Sometimes it's hard not to believe that life would be so much better if we had unlimited funds. Those student and credit card loans would be paid off in just an instant instead of over the course of months or years and a sun-soaked vacation would be available at the drop of a hat. We all dream of that “pie in the sky” goal of someday making millions and never having to work another day in our lives. While it may be fun to dream, it’s incredibly difficult to achieve financial stability to the point where one is taking home millions. It can only come from hard work, extraordinary luck, or - more likely - a combination of both. But once we make that large amount of money, what’s next? It seems that celebrities are sucked into a life of limitless luxury, which often leads to a bitter downfall.
Too often we hear of stories of stars making millions, only to lose it all from living well beyond their considerable means whether through gambling, poor investments, or simply spending too much money, sometimes these enviably rich people only get a taste of the high life before returning to a life of less-than-stellar standards. Just because one has a lot of money, does that mean an automatic and impossible-to-turn-down invitation to live the high life? Or can a life of responsibility and modest means still be possible when financial means are tempting you to live an extravagant lifestyle?
The people on the following list avoided the high life, despite their enviable status. Even though some of these people make millions or even billions of dollars, they still live like they're making the average income. They don’t throw their money into expensive parties or trips: Instead, they seem to save their money and follow a more frugal lifestyle that would put any penny pincher to shame. These ten rich and successful people run no risk of losing it all, as they're prudently preserving their considerable fortunes.
10 Sarah Michelle Gellar - $15 million
Can you picture Buffy the Vampire Slayer sitting at the kitchen table clipping coupons? That’s exactly what actress Sarah Michelle Gellar does. She's always looking for the latest sales and anything else that can help her save some money. When she isn't working, she's volunteering and donating money to charities like Habitat for Humanity. It’s safe to say that Gellar has maintained a level head when it comes to her finances, and credits her mother for teaching her how to save and spend her money wisely.
9 Sarah Jessica Parker - $90 million
8 Tyra Banks - $90 million
7 Jay Leno - $350 million
While Jay Leno was one of the most successful late night hosts in television history, he hasn't forgotten what life was like when he was young and working two jobs just to get by. Believe it or not, Leno actually put away his money from “The Tonight Show” into savings, and only spends the money that he earns from doing his stand up comedy routine. He invests some of his savings into exotic and antique cars - the only extravagant purchase he habitually makes.
6 Tim Cook – $400 million
5 Alexander Lebedev – $1.1 billion
4 David Cheriton - $3 billion
3 Ingvar Kamprad - $4.1 billion
2 Chuck Feeney – $7.5 billion
While Chuck Feeney’s fortune is at about $7.5 billion, he has been so generous with his money that he estimates that his net worth is at about $2 million. This billionaire who co-founded the Duty-Free Shoppers Group grew up during the Great Depression, which may be the reason he lives so modestly - as he remembers what it was like to not have money. He doesn't live an extravagant lifestyle and has a markedly down-to-earth personality. You probably wouldn't even notice him in a crowd, walking down the street or taking public transit - which he does quite often.
1 Warren Buffett - $63 billion
Warren Buffet is one of the richest people in the world, but if you took a look at the way he lives in his personal life, you would think he was just another member of the middle class. The frugal billionaire still lives in the house he bought for about $30,000. Not only that, but he gives away much of his wealth, and he has promised a huge part of his estate to charity upon his death.