Five billionaires who live below their means
At least once in your life - maybe even once a week or once a day for
that matter - you have fantasized about coming into a lot of money.
What would you do if you were worth millions or even billions?
Believe it or not there are millionaires and billionaires among us who
masquerade as relatively normal, run-of-the-mill people. Take a peek at
some of the most frugal wealthy people in the world.
Millions of people read Buffett's books and follow his firm,
Berkshire Hathaway's, every move. But the real secret to Buffett's
personal fortune may be his penchant for frugality.
Buffett, who is worth an estimated $47 billion, eschews opulent homes
and luxury items. He and his wife still live in their modest home in
Omaha, Nebraska which they purchased for just $31,500 more than 50 years
Although he's dined in the best restaurants around the globe, given
the choice he would opt for a good burger and fries accompanied by a
cold cherry Coke.
When asked why he doesn't own a yacht he responded "Most toys are
just a pain in the neck." (Find out how he went from selling soft drinks
to buying up companies and making billions of dollars.)
While most of the world is very familiar with Bill Gates, the name
Carlos Slim rarely rings a bell. But it's a name worth knowing. Slim,
who is a native of Mexico, was just named the world's richest
billionaire - that's right, richer than the uber-famous Microsoft
Slim is worth more than $53 billion and while he could afford the
world's most extravagant luxuries he rarely indulges. He, like Buffett,
doesn't own a yacht or plane and he has lived in the same home for over
The founder of the Swedish furniture phenomenon Ikea struck success
with affordable, assemble-it-yourself furniture. For Kamprad, figuring
out how to save money isn't just for his customers, it's a high personal
value. He's been quoted as saying "Ikea people do not drive flashy cars
or stay at luxury hotels." That goes for the founder as well. He flies
coach for business and when he needs to get around town locally he
either takes the bus or will head out in his 15-year-old Volvo 240 GL.
Growing up in the wake of The Depression as an Irish-American
probably has something to do with Feeney's frugality. With a personal
motto of "I set out to work hard, not get rich," the co-founder of Duty
Free Shoppers has quietly become a billionaire but even more secretively
given almost all of it away through his foundation, Atlantic
In addition to giving more than $600 million to his alma mater
Cornell University, he has given billions to schools, research
departments and hospitals.
Loath to spend if he doesn't have to, Feeney beats both Buffett and
Kamprad in the donation category, giving out less grants than only Ford
and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations.
A frequent user of public transportation, Feeney flies economy class,
buys clothes from retail stores, and does not waste money on an
extensive shoes closet, stating "you can only wear one pair of shoes at
He raised his children in the same way; making them work the same
normal summer jobs as most teens.
If you live in the Midwest chances are good that you shop at Meijer's
chain of grocery stores. Meijer is worth more than $5 billion and nearly
half of that was amassed when everyone else was watching their net worth
drop in 2009.
Like Buffett he buys reasonably-priced cars and drives them until
they die, and like Kamprad he chooses affordable motels when on travel
Also, like Chuck Feeney, rather than carelessly spending his wealth
Meijer is focused on the good that it can provide to the community.