So many of us dream of what we would spend a billion pounds on. Private jets? Holiday homes in every country? Supercars? All of the above perhaps? The indulgences would be endless, possibly literally with that kind of wealth. Not everyone who’s on the Forbes’ rich list lives a life of luxury however. Despite their bank balances being higher than the GPD of some countries, these are the billionaires who choose frugality over frightening excess.
WARREN BUFFETT: EST. NET WORTH, $73.3BN
One of the absolute richest men in the world, the business magnate and philanthropist has given vast amounts of his wealth to charity and lives an exceedingly regular life. He still lives in Nebraska in a home he bought more than 50 years go for just over $30,000. His wedding to his second wife was a low-key affair, far-less extravagant than many of our own.
CHUCK FEENEY: EST. NET WORTH $2MN (WAS WORTH $7.5BN)
“I set out to work hard, not get rich” is Mr Feeney’s motto and he’s done both. That saying, he’s currently playing a personal game of go for broke although with charitable donation as opposed to superfluous splurges. He’s amassed a fortune of over $4bn but has now given most if it away to live out his life with a few-million strong safety net.
DAVID CHERITON: EST. NET WORTH $2.8BN
A Stanford professor, Cheriton got rich off of Google shares as one of the original funders, and has no intent to ever live the life of a billionaire playboy stating, “I’m actually quite offended by that sort of thing.” Cheriton has lived in the same Palo Alto home for the last 30 years and cuts his own hair.
DAVID GREEN: EST. NET WORTH $6BN
Founder and CEO of craft company Hobby Lobby, Green doesn’t fly first class when jetting around for business and spends the majority of his fortune on charitable works. He is one of the largest donors to Christian causes and with his generosity extending to over half a billion dollars.
CARLOS SLIM HELÚ: EST. NET WORTH $70BN
He’s up there with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett competing for the title of richest man in the world but Slim is by no means an excessive spender. The mobile phone magnate owns a 6-bedroom home, and has done for the past three decades; he also drives himself to work everyday.
AZIM PREMJI: EST. NET WORTH $19.1BN
One of the richest men in India, the chairman of Wipro, he’s known for his focused concern with the company’s resources. That extends to monitoring toilet-paper and switching off lights when leaving an office; apparently he still takes rickshaws to and from the airport.
JIM C. WALTON: EST. NET WORTH $40BN
An heir to the Walmart fortune, the youngest among the siblings, his father’s frugality was a factor behind his retail success and this has lived on in his children. He lives in Arkansas and runs family-founded Arvest Bank out of an unassuming office building.
CHRISTY WALTON: EST. NET WORTH:$41.7BN
The wealthiest woman in the world, she married into the Walton family, the richest on the planet. Determined to give her son a normal upbringing she raised him in a 19th century Victorian home in California. She donated her home to charity after her husband’s death and now resides in Jackson, Wyoming.
INGVAR KAMPRAD: EST. NET WORTH $3BN
Ikea founder Kamprad has previously disclosed that he drove a decade old Volvo and flew economy, despite the fact a private charter would be but a drop in the ocean for his vast wealth. His home, unsurprisingly, is also decked out in inexpensive Ikea furniture.
SERGEY BRIN: EST. NET WORTH $29.2BN
A beneficiary of the Internet age, Brin is an entrepreneur and cofounder and director of special projects at Google. Another wealthy individual who has stuck by his parents’ principles, he revealed he looks at prices and was raised to be happy with not very much.