How Much Is Vanessa Hudgens Really Worth?

Vanessa Hudgens has definitely come a long way from her early days on the Disney Channel. The Salinas, California, native began working in show business when she was just a child, but rose to fame in her teens in the Disney hit "High School Musical." Over the years, Hudgens has proved that as an actor, she can basically do it all, from grittier performances in dramas like "Gimme Shelter," to action movies like "Machete Kills," and of course musicals, like "tick, tick...Boom." If that's not enough, Hudgens has released two studio albums, performed on Broadway, started businesses, and served as a producer on multiple films.

It's clear Hudgens has a lot of means to make money, so it should come as no surprise that the "Princess Switch" star has an impressive bank account. According to Celebrity Net Worth, as of 2022, Hudgens is worth $18 million, proving her hard work and longevity in Hollywood has quite literally paid off. When it comes to how she approaches achieving success, Hudgens explained to Cosmopolitan, "​​I make a vision board ... places I want to go to, how much money I want to save...and then I put it up on my wall and see it every day and know what I'm working towards." 

But outside of vision boards, how did Hudgens really become a millionaire? And what does she spend that money on when she's not saving it? We break it down.

Vanessa Hudgens' income from acting

When it comes to Vanessa Hudgens' work in the entertainment business, she's made a few pretty pennies in the acting world. Her role in 2006's "High School Musical" not only catapulted her career, but it was good to the Disney Channel: As Variety noted, the premiere pulled in a cool 7.7 million viewers. From there, two sequels followed, with the third even getting a theatrical release. Hudgens reportedly earned $2 million for her work in "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," and the movie raked in $252.9 million, per Box Office Mojo.

While the franchise presumably led to more acting work and therefore money for Hudgens, she dished that it derailed her indie film career plans. She explained to Collider, "I obviously gained success from that, and I think it was really easy for people to put me in a box and it made it a lot harder for me to go after the things that I really wanted."

Eventually, Hudgens was able to prove she could pull off grittier performances in films like "Spring Breakers." She also affirmed that she still had box office pull outside of "High School Musical" as well, when she starred in 2012's "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," which earned a whopping $335 million. Her 2020 film "Bad Boys For Life" later grossed a more impressive $426.5 million, making it clear that whatever Hudgens does over the years, her audience follows. 

The High School Musical star's profits from singing

Vanessa Hudgens' singing skills have worked in her favor. The multitalented star has the capability to lead musicals like the "High School Musical" franchise and "tick, tick...Boom," as well as sing in other non-musical films, like the animated feature "My Little Pony: A New Generation." That, along with her 24 soundtrack credits, may have led to bigger paychecks on certain films since she did more than act.  

Like a lot of other Disney Channel stars, Hudgens also made bank as a pop musician. During the height of her Disney fame, Hudgens released her first album, "V," which debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard charts and went gold. Her followup album, 2008's "Identified," debuted at No. 23.

In 2009, Hudgens put her pop career on the back burner, ditching her record company and briefly stepping away from singing. She explained to MTV, "I'm kind of taking a break from music right now. I'm just focusing on films and acting. I feel like when I'm doing something I really want, [I] focus on that." Yet don't rule out Hudgens ever releasing a solo album again because she told ET in 2017, "I feel like when the time is right ... it'll happen."

Vanessa Hudgens' work behind the scenes

Vanessa Hudgens has also been making money behind the scenes working as a producer. The "Bandslam" star first dabbled in production back in 2015, when per her IMDb, she served as an executive producer on the TV short "#15SecondScare." Yet it was the 2019 Netflix movie "Knight Before Christmas," which she also starred in, that Hudgens seemingly stepped into her power as a producer, especially when it came to her character. She explained to EW, "I went through and took a stab at a lot of my dialogue, and the lovely thing about being an EP is that it was actually heard and put into the script!"

Hudgens went on to serve as a producer in her other popular holiday movies, "The Princess Switch" sequels. For those, she told Rappler, "I got to be involved with the script, and with the development of all the characters, and have a say in the wardrobe, the hair, and the makeup." For Hudgens, having that control was a lot different than what she was used to. "As an actor on a project ... you don't wanna overstep any boundaries. Actually being a producer meant I wasn't overstepping," she said. 

Outside of producing for Netflix, Hudgens has other projects in the works, like the feature film "Big Rig." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hudgens is executive producing the film where she'll star as a truck driver, seemingly stepping out of her comfort zone from what she's mostly done in the past.

She's continued to do musicals

Vanessa Hudgens' love of the stage started early. "I grew up doing musical theater," she said in the Phil Star. "It's the thing that I love doing most — performing and being on the stage." Hudgens has continued to do theater throughout her career. In 2010, for example, she performed in the musical "Rent" when it was at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hudgens' theater career reached new heights in 2015 when she starred in "Gigi" on Broadway. She gushed to People, "It's been amazing. It's been the hardest I've ever worked." While it's unclear exactly what Hudgens made for all that hard work, Playbill reported back in 2018 that the minimum salary for union Broadway actors at that time was $2,034 a week. Of course, Hudgens' star power almost certainly beefed up her rate.

Hudgens followed "Gigi" up with another musical "Grease," except this time it was live on TV. Hudgens got a lot of praise for her performance, as well as her ability to perform on live TV just one day after her father died of cancer. She later said in Glamour, "There was never a moment where I thought that I wouldn't do ['Grease: Live!'] because my dad would want me to do it." It appears Hudgens enjoyed that experience — or perhaps Fox paid her well — because she went on to do it again in 2019 with "Rent: Live!"

Vanessa Hudgens' famous face is everywhere

Vanessa Hudgens has used her famous face to bring in cash through advertisement deals for a long time. In 2008, she became a spokesperson for Neutrogena in 2008, and it appeared to be a good fit. As she told StyleCaster in 2010, "It keeps my skin clear so I never have to worry about breakouts." Since then, Hudgens has teamed up with clothing company Candie's and signed on to be a face for birth control device Nexplanon.

In 2021, Hudgens also became a spokesperson for Fabletics, which she not only promotes on social media, but has designed for as well. "I literally went into my closet and grabbed things out of there that I wanted to design this collection off of," she told WWD of their Sun-Daze campaign. That wasn't the first time Hudgens profited from designing either, having done a collection with SUISTUDIO in 2018. She dished to InStyle, "I figured out what suits I wanted to make ... down to every detail."

What's more, Hudgens has worked as an on-camera host for events like the red carpet at the Oscars, Vogue's live stream of The Met Gala, and the MTV TV & Movies Awards. You could say that if Hudgens ever gets tired of acting, she has another profession lined up.

Vanessa Hudgens launched her own businesses

By 2021, Vanessa Hudgens wasn't just endorsing companies, she was starting her own. She did so first by launching a skincare line, Know Beauty, alongside singer Madison Beer. She explained to Harper's Bazaar, "We were like, 'There should be an easier way to approach skincare, something that allows you to know what is right for your personal skin." While it's no secret that there are tons of celebrity beauty lines out there, it seems Hudgens and Beer hope the science behind theirs will separate them from the rest since their products are personalized based on DNA.

It's unclear what Hudgens has made off of Know Beauty as of 2022, but if it's anything like beauty companies run by other A-listers, it does have the potential to make her very rich. Per Cosmetify, in 2021, Rihanna's Fenty Beauty had a revenue of over $506 million and Jessica Alba's Honest Company brought in $267 million.

What's more, Hudgens has thrown her hat into the beverage ring. Yet, instead of going the alcohol route, like Ryan Reynolds and Kendall Jenner, Hudgens launched a cactus water brand called Caliwater in 2021 alongside friend Oliver Trevena. The timing was seemingly right for the business. Hudgens told BBC, "The pandemic gave us the opportunity to really focus on the brand, fine tune it, and get it launched." Hudgens now frequently promotes Caliwater on social media, which is seemingly free marketing that reaches a lot of people considering she has tens of millions followers on just Instagram.

Vanessa Hudgens started working young

Vanessa Hudgens may have become a millionaire at a young age, but she did start working sooner than most, performing when she was just a child. She told InStyle, "I played Cindy Lou Who in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' at the Old Globe Theatre when I was, like, 8 years old." A few years later at age 14, Hudgens got her first TV gig, a guest part on "Still Standing."

Yet it was the 2003 film "Thirteen" that Hudgens thought would be her big break... until her main scene got cut. She recalled to Glamour, "I was so bummed, but it's something that I had to learn because that's just the business." Of course, soon after, Hudgens landed her actual big break in the Disney hit "High School Musical" when she was only 17 years old.

Because of that, Hudgens was able to make grown up purchases at a young age, like buying her first house when she was still a teen. However, Hudgens admitted to InStyle that she did have some issues with managing her new money and paid way too much for random things like curtains. She explained, "Stuff like that I think I splurged on because I didn't really know how hard you have to work to make sure that you have an income." But it wasn't just house items, since she also confessed, "I used to buy Louis Vuitton bags all the time, and it was kind of a mess."

She didn't grow up wealthy

Vanessa Hudgens may have millions in the bank now, but the same can't be said about her childhood. The "Beastly" star told InStyle, "My mom is from the Philippines and she was raised, basically, in a house with a thatch roof ... So money was not something that was at their fingertips." She added, "My dad was a firefighter, so he didn't make a whole lot either." Because of that, money appeared to be a sensitive subject for the family, with Hudgens recalling, "It was always like, 'How are we gonna pay the bills?'"

Despite their financial situation, Hudgens' parents saw something special in their daughter and worked hard so she could chase her dreams in Hollywood. She dished to Marie Claire, "My parents drove me up to L.A., which cost a lot because of gas, and took out loans so that we could move from location to location to be close to L.A. The family definitely struggled." Hudgens said her father would even commute to his job after they moved away and that she and her sister would wear clothes from thrift shops.

Keeping a money-conscious mindset is important to Hudgens, and as she told InStyle, she hopes that isn't lost on future generations. "I think kids this day in age aren't really seeing the money because everything is digital," she said. "I think it's important for kids to see that these transactions that are happening are from hard-earned money."

Vanessa Hudgens' attitude about money

While it's obvious Vanessa Hudgens is rather well off nowadays, it seems that the "Knight Before Christmas" star still has anxiety when it comes to making ends meet. She dished to Cosmopolitan, "I have two mortgages and I'm spending way more money than I would like to spend — I think all of that bulls**t really takes a toll on your wellbeing."

And while Hudgens is doing just fine financially, she seemingly lives like it can all go away. For example, she told InStyle that she not only sells furniture and bags she no longer uses online, but that she feels guilty about spending too much on ordering food through Postmates. And she won't pay full price for something if she doesn't have to. Hudgens shared, "When it comes to swap meets, marketplaces, flea markets, I definitely barter and try to get them down as low as I can. I love a bargain and a sale."

Yet, Hudgens suggested her concerns about finances have also impacted the kind of roles she takes. She explained, "A lot of times the really fulfilling projects tend to be indies, and you don't get a solid paycheck from that." However, Hudgens seemingly tries to stay positive by manifesting what she wants, even financially. She told Glamour UK, "I am a very big vision-board gal... just to have a visual reference of everything that I'm trying to accomplish."

Vanessa Hudgens' investments in real estate

It appears that Vanessa Hudgens doesn't mind dropping money on real estate, considering she's owned some impressive properties. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time, Hudgens bought her first home at age 19, a 5,200 square-foot Studio City home that she got for $2.75 million. It seemed it wasn't too shabby for a starter home either, boasting six bedrooms, a wine cellar, and pool. Yet by 2019, Hudgens put that house on the market for $3.85 million, ultimately accepting $3.15 million.

Perhaps Hudgens settled for a lower asking price because she had purchased another home the year before, for $4.9 million. Her new sprawling Los Feliz residence was apparently Hudgens' dream home too; she told Architectural Digest she had been looking for something like it for five years. "There were so many things about it that struck me," she gushed. "Walking through the gate and seeing this house covered in ivy, surrounded by olive trees, it was like I had been transported to France or Italy." It also helped that the house was built in 1922, which was perfect for Hudgens who wanted something old.

Hudgens' Architectural Digest feature may have caught the eye of podcaster Jon Lovett and journalist Ronan Farrow, since they purchased the house in early 2022. Here's the kicker: According to Dirt, it was never put on the market. Hudgens made money off the sale though, getting $6.7 million. What's more, she has a $1 million apartment in Brooklyn as well.

Vanessa Hudgens' luxury purchases

Real estate doesn't seem to be the only thing that Vanessa Hudgens breaks out the big bucks for. According to 21 Motoring, Hudgens has quite a fancy car collection for one, having been spotted driving a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Porsche, Range Rover, and Mercedes over the years. In 2019, the Daily Mail reported she was also excited to add a more environmentally friendly Tesla to her collection.

From the looks of her Instagram, it appears Hudgens is into designer clothes as well, seeing that she often posts about her fabulous outfits. Whether she's rocking Vera Wang, Versace, or Fendi, Hudgens makes it a point to tag the high-end brands, seemingly showing off her worth. However, she did tell InStyle she thinks twice before dropping major dough on things. "I love telling my girlfriends when we go shopping ... 'Sleep on it and if you can't stop thinking about it, come back and get it,'" she said.

Of course, Hudgens likes to spend on travel too, and often shares her adventures around the world with her followers. In May 2022, for example, she was in Rome with her sister, and in March 2022, she ventured to Paris for Fashion Week. As for the one thing she believes is worth every penny? "Creative freedom," she said in InStyle, "whether that's making your own film, opening up your own dance studio, traveling the world, being inspired by seeing different artists' work."

Vanessa Hudgens' unpleasant expenses

While Vanessa Hudgens may be able to buy cool things with her millions, she's also had to use some of it to deal with less glamorous things like fines and lawsuits. In 2016, for example, the AP reported that the "Sneakernight" singer had to pay $1,000 in restitution for vandalizing a red rock wall in a national forest in Sedona, Arizona. Hudgens carved both her own name and then-boyfriend Austin Butler's name into the rock and posted a photo of it on Instagram. "She was caught in the act because she publicized it and she's famous," a park spokesperson later explained.

It seems Hudgens fared better when it came to lawsuits. In 2007, per TMZ, she was sued for $150,000 by her former lawyer, Brian Schall, who claimed she owed him unpaid fees. However, Hudgens affirmed that the lawsuit didn't hold up because she was underage when she signed the contract. It was ultimately dismissed. The next year, Billboard reported Hudgens was sued again, that time for $5 million, by her former producer, Johnny Vieira. She countersued him in 2009 and won the legal battle, being awarded $38,000 by a judge, per TMZ.

Although Hudgens may have had a few financial obstacles over the years, she's definitely come a long way from her humble beginnings to the multi-millionaire she is today. It appears she's worked hard for every penny too, making her not only relatable to fans but inspiring since her success story has clearly been quite the ride.