The Cheapest Rich Guys in the World: Top 5 Frugal Billionaires

By Andrew Salmon

Sure, we’ve all dreamed of being millionaires. But certainly in our best daydreams, a million or so won’t cut it, and nothing except for being a billionaire will do for a life where no expense is spared for anything, anytime.

However even the world’s richest folks can be frugal. Here are the top five cheapest billionaires. It’s up to each of us to decide whether they deserve praise, scorn, or commitment to a mental hospital for the lengths they go to in order to save a buck.

5. John Caudwell

A bit of a lightweight on this list with a net worth of a paltry $2.2 billion, Caudwell sets a new standard for frugality. He cycles 14 miles to work every day and cuts his own hair so as not to waste time at the barber, and even buys his clothes off the rack at Mark’s & Spencer’s. Is he simply an avid sportsman who doesn’t like to waste time or a penny pincher?

John Caudwell wearing a suit and tie

4. Jim C. Walton

Walton inherited his $16.4 billion dollar fortune from his dad and adds to it through the vast empire that is Wal Mart. It appears Walton also got his spending habits from Papa as well. Walton drives an old Dodge Dakota when he could probably buy Dakota, North and South. Come on, Jim, live a little.

3. Azim Premji

Has $17.1 billion to play around with courtesy of tech-services giant Wipro. One of the richest men in India, Premji drives a Corolla, flies coach and stays in company guest houses while traveling on business. He even used paper plates for his son’s wedding. As long as he didn’t pick up the rice after the ceremony we can safely chalk his frugality up to living simply.

2. Ingvar Kamprad

$33 billion should be enough for a few lavish touches around the mansion, but this creator of IKEA furnishes his modest house with the very furniture that made him rich. If he is able to assemble IKEA furniture without help then the man truly is a genius and not eccentric. Plus he drives around in a 15-year old Volvo. He even flies coach while traveling. Cheap, unpretentious or crazy, you be the judge.

Volvo car

1. Warren Buffet

With a net worth of $57 billion, there’s very little outside Buffet’s price range. However he still lives in the same home he bought more than 50 years ago for $31,000 and drives an ’06 Cadillac. As a champion of the Middle Class, maybe Buffet is trying to live by example.

As you can see, it’s hard to guess whether we’re dealing with Scrooges on this list or if these billionaires simply know the value of a dollar and don’t see the need to throw money around on creature comforts. One would assume they didn’t amass their fortunes without this basic knowledge and simply don’t wish to pamper themselves. In which case, they deserve our respect. Well, whatever the reason, we won’t be seeing any of these folks in a soup kitchen any time soon.