13 tips on being frugal from famous billionaires

13 tips on being frugal from famous billionaires
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Think the super-rich spend their money freely on anything they want? Think again.

RELATED: Shopping at Bargain Hunt — How to get a steal of a deal from this thrift lover’s paradise!

Frugal lessons from the founder of Ikea

When Ikea’s billionaire founder Ingvar Kamprad died on January, 2018, he was reportedly the eighth-richest person in the world, with a fortune worth more than $58 billion.

But being a billionaire isn’t all you think it’s cracked up to be.

Kamprad could afford any luxury he wanted, but he chose to maintain frugal spending habits throughout his life.

Here are four of his noteworthy savings hacks:

1. Shop at the flea market

Kamprad saw no reason to spend hundreds on his wardrobe!

“I don’t think I’m wearing anything that wasn’t bought at a flea market,” he was quoted as saying during a TV interview in his native Sweden.

2. Get cheap haircuts

This is one billionaire who didn’t stop at just cheap clothes. He also apparently preferred inexpensive haircuts!

“Normally, I try to get my haircut when I’m in a developing country. Last time it was in Vietnam,’ Kamprad noted in a 2008 interview.

3. Fly coach

Corporations are known for bloated travel budgets for executives. But not at Ikea…

Kamprad routinely flew coach and favored budget hotels while on the road. He also apparently drafted memos by hand using both sides of the sheet so as to not waste paper.

“His cut-rate flights, hotels and meals were taken in part as an exemplar to his executives, who were expected to follow suit, to regard employment by Ikea as a life’s commitment — and to write on both sides of a piece of paper,” The New York Times reports.

4. Drive a beater car

For 20 years, the Ikea billionaire drove a 1993 Volvo 240 GL. While it originally was worth some $22,000, it had depreciated down to just a few thousand dollars when he finally gave it up for safety reasons, according to CNBC.

More money-saving tips from some of the world’s richest people!

MoneyTalksNews.com put together a review of some of the frugal habits of more of the world’s wealthiest people. Read on and see which strategies you can put to work in your own life.

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

5. Stay in your starter home

Be like billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The Oracle of Omaha still hangs his hat in the same five-bedroom home he bought in 1958 for $31,500.

No multi-million dollar mansion for him!

6. Streamline your clothing and keep it simple

Think about Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. What’s he wearing whenever he’s photographed? A gray or black T-shirt, jeans and sneakers — with an optional hoodie.

No fancy threads for this social media boy wizard!

7. Don’t be afraid of coupons and sales at the grocery store

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and husband Freddie Prinze Jr. find ways to save even when they’re shopping at an expensive grocery store.

“We shop at Whole Foods, but we ask which fish is on sale,” she tells Self. “On sale doesn’t mean it’s bad! It probably just means it’s overcaught. And I clip coupons all the time. Why should you pay more for something that someone else is paying less for?”

8. Find small ways to save

Ever heard the saying, “When not in use, turn off the juice?”

Well, imagine it being said in an English accent…in Buckingham Palace…by Queen Elizabeth II.

(Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The monarch reportedly insists lights get turned off when not in use and also routinely reuses wrapping paper after royal gifts are opened.

9. Drive your vehicle until the wheels fall off

Robert Morin was a librarian at the University of New Hampshire who left a $4 million fortune to his beloved school when he passed away in 2016 at age 77.

Here was one of the keys to his wealth: No shiny new wheels! Robert drove a 1992 Plymouth and likely would have continued to until the wheels fell off.

Sounds like Robert probably understood the true costs of car ownership. One recent estimate put that cost at nearly $79,000 over 15 years — and that was for an economy car like a Mazda 3.

Need another reason not to drive a new car? Depreciation.

Simply put, depreciation means that when you buy a new car, the value drops like a rock the minute you drive it off the dealer lot. The smart money knows it’s far better to let someone else take that hit upfront and to buy a used vehicle instead!

RELATED: How to buy a used car

10. Never pay for parking

Robert Morin isn’t the only millionaire on this list that you’ve probably never heard of.

Ronald Read, a Vermont-based janitor, quietly amassed a fortune of nearly $8 million before his death in 2014.

“You’d never know the man was a millionaire,” his lawyer, Laurie Rowell, told Reuters. “The last time he came here, he parked far away in a spot where there were no meters so he could save the coins.”

Hmm. Not paying for parking. That sound like something we’ve heard before.

There’s another very rich man who doesn’t like to pay for parking. What’s his name? Oh yeah, it’s money expert Clark Howard!

11. Live on less than you make

This tip is pretty much ground zero for anyone who wants to be wealthy one day.

Just ask onetime Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Though Broyles had a $3.6 million contract, he and his wife lived on just $60,000 per year, according to MarketWatch.

For Broyles, that meant 50% on fixed expenses like mortgage and car payments; 30% toward variables like food and gas; and 20% toward savings.

12. Seek out low-cost investments

Here on Clark.com, we’ve brought you the story of Justin McCurry who managed to take early retirement at 33 because he stashed away $1.4 million.

Initially, Justin and his wife started investing with Edward Jones — a full service brokerage firm. But after a few years, they made the switch to Vanguard and Fidelity.

“We have saved close to $40,000 on investment expenses by switching to a low cost provider,” he says. “That’s a year or two of living expenses!”

A new study from BuyUpside.com shows that just a difference of 1% in annual fees can mean an $80,000 difference in retirement.

Here’s how the math works. Let’s say you invest $100,000 today with a 5% annual return and you pay 1% in annual fees. In 30 years, you would have $319,694.

Now let’s say you invest $100,000 today with a 5% annual return and you pay 2% in annual fees. In 30 years, you would have $235,755.

Paying what seems to be a measly 1% more in fees (2% instead of 1%) eats an $80,000 hole in your retirement plan! What seems inconsequential in the here and now actually has a huge effect on your future wealth.

13. Always keep learning

Author Tom Corley writes in his book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life” that 58% of the self-made wealthy people he surveyed read biographies of other successful people.

Want to save even more money as you read yourself to wealth? Get those books from your local library!

Read more: Best discount investment brokers of 2017

Big investments start with small steps

Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller "Living Large in Lean Times."
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