rich living frugally

Rich People Living

Below their Means



frugal mansion figure out
pinch provide manual (2)
posh eschew penny pinching
lavish founder net worth
CEO elegant manual transmission
grab pump (3) hatchback
hoodie orchard grab a bite
forgo reinvest private (3)
yacht story (2) native (2)
vast fluctuate backyard
array area (3) appear (2)
frugal diversify public (2)
laden austerity prosperity
cigar boutique indulgence
penny opulent affordable
flash furniture assemble
ranch estimate over the top
custom customs custom-made
deluxe magnate accompanied by
toy image (3) pain in the neck






Rich Living

Everyone has an image of the lifestyle of the rich and famous: opulent mansions … Rolls Royces … swimming pools … high-class restaurants and boutiques …

In short, it’s world of LUXURY.

What would you do if you had billions of dollars?

Penny Pinching

With this as a backdrop, it may come as a great surprise that some of the wealthiest people on Earth don’t do much with their money. They don’t spend lavishly. They eschew elegant homes. They don’t stay posh hotels. They don’t wear Armani suits or Rolex watches.

Instead some billionaires are actually penny-pinchers.

Here are the lifestyles of a few of them.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook with a net worth of $42.8 billion, drives a manual transmission Volkswagen hatchback.

Shortly after getting married in 2012 in the backyard of their $7 million Palo Alto home, he and his new bride grabbed a bite at a local McDonald’s.

When at work and giving presentations, Zuckerberg almost always appears in a t-shirt, hoodie, jeans and sneakers.

“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” he said.

Carlos Slim Helu

With a net worth of $23.5 billion, Carlos Slim Helú is the founder of Grupo Carso.

Though the 75-year-old is one of the richest men in the world, he forgoes private jets and yachts, and still drives an old Mercedes-Benz.

Slim has lived in the same six-bedroom house in his native Mexico for more than 40 years. There he enjoys making home-cooked meals with his children and grandchildren.


Rather than spending his fluctuating fortune on deluxe items, Slim pumps billions in his vast array of companies and new enterprises. He once told Reuters News Agency that wealth was like an orchard, “what you have to do is make it grow, reinvest to make it bigger, or diversify into other areas.”

Slim runs his companies frugally too, writing in staff handbooks that employees should always “maintain austerity in prosperous times; in times when the cow is laden with milk.”

He does have a couple of indulgences, including fine art and Cuban cigars.

Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad is the founder of the Swedish furniture company IKEA. His business strategy was to save money for customers by providing them with affordable, assemble-it-yourself furniture.

“Ikea people do not drive flashy cars or stay at luxury hotels,” he has said.

That goes for the owner as well. Though Kamprad has a net worth $39.3 billion, you wouldn’t know it sitting next to him on an economy-class flight or lunching with him in IKEA’s cafeteria.

The 89-year-old currently lives in a one-story ranch house.

However, there was a time in the 1960s when Kamprad drove a Porsche and wore custom-made suits. Since then he has been much more frugal, including driving a decades-old Volvo and frequently riding the public bus.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett who is worth an estimated $47 billion, still lives in a family home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased more than 50 years ago for $31,500.

Although the business magnate has dined in the finest restaurants worldwide, he sometimes has a hamburger and fries accompanied by a cherry Coke.

When asked why he doesn’t own a yacht, he responded, “Most toys are just a pain in the neck.”

The Secret

Millions of people read Warren Buffett’s books and follow every move of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

But perhaps the real secret to Buffett’s personal fortune is instead of over-the-top spending, he’s busy figuring out how to save and invest to grow his wealth even more.




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1. What are most people’s images of the super rich?

2. All millionaires and billionaires live a high-class lifestyle. Is this right or wrong?

3. Does Mark Zuckerberg always dress professionally?

4. What does Mark say about making decisions (or work or priorities)? What is he interested in or focused on?

5. Carlos Slim Helu only saves his money and never spends it. True or false? Does he spend his money on houses, yachts and private planes? What about his businesses?

6. Are most of Ingvar Kamprad’s clients upper-middle class and rich? Who are his target customers? Is there a congruence between his and his clients’ lifestyles?

7. Describe how Ingvar travels and commutes. Has he always been like this?

8. Warren Buffett is obsessed with posh mansions, high-class dining and private jets. Is this correct or incorrect? What does he say about them?

9. Is there a moral or lesson that people can learn from these billionaires?


A. Who are the richest people in your city or country? What are their occupation, business or profession?

B. I often see rich people, high-class living and millionaire lifestyles in my city. Yes or no? Give examples of luxurious living.

C. In your city or country, are there rich people who live “poorly” or modestly? Do you know anyone from the upper class or upper-middle class who lives plainly and modestly?

D. Are there working class or middle class people who try to live a wealthy, high-class lifestyle?

E. What will happen in the future? Will we evolve a post-materialist, post-consumerist society?

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