her own lifestyle company, she earns about $12 million a year, according to Forbes. Credit growing sales of her Stuff by Hilary Duff clothing line, jewelry and home decor for tweens, which is sold in stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. “It’s so funny that people think that I’m a mogul,” she says. “I definitely do know a lot about [running a business], but I have so many people that help me.”
BIGGEST SPLURGE: Watches, Marc Jacobs bags and “things for my house” in L.A. She and big sis Haylie, 22, also just indulged in a St. Bart’s vacay.
HOLD THE PORSCHE: “I definitely don’t just buy what I want,” she says. “My business manager says I’m well behaved.” Case in point: Duff thought about buying a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for nearly $100,000, but her money man said, “You’re a terrible driver. You don’t need that kind of power.”
POWER MOVE: She’s tackling the juniors market with a top-selling perfume (With Love . . . Hilary Duff from Elizabeth Arden) and an upcoming fashion line.
Singer, Age: 19
IN THE MONEY: The Barbados-bred singer topped the global charts in 2005 and 2006 and now has a new summer smash: the No. 1 single “Umbrella.” Her latest CD, Good Girl Gone Bad, sold more than 200,000 copies its first two weeks out. While she’s still under her initial multi-album contract with pal Jay-Z’s Def Jam label, she also snagged six-figure endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics and Venus razors.
SPEND OR SAVE?: “Both, actually,” says Rihanna, who has two younger brothers. “I don’t like to waste money. I buy things that I’m going to get my money’s worth out of, things I’m going to use a lot. I like to splurge on makeup and shoes – Louboutins! My mom loves bags. I bought her a Fendi.”
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Ages: Efron is 19, Hudgens is 18
POWER COUPLE: Real-life sweethearts Zac Efron, 19, and Vanessa Hudgens, 18, nabbed big bonuses when the Disney Channel movie scored, got raises for the sequel according to The New York Times and recently vacationed in a $3,100-a-night villa in Maui.
GIRLS RULE: But only Hudgens notched a gold debut album and an endorsement deal with Neutrogena. Forbes.com estimated her income last year at $2 million.
BOYS DON’T CRY: After costarring in this month’s Hairspray, Efron hopes to firm up his first lead role in the comedy 17, now in development.
Actor-singer, Age: 17
IN THE MONEY: The indestructible cheerleader of NBC’s Heroes sure seems unstoppable: She’s a face for Neutrogena, pre-tweens love her Disney soundtracks – cue “I Still Believe” from 2007’s Cinderella III – and her debut album drops in 2008. Added up, that’s $2 million a year, Forbes estimates. She also has a bright endorsement future. Says an industry source: “She’s not a brat. She’s the girl next door.”
FIRST PAYCHECK: Panettiere (whose brother Jansen, 12, is also an actor) did a Playskool ad at just 11 months old, then starred on soaps and in films like 2000’s Remember the Titans. (Next? Fireflies in the Garden with Julia Roberts.)
BIGGEST SPLURGE: Ahhh . . . the spa. Says Panettiere: “I get facials all the time.”