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The Surprising Modest Life of the Worlds Wealthiest

Updated on December 19, 2017
Jim Caudwell
Jim Caudwell | Source

The Secrets of the Rich but Frugal

Being wealthy is an end that everyone wants. The life of the rich are the subject of countless depictions and is often depicted as materialistically decadent, lavish and the wealthy spend their funds over the top.

It therefore comes as a shock to find out that some billionaires are actually living a frugal lifestyle. Living a simple lifestyle is the last thing we expect from billionaires.

It is no wonder that most of the rich just get richer, could living a frugal lifestyle be the secret to endless accumulation?

John Caudwell

John Caudwell could very well afford a dozen stretch limousines and Ferrari's or Bugatti Veyrons with his $2.2 billion fortune. However, this truly remarkable guy exemplifies frugal living to a 'T'.

He is known to have been used to taking on a bike 14 miles to work everyday. It is often said that Mr. Caudwell prefers to have his hair cut at home either by himself or probably by someone without the hefty bill in popular designer salons.

He also buys his own clothes off the rack, steering clear of astronomically-priced designer wear. But then of course, Caudwell allowed himself a couple of luxuries by getting himself a Ferrari and a Bentley, possessions deemed very modest for a man of his means.

Caudwell earned his first fortune from mobile phones business. This exemplary billionaire believes that splurging on expensive items and spending money merely to help boost his self-esteem is plain waste.

David Cheriton

David Cheriton, another man of wealth known for his thrifty tendencies is cut from the same block as Caudwell when it comes to frugal living. Cheriton is well-known for his role in matching Google founders Brin with venture capitalists and the rest they say is history.

For his contribution, he was rewarded with a chunk of Google fortune through stocks. Cheriton is one of the few people whose passion for fitness and environment made him enjoy life without creating much dent in his fortune.

David's mode of transportation to work and around his neighborhood is a bike while he drives an old Volkswagen and Honda sedan for longer distances. Interestingly enough, Cheriton like Jim Caudwell, cuts his own hair at home instead of making the trip to an expensive designer salon.

Jim C. Walton

Jim C. Walton is the owner of superstore giant WalMart. His networth is approximately at $16 billion. True to frugal fashion, Walton still drives his old Dodge Dakota truck instead of going for expensive sports cars.

Kamprad's Frugality
Kamprad's Frugality | Source

Ingvar Kamprad

The genius behind furniture giant IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad is worth $33 billion as of last check, and amazingly keeps a low profile. Would you believe that he still drives around in a 17-year-old Volvo, cuts unnecessary travel expense by flying coach, eats in regular restaurants and lives in a modest house which he decorates modest with his own furnitures.

Kamprad, originally from Sweden, does not like business suits either. You bet that even saves him thousands of dollars each year.

Warren Buffet

Worth over $57 billion, Warren Buffet lives in the five-bedroom house he bought for $31,500 fifty years ago and moves around in a 2006 Cadillac. Why shake it if it's not broken, right?

Warren Buffet is right on point when he sees luxury items as 'pain in the neck'. Maintenance and added expenses, he does not want any of these.

Azim Premji

India's richest man Azim Premji owns the country's largest software firm, Wipro. Premji is worth $17.1 Billion but he used to drive a Ford Escape for eight years before trading it with a Toyota Corolla.

More than this, he would love to walk from his home to work if possible. Legend has it that Premji even used paper plates during his son's wedding. When this guy travels around India, you won't see him in boutique hotels either as he prefers budget hotels. He also prefers non-branded suits.

Carlos Slim Helu

Currently ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world's richest man at $60.6 billion, Carlos Slim can afford to spend $1,150 per minute in the next 100 years and still he won't run out of cash.

Carlos Slim, the ultimate example of frugality still lives in the same house for over 40 years. Talk about keeping everything constant, except his net worth which continues to rise easily catapulting him to the top of the Forbes list and wedging out the regulars like Microsoft founder Bill Gates or the Sultan of Brunei.

With his simple living and frugality, don't be surprised if this man does not own a private plane or even a yatch. Such luxury possessions are clearly off his list.

10 Richest People Who Live Like Average

Frugality is a rare virtue and these billionaires are surely a peculiar lot, but they exemplify and prove that being rich does not mean living in excess. Their stories should be an eye-opener for everyone. It is not always good to live your life keeping up with the Joneses. Learn from these frugal billionaires.


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    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 3 years ago

      gmmurgirl, Yeah true lol

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Jacob. Frugality is not for everyone but these billionaires lifestyle is just a source of amazement for me. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 3 years ago

      I know it's good to be frugal but come on lol they're rich they can spend as much as they like without even worrying about running out

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 3 years ago from Philippines

      Yes, admirable trait and quite unbelievable how someone who has so much lives below his means. Thanks drpennypincher for dropping by.

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 3 years ago from Iowa, USA

      It is truly amazing the Warren Buffet still lives in the same modest house even after accumulating all of the wealth he has now. Interesting article.

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 3 years ago from Philippines

      Indeed, their habits are truly worth imitating. Thanks celebassistant.

    • celebassistant profile image

      Brian Daniel 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I saw the Warren Buffet documentary and he buys all of his cars used to save money.

    • profile image

      Hugh Morrison 4 years ago

      Interesting article. It ties in with the message of the book 'The Millionaire Next Door' and it's a concept also explored in my own Kindle ebook, 'A Treasury of Thrift.'

      Many business people are frugal by nature so when they become billionaires they don't just say 'hey, I'm rich, let's blow it all on parties, yachts and Ferraris!' Why would they? Self reliance is what's important to them, not conspicuous consumption.

      Look at how many millionare rock stars and lottery winners end up penniless through their spendthrift lifestyles.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      I suppose frugality is a way for the rich to keep a low profile and maintain more privacy. Unless I am missing something, I do not see the point in laying a golden egg and sitting on it. However, if they give back to society, they have a fine purpose.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 5 years ago from Philippines

      Hi smcopywrite! Thank you. These masters of frugal living however, have a totally different idea about wealth.

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      i dont understand the entire rich but frugal. the point of being rich is to enjoy the wealth. if you don't enjoy it what's the point?

      great information and hub. thank you

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Jlava73! Thank you very much!

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 7 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Nice analysis!

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Timstown! Pretty surprising, isn't it? These billionaires truly inspire me to take the same route. Frugality has it pros and cons but with these hard up times, the pros will definitely help anyone ride out the tough times. Thanks!

    • Timstown profile image

      Timstown 7 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting. I've read about how many millionaire's are extremely frugal and often have less luxuries than people worth significantly less then them, but I wasn't aware that many billionaire's maintain a frugal lifestyle as well.