I understand that, in seasons 1 and 2, Oliver had the resources of his crazy-rich family and Queen Consolidated. However, as of season 3:

- He doesn't have any access to QC resources (Except what Felicity can hack into)
- He doesn't own The Foundry
- Despite the fact that his family was exceptionally rich, he now has essentially no non-Arrow-related assets. I initially didn't believe this, because you'd think his family would have had investments in things that weren't Queen Consolidated, but this was confirmed in season 3, episode 4; Oliver is broke

The only member of his entourage who seems to have a full-time job is Felicity, who worked part-time at a consumer electronics retailer until early in season 3. So they're not floating him any money.

Despite this lack of apparent funds:

  • He's always showered, relatively clean-shaven, with clean and pressed clothes
  • He seems to have an unlimited supply of arrows, both for himself and Roy
  • He could afford a whole costume for Roy
  • He's keeping the electricity on in The Foundry
  • He can fly himself, Roy, and Diggle on a round trip to Corto Maltese (Admittedly in economy class, but still), and bring Thea back with them
  • He can afford to keep the Arrow-cycle fuelled up and in good repair, despite the fact that he does not play nicely with his toys

On a related note, where does he live? I could accept that he sleeps at The Foundry, he's done that before, but does the abandoned nightclub most recently owned by his most sworn enemy have bathing facilities? On-site laundry?

I realize it's entirely possible that this hasn't been answered, but I'm still curious: how exactly does he pay for all of this? Have there been any indications from cast or crew in non-televised media (Interviews, Twitter, Reddit AMAs) to suggest an answer?

I'm not interested in out-of-universe answers. I know that "Oliver Queen: vigilante badass by night, wage slave by day" doesn't make for the most exciting superhero story. I'm much more interested in in-universe answers, even if the only answer is James Sheridan's

EDIT: Season 3, Episode 5 ("The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak") raises more questions:

Thea asks that Oliver move in with her, simultaneously indicating that she knows he's broke and that his living situation is less than ideal. He's clearly not living at the Mansion (The season 2 finale clearly shows him leaving the place empty and abandoned), and Thea presumably knows this. So where does she think he's living?

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    He has perfected his ability to always have a light shining on his face, regardless of the availability of light sources, or the direction from which the light comes. This has enabled him to gain grants from several universities simultaneously, hoping to understand the physics involved in this phenomenon. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 4:19
  • Diggle does have a source of income through Layla's work with ARGUS, presumable Roy still works as a bar back for whomever owns the Foundry now (I'm guessing it's still open at night?) Perhaps he's gone full "Robin Hood" and takes whatever currency he can off the crooks he busts.
    – Monty129
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 9:48
  • @Monty129 That's a good point about Diggle; still, Oliver's hobbies seem expensive and I'm not sure how much Lyla makes. Maybe Waller is secretly bankrolling them? Either way, the Foundry is definitely not open anymore; that was confirmed in last night's episode (Part of the reason I asked this one now; last night debunked a lot of my own pet theories) Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 13:50
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    @Monty129 It's better than poor Flash. "The Streak" just keeps reminding me of that song. Still, considering Roy's costume I wouldn't be surprised if they started using the Green/Red Arrow names in-show; it's not like Starling is going to come up with anything more creative Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 16:39
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    Although it hasn't been shown or mentioned on-screen as of yet, Roy secretly runs a lucrative drug empire on the side.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 17:26

6 Answers 6


As of the beginning of Arrow's 4th season, most of the money that Oliver's team spends appears to come from Felicity. She is now the CEO of Palmer Technologies (somewhat ironically putting her in charge of Oliver's company), and she seems to have no problem "borrowing" equipment from the company as well.

The source of funds during Season 3 is a bit more speculative, but with the release of the Arrow: Season 2.5 comics, some of the speculation has been confirmed. For starters, Felicity had a much better job than the one we see in the S3 premier: she worked at Kord Industries, apparently doing long hours. (She doesn't have this job by the start of S03E01.)

Felcity's Job Prospects

But more importantly, Oliver did get some inheritance from his mother, which was not a Queen Consolidated asset: her life insurance.

Moira's life insurance

If we just look at evidence from the televised episodes, this issue is mostly glossed over in the show; I suspect we as the viewer are supposed to silently fill in the pieces with whatever we can imagine, or else just ignore the whole thing. Having said that, there's a couple of contributing factors that might help keep them float, at least for the short time before Felicity became VP of something or other at Queen Consolidated:

  • Oliver lost his business, but presumably he still had some personal holdings left over. He may have had trust-fund money left, plus he would have inherited 1/2 of his mother's estate when she died (including proceeds from selling the mansion, etc.). "Broke" here likely means that he had to liquidate all of those assets to pay to survive -- what a former millionaire considers "broke" is much different from what the average person considers "broke." (See also: the Hodginseseses on Bones.)

  • The building he's living under is owned by Queen Consolidated, which became suddenly less one CEO soon after Oliver was ousted. In the confusion, its not unreasonable to think that the building could continue to have it's utilities on and being paid, but is slipping through the paperwork unnoticed.

  • Though Felicity's former job as a Nerd Herder probably couldn't pay for a private jet to Corto Maltese, their flight accommodations were clearly low-budget (I think Thea even commented about it). Not knowing exactly where in South America Corto Maltese is makes it hard to guess what airfare would cost, but flights from NYC to places like Bogota or Medellin are be as low as $600 a ticket on a full-sized commercial flight, so one of those commuter planes may be even cheaper.

  • We also don't know what Diggle's income is like, especially when you add ARGUS into the mix -- who knows what Lyla gets paid, or if Amanda Waller makes "resources" available to Oliver to stay on his good side?
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    All good points, especially the first one My first thought was "How would he not burn through that money? It's not like he can replenish it at all." But then I remembered that I have no concept of just how rich the Queen family was. Short of canon confirmation, this is probably as close to a correct answer as there's ever going to be Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 21:29
  • I can vouch for point number two: I once lived in a warehouse that had been converted into a number of apartments. The dodgy landlord never let on to the utility companies about the conversion and in the confusion the electricity supply for the whole building continued unabated for several years despite the fact no-one was actually paying for it.
    – Dre
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 20:17
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    @JasonBaker : Keep in mind, that if you go from a net worth of 100 million down to a single million, you may feel like you've lost it all but realistically you could probably invest most of that million and live off interest alone.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 21:44

Diggle and Felicity are both millionaires... In the graphic novels Oliver gave them a million each as "severance" before leaving tk go back to the island after the undertaking.


Remember William Tockman in the 14th episode of season 2. Oliver asked Felicity to liquidate 800,000$ of his QC shares and transfer the money to his personal account to lure Tockman.

I don't know if this one sounds viable or not because Oliver mentions to Thea that they are broke when they are in her new penthouse or whatever it is which she buys off of Merlyn's money.

Please let me know if this one sounds as a logical explanation or not as even I am curious to find out about Oliver's spending habits considering he is broke. Well, billionaire "broke" as someone stated here.

  • +1 - I completely forgot about that. And that was after the Queens lost "everything", so he could indeed be living off his QC shares. I sure wish I had $800,000 worth of shares somewhere...
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 21:47

My guess is that Oliver still has some money in his trust fund, which is probably how he funds everything, considering that he probably lives in the Arrow cave, now with Thea for free(he's basically a former billionaire mooch). I imagine that Diggle and Felicity probably help out as well.

  • This is a good point, but do you have canon support for him living at the Foundry? I agree that it's the most likely, but I don't remember it ever being mentioned on the show Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 21:30
  • I know for a fact that Sara points it out in season 2. I'm not 100% certain that he's still living there as it's never mentioned that he ever moved out. And like you said, it makes sense that that's where he's living. I'm going to edit my answer slightly instead of saying that it's a fact.
    – Robert
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 21:58
  • The arrow cave? Don't you mean The Quiver?
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 18:22
  • No, because it's called The Arrow cave in the show.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 14:20

Remember that in the beginning of Season 1 he attacked one of the people on his list and had him transfer 40 million dollars into an untraceable account. I would suspect that was to finance his crusade and its conveniently off the books, so that essentially covers it.

  • You don't happen to remember which episode that was? It sounds like a fair explanation Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 16:04
  • It's in the very first episode "Pilot". The man he takes the money from is Adam Hunt played by Brian Markinson. imdb.com/title/tt2340185/?ref_=ttep_ep1
    – Moogle
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:56
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    Re-watching the episode, it appears that Oliver distributed the $40 million among Hunt's victims rather than keeping it for himself. You can see the transactions happening on the computer screen when Oliver is stealing the money from Hunt, and Laurel and her partner confirm it shortly afterwards at the end of the episode Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 3:13

I would assume he has money hidden away. He never mentions being "broke" to Dig, Falicity, or Roy as far as I remember. Also he is a member of Bratva so I would assume he gets some type of that illegal income. If I remember my mafia information (Been years since I researched the mob) high ranking members get a cut of all income. As for telling Theia "they are broke" he's hiding his time off and on the island from her, I doubt he would admit to having money from those five years.

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    Hi... There is a lot of assumption in that answer.. "I think, I would assume" answer tend to be based on facts not assumption.. I recommend you take the tour and visit the help center
    – Rocket
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 0:59

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