Our lives revolve around money and earning more is our motto in life! But, there are many people who have so much of wealth that many of their coming generations can live without working. But, these billionaires live a normal life, instead of spending on expensive things. These people know how to live a simple life and give their money for noble causes. WealthHow has compiled 15 of the billionaires who live frugally.
There’s Nothing Money can’t Buy!
✦ A Turkish person became a billionaire by selling beer all his life. But, he has this love for pens and he owns 3,000 pens and is even seen carrying some around.
✦ There is a French tycoon who has an obsession with comic books. He owns 1,000 books.
If I ask you the very famous question, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?”, what will your answer be? We all start thinking of so many things we have always wanted to do, and those expensive things we had to buy but couldn’t afford. But there are billionaires who earn so much, yet live frugally. They can just rest in luxury for years but they have chosen the other way.
They are so rich that they can afford anything for themselves. But, they have chosen to make lives simpler for others. They have chosen to give.
Warren Buffett is the person who has a net worth of over 70 billion USD (in 2015, as per Forbes). This man is the CEO, chairman, and the largest shareholder of Berkish Hathaway. He has always been in the list of wealthiest people. But, his life isn’t as luxurious as we think. He has been living in a house in Omaha for more than 50 years. He had bought this home for just $31,500. He doesn’t own any yacht and when asked for a reason, he said, “Most toys are just a pain in the neck”. Another example of his simple living is his second marriage. Instead of a huge event, it was a gathering of close people at his daughter’s house in Omaha. Apart from that, he has always been giving away billions of dollars for different causes, to different foundations.
Carlos Slim Helu
Carlos Slim Helu from Mexico, has a net worth of 76.4 billion USD (2015). He is a huge investor and businessman who has an empire that stretches in every field of Mexico’s economy. He could afford all that he wants to show off his status. But, this simple man has never indulged in luxuries. He lives in the same home for over 40 years and doesn’t even own a jet or a yacht.
The Facebook mastermind is one of the youngest billionaires, with a net worth of 34.8 billion USD (2015). What all would a young man do with so much money? The answer is nothing for Mark. He drives an Acura and is seen wearing the famous gray t-shirt and hoodie. He prefers that instead of the blazers and shirts. Another example of his simplicity showed in his private wedding with Priscilla Chan in his backyard. On their honeymoon in Italy, the couple was seen enjoying in McDonald’s.
CEO of Zappos, an online clothing and shoe shop, Tony Hsieh’s net worth is close to $1 billion. He earned an astounding $265 million. He could have lapped up all the luxury, but he chose not to do so. Instead, he donated $350 million from his own money to convert Las Vegas into a tech hub. As one of the investors in Zappos states, “Money just doesn’t matter to him. If he only had a million dollars left, he’d spend $999,999 to make Vegas work. He would be just as happy with a dollar in the bank and being around people he cares about and care about him.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook is a billionaire to be precise, even if his net worth isn’t known. In 2011 alone, he amassed $378 million. That itself gives you an idea for sure. In spite of the riches, he isn’t deterred and continues to live in a 2,400-square foot condominium in Palo Alto, California, which he purchased for just about $1.9 million in 2010. In the book Inside Apple, he’s quoted as saying, “I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.” Point noted, sir!
Sergey Brin is an entrepreneur and computer scientist who co-founded Google along with Larry Page. His net worth is $22.8 billion. Talking about frugal living, in his own words, this was what he had to say in an interview: “From my parents, I certainly learned to be frugal and to be happy without many things. It’s interesting-I still find myself not wanting to leave anything on the plate uneaten. I still look at prices. I try to force myself to do this less, not to be so frugal. But I was raised being happy with not so much.”
Charles Francis (Chuck) Feeney is an Irish-American businessman who co-founded the ‘Duty Free Shoppers Group’. He is a huge philanthropist and is the founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies. He has donated all his life, and to the noble cause of education. He has donated most of it to the University of California, San Francisco and the Cornell University, his alma mater. He says, “I can’t imagine a more effective way to distribute my undeserved wealth”. This man has lived all his life by his motto, “I set out to work hard, not get rich”. He uses the public transport frequently, flies economy class, and buys clothes from retail shops. He doesn’t even like spending money on different, expensive shoes as he says, “you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.” He has raised his children in a similar way by making them work summer jobs like other teens.
David Cheriton is a computer science professor at Stanford University and has investments in technology companies. He has a net worth of approximately 3 billion USD. He may have earned a lot but his lifestyle has never changed. This man likes nothing of the expensive cars, large houses, or lavish vacations. His biggest gift to himself was the Honda Odyssey. He is known to donate almost $25 million for research and graduate studies, to the University of Waterloo. Other than that, there have been many other kind donations.
Spanish-born Amancio Ortega is a fashion executive and founding chairman of Zara, a leading clothing and accessories retail shop whose net worth is $57.5 billion. Fathom that folks! His net worth rose by $22.2 billion in 2012 alone. Nevertheless, his enormous wealth hasn’t changed him a bit. He and his wife reside in an apartment building in La Coruña, Spain. He visits the same coffee shop every day, lunches with his employees in Zara, and owns an Audi A8. He keeps his dressing simple: blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants each day. He is a man who hasn’t let success get to his head.
With a net worth of $41.2 billion up her sleeve, Christy Walton is a super-rich woman who remains grounded and humble. For those of you who don’t know her, Christy is the widow of John Walton, son of one of the founders of Wal-Mart (Sam Walton). Ah! Now do you see where all that fortune comes from? Despite the wealth she always wished that her son have a normal upbringing, and she did that! Her son was raised in an 1896 Victorian home in National City, California. Furthermore, after her husband’s demise in a plane crash, she donated her home, or should we say, mansion to charity. Now that calls for a large heart, we say.
As the founder and owner of one of the largest technology service giants and the 3rd richest in the world, Azim Premji is helluva rich, with a net worth amounting to a whopping $12.2 billion. Beat that, can you?! Oddly, the dirty little secret about such affluent people is that they seldom act like one. And our very own Azim Premji isn’t any different. He supposedly keeps track of the number of toilet paper rolls that employees in Wipro use and ensures that electricity is conserved by making sure that lights are switched off in the office premises when not needed. Whoa! But that’s not all! He travels in a three-seater rickshaw from the airport on his return from business trips and moves about in a 1996 Ford. That’s some frugal living, sir!
Money doesn’t change some people and David Green is a fitting example of that. Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retail chain, his net worth is $4.5 billion. He still travels in economy class when he could have actually owned a Gulfstream! Rather than splurging wealth on himself or his family, he spends it by making a contribution to evangelical causes in America. He has also donated over $50 million to charitable organizations. Above all, he has decided that if ever Hobby Lobby had to dissolve someday, 90% of the net worth will be given off to the ministry, while the remaining 10% will go to a trust that assists in his family’s education and health. Modesty personified.
So what does Karl Albrecht do with all the wealth amassed, you ask? Simple. He masquerades like one among us, as one of those average people. Co-founder of Aldi, Mr. Albrecht’s net worth is a gigantic $25.4 billion. Phew! Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Aldi, it is a leading supermarket chain in Europe similar to what Walmart is to the US. Right from childhood, his parents raised him and his brother Theo to live a simple life. Once, when his brother, Theo, was abducted for 17 days, he agreed upon a ransom bargain of 4 million, which was soon after disregarded as a business expense. That’s some cheapskate living, eh?
Ingvar Kamprad is a Swedish businessman and the founder of IKEA, a furniture brand. His net worth is almost 3.5 billion USD (2015). He achieved success because of his affordable and assemble-it-yourself furniture. The money-saving factor doesn’t constrain till his customers, but he himself is known to do so. He flies in the business coach and is so down-to-earth that he may take the local transport too. He’s seen driving his 15-year old Volvo many times too. One of his quotes is, “IKEA people do not drive flashy cars or stay at luxury hotels”.
These billionaires, and probably many more, are busy figuring out how to save up, donate, or live modestly instead of living in the lap of luxury. We should take a leaf out of their page and consider building our own depot of cash, in fact, making it a habit.