Oh, to be rich and famous! We think of them as having a bottomless pit of greenbacks that they can access whenever and wherever they fancy something. A mansion in Beverly Hills, a beach house in Malibu, a vacation home in Martha’s Vineyard, a flat in Upper East Side. They would shop at the swankiest stores along Rodeo Drive and travel on a whim to Paris in France. Or maybe catch some sun in some of the most exclusive and secluded beaches in the Bahamas or Cayman Islands. And they will travel in style, from their chauffeured Bentleys and toy Maserati Quattroporte all the way to their own luxurious yacht and Cessna plane.
But surely, if they know how to spend their money, they must also know how to take care of it, right? Granted that they got lucky with their business or profession, or that they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, these super rich people must know how to handle their wealth. So how do they do it? Certainly, we can learn a thing or two from them.
Or maybe, we can learn three things from them. Below are the top three frugal habits of several rich and famous people. No, we are not saying that you should live like a miser and avoid spending totally. As a matter of fact, if you have the cash, you are probably entitled to splurge from time to time. Still, we should spend with discipline by taking advantage of opportunities to save.
Frugal Habits of the Super Rich:
Learn to Save for a Rainy Day
Mr. David Cheriton helped found Google, one of the most recognizable companies in the world today. Still only 61 years old, he is worth an astounding $1.3 billion. Yet, up to now, he has retained the habits he developed as a youngster. His parents have always appreciated the value of money because they grew up during the Depression years. Their penny-pinching has gone a long way, for they have passed it on to Mr. Cheriton. Whenever Mr. Cheriton eats in a restaurant, he always make it a point to cut his meal in half and bring it home so that he can consume it the following day. Glutton, he certainly is not!
Mr. Cheriton also cuts his own hair. He probably gets to save only a few dollars by not going to the barber, but then again, those few dollars bundled together has made him worth more than a billion.
Learn to Get Some Satisfaction
One surefire way of putting a dent into your savings is by salivating over the latest model of every single trendy gadget known to men. We always aspire for a bigger house, a more luxurious car, better clothes…and the list goes on and on.
Some of the richest people in the world subscribe to the notion of not replacing something unless it is broken. Mr. Cheriton, aside from his penny-pinching habits of cutting his own hair and halving his restaurant meal, still drives a Vanagon that was made by Volkswagen. After all, the vehicle still runs smoothly and it still gets him from point A to point B.
Mr. Warren Buffett, an American businessman who heads Berkshire Hathaway, still lives in a five-bedroom house in Omaha in Nebraska. The house was purchased in the late 50s for $31,500. While it is now worth almost $400,000, the amount is still peanuts compared to Mr. Buffet’s net worth of $44 billion. For him, however, what can never be monetized are the memories from all those years of living in that small town. He’s happy there, so why leave?
Mr. T. Boone Pickens, on the other hand, saves money by maintaining a practical wardrobe collection. A billionaire financier who chairs a successful hedge fund company, Mr. Pickens owns only 10 suits. He usually buys three new ones every five years to replace some of the older items. Ten suits are enough to last two working weeks already, so he does have a point there.
Learn to Take Advantage of Bargains and Discounts
You probably see grocery coupons inserted into your daily papers. For god’s sake, clip them all. As Hollywood actress Ms. Hillary Swank would say, those are “dollar bills staring you in your face.”
Up to now, despite having struck it rich with a couple of Academy Awards that translated into $40 million in net worth, Ms. Swank still takes advantage of coupons. And why not, when these are savings being offered for nothing in return? Aside from this, Ms. Swank also makes sure to buy items in bulk. Ways to save money have been ingrained in her since her childhood when she grew up in a trailer park in Washington.
Doing your shopping in bargain stores and thrift shops can also help you save money. The First Lady of the United States, Ms. Michelle Obama, still goes to Target regularly to buy such items as dog food and pet toys. Even her clothes come from H&M. She does this even though she is already worth more than $8 million.
Her husband’s opponent in the 2012 presidential elections, Mr. Mitt Romney, a $250 million dollar man born to a family of means, buys some of his sports equipment from Kmart. He is also not averse to buying cheap flight tickets from JetBlue.
Ms. Bethenny Frankel, an American entrepreneur with net worth of a $100 million, scours the net for bargain products. Yes, the one you are bidding against for that cute little dress on eBay may be a millionaire many times over. Ms. Frankel has remained grounded primarily because she had close to nothing several years ago. She picked herself up and transformed herself to a millionaire. In so doing, she learned not a few important things. Don’t give in to impulse buying, and always purchase items when they go on sale. After all, these items would serve the same purpose as when you buy them during regular days.
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