Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eccentric Thrifty Ways of The World’s Billionaires

 Mark Zuckerberg just bought his own home.  Nice.  $7 million dollars.  Too expensive… if you’re an ordinary Joe.  But the 26-year-old Facebook founder is valued at $13.5 billion. 

Even with the traditional, age-old, father of all budgeting strategies of partitioning 30% each of one’s income on food, clothing and shelter with the remaining 10% for savings one multi-billionaire’s own, very first  home at  $7 million seems a little off-calculatedly cheap.
Then again, Zuckerberg and many billionaires like him, though separated by age and nationalities, all hold the same humble principle.  Though many frugal living tips have been printed since time immemorial these accomplished and wealthy people all believe in the same principle:  if the people who made them rich, their customers who mostly belong to the middle class, cannot afford anything of what sorts they, the very rich of the rich, won’t buy it.
Here are some of the world’s richest and how frugally brow-raising eccentric they are.  They’re rich, successful yet simple.  Each one an inspiration and a definite wake up call to people who are always at wits end to make both ends meet.
 Warren Buffett – a most admired American investor worth $50 billion. 
Still lives in his modest Nebraska home which he bought in the 1950s for $31,500. 
Replaced his six-year-old Lincoln Town Car for a 2006 Cadillac DTS.
Prefers to eat hamburgers.
Chooses soft drink over wine.
Bought his second wife’s wedding ring from his own shop and asked for a staff discount.

 Ingvar Kamprad – a Swedish founder of Ikea, an international home products company that designs and sells read-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories and is the world’s largest furniture retailer.  He is worth $31 billion.
Flies economy.
Drives a 1993 Volvo.
Often dines at lower-tier restaurants.
Furnishes his home with his own Ikea’s affordable merchandise.
Known for dumping his barber when he found one that would cut his hair for $13.
Known also for buying his food in the afternoon because this is the time when prices of food drops.
Quoted on why he lives a cheap lifestyle, “If I start to acquire luxurious things, it will only incite customers to follow suit.  I look at the money I’m about to spend on myself and ask if Ikea’s customers could afford it.”

 Jim C. Walton – an American heir of Wal-Mart worth $23.4 billion.
Prefers pickups to sports cars.
Drives a 15-year-old Dodge Dakota.

 Azim Premji – an Indian scion of a cooking-oil business who is $12.7 billion in assets.
Drove a Ford Escort for eight years before buying a new Toyota Corolla.
Usually walks to work.
Stays at budget hotels.
Wears unbranded shirts.
Flies economy.

 Frederik Meijer – an American worth $2.5 billion.  Together with his father they launched the first “one-stop shopping” concept via their Meijer Grocery that was renamed Meijer Thrifty Acres.
Drives cars with high gas mileage.
Wears inexpensive suits bought from his stores.
Stays in cheap motels.

 John Caudwell – an Englishman worth $2.3 billion who just sold his 85% stake in the cellphone business Caudwell Group.
Used to go to work on a bike riding all 14 miles.
Cuts his own hair.
Buys his clothes at the British affordable retailer Marks and Spencer.
Drinks cheap wine.

 David Cheriton – a Canadian worth $1.6 billion.  He owns a large chunk of Google stock
Prefers riding his bike.
Drives a 1986 Volkswagen camper.
Flies commercial.
Cuts his hair.

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