Frugality is one of the key characteristics of wealth, according to a researcher who studied millionaires and billionaires. Those who devote their lives to saving their wealth spend less and stick to a routine. This behavior allows them to accumulate their wealth within a period of time and are more likely to become millionaires.
Believe it or not, many of the richest people in the world, including Warren Buffett and Richard Branson, have surprisingly frugal habits. Today are looking at some of the wealthiest people in the world, whose spending habits are sure to surprise you.
1. Warren Buffett still resides in the same home he bought for $31,500 in 1958.
One of the absolute richest men in the world, the business magnate, philanthropist and longtime chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett lives an exceedingly regular life. He still lives in his 6,000 square-foot, five-bedroom stucco house in Omaha that he bought for $31,500 in 1958.
He’s described the purchase as “the third best investment he has ever made”. His current net worth is 89.5 billion but he is not someone who lives a lavish lifestyle; spending relatively little money. And instead of buying a smartphone, he uses a flip phone, which costs around $20-$30. Buffett also famously pays only $18 for a haircut.
2. Bill Gates wears a $10 watch.
The richest man in America is known as one of the founding fathers of Microsoft. The business mogul managed to accumulate a net worth of $112.8 billion using keen business strategies and aggressive business tactics. Despite all the wealth in the world, he admitted that he wears a $10 wrist watch, enjoys playing tennis and still likes to wash the dishes at home every night for his family. Dishwashers do consume electricity after all!
3. Charlie Ergen, co-founder and chairman of Dish Network, still packs a brown-bag lunch from home every day.
With a reported net worth of $11.8 billion, Charlie Ergen is the cofounder and chairman of satellite TV provider Dish Network and satellite communications company EchoStar. In 1980, Ergen began his business by selling satellite dishes out of the back of a truck in Colorado. In 1996, he took Dish public and today, it has over 12 million subscribers throughout the world.
While he is certainly capable of hiring a professional chef to make fresh meals for him throughout the day, Ergen prefers to live a frugal life. The billionaire mogul brings a paper-bag lunch to work every day, consisting of a sandwich and Gatorade from home. Ergen and his wife have also lived in the same Denver home for over 20 years.
4. Richard Branson doesn’t spend much on clothes. For him, the biggest luxury isn’t money but the time he spends with his friends and family.
The billionaire Richard Branson – who’s now worth $5.75 billion – lives a modest life, which also has modest roots. When it comes to luxury items, he is extremely frugal, mainly because he grew up in a middle-class family. He also prefers to buy watercolors at reasonable prices, unlike other rich people who spend an unrealistic amount of money for expensive artwork. Oh, and he also doesn’t spend much on clothes either.
5. Carlos Slim Helú, the richest man in Mexico, drives himself around town and to work everyday.
Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican telecom magnate, is the owner of more than 200 companies, including Telmex – Mexico’s largest phone service provider. His current net worth is $67.7 billion USD but even after becoming Mexico’s richest man, Helú is known for his modest lifestyle.
Everyday, he drives himself around town in an old Mercedes-Benz, buys clothes off the rack at his own retail stores, and for over 30 years, has lived in the same modest six-bedroom house in Mexico where he raised his kids. He doesn’t own a computer and even prefers to do his own accounting by hand with a paper ledger.
6. Jim Walton works out of a plain old brick building in his hometown.
Jim Walton, a Walmart scion and member of America’s richest family, has a net worth that is roughly $45 billion dollars; making him one of the richest people in the world. Despite his massive wealth, he is known for being extremely frugal. According to him, he inherited the down-to-earth spending habits from his father, Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Even though he is capable of driving brand new sports cars to work, he prefers pickup trucks and reportedly drives around a rusting Dodge Dakota pickup that is over 15 years old. According to Business Insider, he runs the family’s Arvest Bank from the upstairs floor of a “plain old brick building”.
7. Azim Premji, one of the richest men in India, is so frugal that he monitors toilet-paper used by his employees.
With a net worth of $7.2 billion, Azim Premji is easily one of the richest men in India. Despite his success that spans for more than five decades, the chairman of Indian tech-services giant Wipro Ltd., lives a low-budget lifestyle and is extremely careful with his spending. When returning home from business trips, he is known to take a rickshaw from the airport to home, which is cheaper than a taxi.
He only buys used products, that are cheaper, flies in economy class, and stays at company guest houses instead of five-star hotels. At his company, he reportedly keeps close tabs on toilet-paper usage and is known for encouraging his employees to turn off the lights when they leave.
8. Jeff Bezos used to drive a 1987 Chevy Blazer. As of 2013, he was driving a Honda Accord.
With a net worth of $127.7 billion, Jeff Bezos is the richest person alive today. Bezos, who is best known as the founder, chief executive officer, and president of Amazon, told Bob Simon during a 1999 “60 Minutes” interview that “this is a perfectly good car”, while sitting on the driver seat of his Accord. Before that, Bezos was driving a 1987 Chevy Blazer, which he used to deliver packages to the post office in the early days of Amazon.