The frugal habits necessary to achieve financial success and maintain it are often lessons learned early on.
Who said being wealthy means you can't look for a good deal? Kiplinger shares how the super rich try to watch their wallet just like you. Here's a few of my favorites:
Estimated net worth: $44 billion
How he struck it rich: Founded Berkshire Hathaway, the noted investment holding company
Frugal habit: Has lived in the same modest home for 54 years.
Buffett could easily afford to live in a mansion much bigger than his 6,000-square-foot, five-bedroom stucco house in Omaha, which he purchased for $31,500 back in 1958. Yet the multibillionaire prefers the simple life in small-town America. In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last year, Buffett discussed the housing recovery and said, "The third best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home." (The first two: wedding rings he bought for his first and second wives.) Buffett added, "For the $31,500 I paid for our house, my family and I gained 52 years of terrific memories, with more to come." Today, the average price of a five-bedroom home for sale in Omaha is $391,983, according to Trulia.com. That's more than 12 times the amount Buffett paid.
Estimated net worth: The Obamas' assets are valued between $2.6 and $8.3 million.
How she struck it rich: Combined wealth with her husband and author, President Barack Obama
Frugal habit: Shops at Target
The First Lady is thrifty, too. She was spotted shopping at a Target store in the Washington DC area la few summers ago. What did she buy? It's reported that Mrs. Obama picked up dog food and toys for the first family's pet, Bo. In addition to finding ways to save on everyday household items, the First Lady is also known to cut costs when it comes to fashion. Despite having access to practically any high-end designer line she wants, Mrs. Obama sometimes chooses to wear clothing from discount stores, such as H&M. She has appeared on the Today show wearing a $35 dress from the retailer.
T. Boone Pickens
Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion
How he struck it rich: Oil!
Frugal habit: Buys new business clothes once every five years
Pickens has 55+ years’ worth of professional achievements, including growing his first company, Mesa Petroleum, into a $2 billion business and an infamous 1985 Time magazine cover. But these days, Pickens is almost as well known for his low-budget lifestyle as he is for his high-profile financial success. "People are always surprised that I don't have a closet full of suits," Pickens told Kiplinger. "I buy three suits every five or so years and only own 10 total. That's all I need." Pickens credits his grandmother with having taught him money lessons that still resonate: "She'd always tell me, 'Don't ever go any place with money in your pocket, looking for something to buy.'" Even today, Pickens says that whenever he visits a store he first makes a list of what he needs, and he carries only the exact amount of money he plans to spend.
Estimated net worth: $100 million
How she struck it rich: Created the Skinnygirl cocktail brand
Frugal habit: Never pays retail prices for clothing or shoes and bargain hunts on eBay
Frankel doesn't take her newfound wealth (she sold Skinnygirl to Beam Global for a reported $100 million last year) for granted. Just a few years ago, the reality TV star and entrepreneur couldn't even pay her rent, as she revealed in a 2011 interview with ABC's Nightline. Her guilty pleasure is fashion, so when it comes to spending money on clothes, Frankel is adamant about not buying anything that isn’t on sale. To help avoid making impulse purchases, she shops mostly online at retailers like net-a-porter.com and discount sites such as eBay.com.
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