The Frugal Millionaire

The Frugal Millionaire

The Frugal Millionaire

Hello folks! Thanks for visiting The Green Swan. The key to financial success for many is the ability to start and maintain positive spending habits. I know this to be true for myself and others who are close to me. What’s great about starting these habits, especially early, is that many of them stick. Once we learn to get by doing things a certain way, why change? And many times, after starting frugal habits, you may realize that “the frugal way” is just as good or better than the alternative (i.e. store brand products vs. brand name).

Whether frugality is a means to an end, or an overarching lifestyle philosophy, we can all agree the frugal habits are important to develop early. So today I thought it would be fun to share some frugal habits of various millionaires and billionaires, some of the frugal habits I’ve developed, and then in the comments section you can feel free to add to the list!

Rich People’s Spending Habits

Kawhi Leonard (NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs)

  • While he has a pro contract for $94 million over the next five years, he panicked when he thought he lost his Wingstop coupon for free wings.
  • He still drives a rehabbed ’97 Chevy Tahoe because “it runs” and “it’s paid off”.
  • He spends his summers in a two-bedroom apartment in San Diego rather than an expansive home on the coast.

Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA Founder)

  • Despite being a billionaire, he still flies economy class.
  • Gets his haircut in developing countries when he’s traveling on business to save money.
  • Buys his clothes at a flea market.

Ryan Broyles (Former NFL player for the Detroit Lions)

  • While his contract was worth more than $3.6 million, he and his family live on $60,000 / year.
  • He and his wife drove Mazdas and he still had his ’05 Chevy Trailblazer from college.
  • Uses the budgeting website Mint.

Warren Buffett (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway)

  • While considered the world’s preeminent investor and the second richest person in the U.S., he still lives in his $31,500 home in Omaha, NE.
  • He celebrated his wedding anniversary at his daughter’s house nearby and afterward at Bonefish Grill.

Gilbert Gottfried (Actor and Comedian)

  • Gottfried was quoted as saying “If someone else is paying for it, food just tastes a lot better”. Isn’t that the truth!
  • He’s also known for taking public transportation when going on dates.
  • He refuses to host parties because they are costly and people just come for the food.

While these real life examples may seem a bit pedestrian, especially for those in the FIRE crowd, I thought I would share a few of my “more extreme” frugal habits. Admittedly, most are a little embarrassing, but some have been successful for me and have stuck around. Others I have tried and concluded them as failures.

Also, note that the examples below do not include a lot of simple cost saving methods such things as cutting cable, cutting back on our phone bill contract, my switch to solar power, using a rain barrel for watering the yard and garden, using my natural or home environment as a gym, my search for cheap but good coffee, or even DIY iPhone screen replacement.

  1. After seeing the suggestion on Mr. Money Mustache, I tried hang drying my clothes to save electricity by not running the dryer. I went as far as buying a few clothes drying racks. However, I concluded this was a failure though because I just didn’t like the feel of the clothes after hang drying. Maybe I’m not doing something right…
  2. I’ve tried to save money on the water bill by only running the water in the shower to get wet initially and to rinse. I still practice this as does my wife occasionally. I’m sure this saves money, but I haven’t tried to quantify it.
  3. Staying in the shower for a minute…I hog freebie toiletries from hotels when we travel and bring them back to use. Not that we travel a ton, but even for work trips we have managed to build up a stock-pile. This is basically all I use. This is admittedly a cheap-ass thing to do, but after recently being exposed to the mission of the Ronald McDonald House, I plan on donating these supplies and future supplies as well.
  4. Lucy and I have arranged our work schedules to match up to allow us to commute in together. On top of that, her employer offers free parking (saving ~$1.5k per year) which we take full advantage of.
  5. We bought blackout curtains for some of our upstairs bedrooms. I’ve become fairly strict about keeping window shades and curtains closed basically all summer, and keeping them opened all winter. This makes a surprisingly big difference on our utilities!
  6. I limit my dry-cleaning. I hate this expense, and the way some folks dry clean clothes I figure it would be more efficient to buy a new pair every time. My dress shirts are machine wash and non-iron so this isn’t an issue, but I do need to dry-clean my slacks. I try to limit this to just a few times a year. I mean they’re just pants and it isn’t like I work out in them! You may call me dirty, but I honestly don’t feel dirty. I don’t even know what the recommendation is on dry-cleaning frequency, but feel free to let me know in the comments.
  7. I don’t use deodorant on the weekends…do I need to even interject with my wife’s thoughts on this one. How much does this save me? Well, I may buy five sticks a year, so I would guess it saves me two sticks…However, of course I apply deodorant on weekend days that we are out and about more.
  8. I’ve put plastic window coverings up on some of our large windows for extra insulation in the winter. I didn’t really notice much of a difference in my gas bill, but I think this has more to do with the fact our winters aren’t too bad in Charlotte. But if I lived further north I would use them again, they’re very easy to put up and take down.

As I went through to make this list of “ultra-frugal” cost saving methods (some certainly save more than others), it was actually very hard for me. Not because I don’t take these frugal steps, but because they have become so ingrained that I hardly consider them unnatural or frugal anymore. Crazy, huh? And as a reminder, I use Personal Capital to track and monitor my spending. It is simple to set up and free to use.

So what do you think of my somewhat extreme methods to save a buck? You may say some are pretty petty, saving just a few dollars a year. Well, you’re right, but if you are so rich you no longer stop to pick up a dollar you see loose on the sidewalk, then you live in a different world than me. And after all, a penny saved is a penny earned, and now I’m one penny closer to FI.

Have any good ones you aren’t too embarrassed to share? 🙂 Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking a look!

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach

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Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions

I love blackout curtains! When I worked in WAY upstate NY – (think Canadian border almost), those cut my energy bills in half in the winter and kept it nice and dark in the mornings. We do a few things now that are just common – reusable water bottles and lunch bags, we line dry many clothes (a little fabric softener does wonders too!) and we bring snacks when we venture out. I also bring my lunch everyday – yet my secretaries order out a few times a week. It’s just who we are now – and it does save a lot in the long run!

JW

Very good, Vicki! Glad you got the line drying figured out, we’ll have to experiment a bit more with that.

It definitely says something how your secretaries go out for lunch more than you do!

Thanks for sharing.

FinanciaLibre

Some outstanding stuff here, JW!

I like your dry cleaners analysis…I’ve never really understood the economics of that one! For the clothes hang-drying thing, I’ll mention that both times I lived in Europe I didn’t have a clothes dryer and so I got used to the “feel” of hang-dried clothes pretty quickly. However, one trick I learned was to add a little liquid fabric softener to the washing machine load. It helped keep clothes softer, and helped ward off the “slow-dry” smell when clothes had to dry indoors in winter.

Having said all that, it’s probably easier to spring for an extra 2-pack of Speed Stick for olfactory righteousness…!

As for frugality measures take ’round here? Well, we do lots of the stuff you mention and probably others that lots of folks would consider “frugal”… But, as you suggest, when you’re really doing it right, frugality’s just reasoned decision-making! So, one man’s frugality is another’s “normal.” Nice post, and thanks!

JW

Thanks for the tips on hang drying clothes, it may be worth another attempt.

As for the deodorant example, I haven’t been doing this for long and my wife hasn’t been a fan, so it may turn out to be a fail and I’ll go back to regular use.

Thanks for the comment, FinanciaLibre!

Matt @ Optimize Your Life

I’m all for trying different things and seeing what works for you and what doesn’t. I think too many people are too quick to brush off frugal ideas.

Our apartment building doesn’t charge utilities based on actual use, so there’s no real monetary benefit to trying a lot of the utility-saving techniques. We also don’t really have the space in our one-bedroom apartment to have drying racks for clothes.

I don’t know that I have any ultra-frugal habits, although as you said, it is difficult to spot them at this point. I do all of my work commuting on public transit, which is paid for with pre-tax money. I get the vast majority of my books from the library. My wife and I share one car (a 2004). These are all frugal habits, but none of them seem ultra-frugal to me.

Mr. PIE

Had to laugh at the deodorant story…..!

Does laser beam focus on recycling gifts
bags count for you?

And yes, we also pay attention to shades to keep cool during summer and then to live in a bunker of darkness to keep warm in winter? Does opening another single malt also count as keeping warm…..? 😉

JW

That’s a good one Mr Pie! It’s annoying buying a gift and then also paying for a simple gift bag, those aren’t cheap necessarily so we too try to recycle those.

And yes, having a single malt serves a great dual purpose including keeping you warm so that’s another great frugal habit 😉

Full Time Finance

We ended up making the same decision on line drying, but for allergies in our case. We do a number of small things. Some are listed below:
If we go on a long car trip we bring lunches premade.
If we end up getting a plastic bag from the grocery store (depends on the state) it’s destined to become a trash bag in my house. We don’t have to buy real trash bags.
Leftover card board boxes from places like Amazon are used to: provide mulch for trees, play toys for the kids, storage, and transporting items to good will.

Oh and those blackout curtains work great when you want your kids to take a nap.

JW

Those are some good ones, Full Time Finance! That’s a great use of card board boxes, we usually just recycle them. Mulch isn’t cheap so I’ll have to look into that more, thanks.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Financial Panther

Some of those really wealthy folks are a bit ridiculous with their frugality, but I do like how Ryan Broyles lives – choosing to take a certain amount a living off of that. Really, if you’re making a high income, living off $50k or so is totally reasonable and you can still live a good life. Heck, Ryan Broyles could be a baller and live off $100k if he wanted, and still save millions per year! I believe I heard him on a podcast talking about how he was using a lot of his money to get into residential real estate investing. Seems like a pretty smart move, since he has the capital to do so and keep a steady cash flow coming in long after his football career is over (I’m pretty sure his football career is already over, right?)

For myself, I’m pretty frugal lately with two things. Ms. FP cuts my hair now. I didn’t originally do it for the money savings, but just because my haircuts aren’t complicated and it was saving me time instead of having to wait around at the barbershop.

The other frugal/cheapo thing we do, that probably isn’t right, but whatever, is that I never buy poop bags for my dog. Instead, I try to snag them for free at dog events. Or, there are apartments down the street from my house and I’ll just walk over there and grab some poop bags from their dispensers. It’s a super el cheapo move to do, but until someone yells at me, I’m just going to keep grabbing poop bags from their dispensers.

JW

Yeah that’s a smart move by Ryan. And yes, his career is now over so I’m sure he is thankful he saved his money wisely while he had the high income.

I do small little cheapo things like that all the time and hardly even realize it or take note. But why not do that and save a little bit?!

Thanks for sharing, Financial Panther!

Maxoffshore

Frugality can be linked to minimalism, where you don’t get to spend more than you earn. Frugal living in my opinion isn’t how much you spend, but that you spend less than you earn, so you don’t put yourself in debt and save some money. Good article, found you through financial samurai.

JW

Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you find my site! Good point on frugality. I’ve always spent less than I’ve earned with the help of the frugal examples I give in the article, and the nice thing about developing those habits is that I continue to spend little while my salary goes up over time.

Thanks for the comment!

Stefan - The Millennial Budget

Awesome to see how many famous people are taking steps to protect their money. It reminds me of a time Warren Buffett’s wife went shopping and I think she picked up something expensive and he said do you know how much that can compound into! You would think he was joking but he really was not. There are occasions where you have to spend money but that quote always goes through my head when I spend money.

In college I never paid for a haircut until senior year when I had a job interview, my friends always cut it. And Ramen was my best friend. Standard college stuff but it did save a lot of money!

Mr. All Things Money

It was fun reading all frugality examples 🙂

For me, I let my wife cut my hair. She is not a professional hair dresser but she does a decent enough job that I let her cut my hair besides it saves me anywhere between $16-$18 per month. Though, I have noticed that my hair have started to grow in an uneven manner; a small price to pay.

To counter your deodorant example, I have cut down on shaving. When I was working a regular job, I used to shave everyday. Now I shave every two to three days, and a single shaving blade last me now 2+ months. This saves me quite a bit of money as I only use Gillette blades which are quite expensive.

JW

Nice shaving example! That’s a good one. I use an electric razor but I think it would still be beneficial in terms of saving electricity and those blades and the razor itself eventually need to be replaced as well.

Thanks, Mr All Things Money!

CoupleofCents

I tried to get my wife to cut my hair but she was too worried. So I ended up learning to cut my own hair. 10 months in so far so I’ve saved about $108 so far considering I normally cut my hair every 6 weeks. Now, I actually cut my hair once a month since it’s free. I used to hold out on getting it cut since I hated paying $18.00 bucks for 15 minutes of work.

JW

Wow that’s impressive you can cut your own hair! My wife cuts mine since I too didn’t want to keep paying so much for a 15 minute cut.

Thanks for sharing!

Amanda @centsiblyrich

Great post! I love reading about the frugal habits of millionaires. We have a ton of frugal habits (which to us are such a part of our normal, everyday life, we don’t even think about them). One of my most extreme is probably tearing the select-a-size paper towels in half – just one little square usually does the trick and I try not to use them very often.

JW

Another perfect example, thanks for sharing. I do the same thing and even sometimes just tearing off a corner of the paper towel, although my wife finds this annoying when the corner is missing.

Thanks, Amanda!

Ms. Montana

Some frugal habits just seem to stick around either because they are better than the pricey option, or just as good. I started cutting my own hair 6 years ago, and I love it. I trim it every 4 weeks, so it saves me SO much time. It takes me about 2 minutes out of the shower and no babysitter needed. I can’t imagine going back because it’s so much easier and more fun. And I have probably saved about $1000 of my “fun money”. Which we all know is worth 5x as much as regular money.

Kelsey @ Tealmama

I love reading about millionaires frugal spending habits. It’s fascinating to me. Kawhi Leonard driving a ’97 Tahoe because it’s paid off is one of my favorites on your list. How awesome.

And I find it hilarious that you don’t wear deodorant on the weekends. Not sure my husband could get away with that. 🙂 Blackout curtains and blinds are my favorite. Good food for thought.

Josh @MoneyBuffalo

You already mentioned it, but we hang our clothes on a line outside our house. They get a little crunchy but you might be able to put them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up.

We also shop a lot of deal sites looking for closeout deals and bargains. I know this can be a dangerous way to intentionally spend more than you normally would, it happens occassionally, but everybody is always looking for a bargain. If you don’t think so, list something on Craigslist or do a rummage sale. Most millionaires might not care about getting a bar of soap for pennies on the dollar, but the concept is still similar.

JW

Good tips on air drying, thanks Josh.

I pretty much never buy clothes anymore without it being on discount or clearance. I just keep a few items in mind that I know I’ll need in the near term and then just keep an eye out for seasonal sales. For example, I just got two pairs of nice shorts for 70% off!

Thanks for sharing!

Mustard Seed Money

I am really fortunate as there is a gym and shower at work. So I am able to save on gym expenses and then save a ton on water. I found that I was able to save $50 on my gym membership a month and $10 a month on my water bill.

My wife will probably kill me for sharing this but she actually uses lemons for deodorant as she says it’s better for you and is cheaper than normal deodorant. I have not taken the plunge yet though.

JW

Ha don’t worry, I won’t tell your wife you said that :)! What an idea though. I had never heard of that or would have known actually works. Maybe I can get my wife to try it!

That’s pretty awesome you get those water savings, that adds up!

Thanks for the comment, Mustard Seed!

Physician on FIRE

Dude. No deodorant on days that start with S? Shameful!

I agree that line-dried clothes are scratchy, and I appreciate a good shower. I do the curtain thing, and am pretty OCD in the summer about opening windows when the ambient temperature is lower outside, and closing them in the morning when the inverse is true. Rarely need A/C up north with that plan.

Cheers!
-PoF

Jon @ Be Net Worthy

This was a great post JW, that list of millionaire frugal habits was really interesting! The only thing I do, which drives my wife crazy, is save up all of those little nubs of soap from the shower and then smash them all together into a big new bar of soap when we have enough. She hates it because it never holds together too well and falls apart mid-use!

Yetisaurus

Yeah, because there are too many slivers. Try it with one sliver and one new bar. I wait until the old bar turns into a skinny little communion wafer, and then meld it to the next full size bar. Usually the edges of the wafer are pliable enough at that point to really grab. That way there are only two pieces to hold together, and they blend into one normal bar of soap pretty quickly. 😉

earlyretirementnow

These are great examples. For some of the rich folks just knowing that they could afford all the luxuries if they wanted to probably gives them enough happiness already. I sometimes have that feeling when I plan a trip: putting together the list of activities, what hike we do and where already creates that warm fuzzy feeling. Half the happiness is already in the bank before we even leave!
Cheers!

Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

Our big frugal things are to limit the use of the oven as often as possible (Jon tells me “We have a convection oven for that”, shopping Goodwill and NEVER throwing away anything that might possibly be useful again, even if it’s just for parts. (No minimalists here! 🙂 That said, we like our showers so we installed low flow heads, and while we might buy generic personal care items we do use them even on weekends.

JW

Good tips, thanks for sharing, Emily. I like the idea with using the convection oven, I’ll have to remember that myself.

Even on the weekends, eh? 🙂 So wasteful…

Thanks for the comment.

Designing A Frugal Life

Thanks for sharing! I actually really liked the “pedestrian” Frugal habits of the ultra rich that you shared.

While I try to focus my money saving efforts on high impact areas rather than penny pinching as part of my frugal life design, I do hoard the hotel shampoos (and make my own) and use blackout curtains.

Im about to try my hand at some zero/low waste practices and am hoping that in addition to reducing my waste, I can save money on throw away kitchen items & cleaners.

JW

I agree with your practices of focusing on the high impact areas, I certainly do the same.

I like the idea of no waste practices, I’d be interested in knowing more about this myself. Thanks for the comment!

amber tree

One of the habits we have is cutting my hair. Saves 15 EUR per month. And I brownbag to work. Saves another 30-40 EUR per month. These savings come without extra effort. I do not feel like i miss something.
And recently i bike/train commute again. That saves a lot of money on the car (gas/cheaper insurance, maintenance,…)

To quote some of yours: drie outside clothes do feel different than in a dryer, I switch of the water in the shower while washing (more of an environmental habit)

Mrs Groovy

We only do dry cleaning prior to a wedding to bring Mr Groovy’s suit in. Love the story about Bryan Broyles.

On another note, I forgot you’re in Charlotte. I assume you’re not near uptown and you all have been safe?

JW

I was actually thinking the same about you when I saw your post earlier today about living in Charlotte. We both work uptown but have been able to avoid the commotion and work from home when necessary. Hope you have been safe too.

Yetisaurus

Nice post! I’m feeling so much more normal now. Haha! Blackout curtains rock.

I don’t have a gardener, so instead I have artificial turf (no watering, no mowing), and I just let the shrubs go crazy except for once or twice a year and then chainsaw them back into submission. Fortunately, I have no HOA, so nobody can bitch at me about hedges that don’t look perfect.

I do the same thing with my hair–I get it cut once a year and just deal with it the rest of the time. I dye and straighten it myself.

I also only buy work clothes that are machine washable. Believe it or not, you can find even suits that are machine washable. Are they designer super awesome suits? Nah, but they get the job done. I wear them to court appearances and no one has ever looked at me funny. And often when the jacket says “dry clean only” that just means “wash on the delicate cycle and hang dry.” Just check the fabric content to make sure beforehand.

JW

Thanks Yetisaurus! That’s what’s great about our community, we can all feel normal :).

That’s awesome you have turf. I’ve visited friends in Arizona before and turf want uncommon around there. I wish it was common here in Charlotte, I’d jump all over getting turf!

Good to know about the suits. I never realized that or thought you research, great tip.

Thanks for sharing, Yetisaurus!

Mr. Groovy

I love it, JW. Here are my frugal tricks that immediately come to mind. I cut my own hair. My gym is a set of Olympic rings in the garage, which I bought about four years ago for less than $100. And I will go one or two no shower days a week to cut down on water and gas bills. Since I work from home, this only tortures Mrs. Groovy. Oh, the price we pay for financial freedom!

JW

Olympic rings!? Awesome exercise, were you a gymnast in a previous life?

You have immediately made me feel better about skipping deodorant on the weekends. I’ll have too share with my wife in hopes of normalizing it :).

Thanks for the comment, Mr Groovy.

Dividends Down Under

Lots of good frugal habits JW 🙂 Really like the clothes drying racks and the window coverings – those are pretty frugal and most people wouldn’t go to the effort of that. We air dry all our clothes, saves a lot of money although it takes a bit more time to hang and take down (and at some points during the year, it takes quite a while to dry).

The most recent frugal thing I’ve done is received a battery charger for my phone (a USB one). I’ve been charging the battery every day at work, and charging my phone at home from that battery (using the work’s electricity). Clever or sneaky?

Tristan

JW

Good point on the clothes drying, it is a bit more effort.

Good idea with the phone charger, I’d say that is very clever! Thanks for sharing, Tristan!

James

Interesting views and observations on the relationship between frugality and achieving millionaire status. Me and the wife have adopted some habits which might be considered frugal; however, I’m always mindful of not pushing frugality too far. Life and money are to be enjoyed and it seems to me there is a danger in going too far just to save a few more cents or dollars.

JW

Valid point, James, thanks for sharing. I try not to push frugality too far, but I have found on a number of instances where I can develop a frugal habit to save money without sacrificing lifestyle or much convenience. That’s a key, I agree with you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lady Locust

I don’t buy cleaning products: 1 gal. vinegar $2.99 & baking soda <$1 can clean nearly anything and are "natural." Also, for your clothes, use the rain water at least for your rinse cycle & see if you notice a difference when hanging your clothes then you won't have to buy fabric softener. Also, in return, if you use a bio-friendly washing soap, you can water outside with your grey water. (basically just do what you're doing only backwards:)
Others might have different values, but we eat very few grains/sugars (so mostly meat & veggies.) We purchase a whole beef + various other meats & still spend $1500-2000/yr. less than the ave. American family our size & trying to better that.

JW

Nice tips, thanks for sharing! I love the idea of making your own cleaning products, plus they aren’t expensive at all. I’ll have to try that, thanks.

We eat plenty of grains but wet do limit our sugar and processed foods. So we focus on buying fruits, veggies, grains and some meat but not a lot. I’ve found this saves as well.

Thanks for the great comment, Lady Locust!

Your First Million

Ryan Broyles is awesome! I first learned about him when he was featured on the BiggerPockets podcast. He sets a great example of what professional athletes should be. It is pretty well known that over 78% of NFL players file personally bankruptcy within 5 years after retiring. Ryan also sets the example of what we all should be doing but on a smaller scale. I have always advised people to try and “pay themselves first” at least 20% of their after tax income. This way they can build up a pool of money that can be used to buy assets that bring in more income. If this is repeated over and over again over time, eventually they will be able to accumulate massive wealth and a large passive income that will allow them to be financially free.

JW

Nice, I’ll have to check out that podcast! Thanks for sharing that. Agree that he’s a great role model for the PF community.

Thanks for stopping by!

Finance Solver

One I’m a little embarrassed to admit is that I purposely plan out my electricity charges so that I charge my phone using my company’s electricity. I also get a haircut only like once per quarter, which gives me a huge volatile look throughout the year. The anonymity of the internet has given me the courage to speak up 🙂

I’m so inspired by billionaires and multimillionaires who keep a frugal lifestyle. Leading by example on how to stay rich!

JW

You’re not alone in planning out your phone charging at work as your the second to comment that… And I’m even more intrigued and curious how much that could save. Thanks for the idea.

Back when I paid someone to cut my hair I would hardly ever get it cut. Probably once a quarter like you. Note that I cut it at home though I do it more often.

Thanks for having the courage to share!

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

We have drying racks because my wife doesn’t like drying her clothes and some of the baby clothes…she says they shrink. We live in a co-op building so we pay for laundry downstairs which is easier to quantify the savings, and while I don’t mind doing mundane/tedious chores, I really can’t stand putting clothes on the drying rack. I know what you mean about not liking how it feels, though that part isn’t as bad as having to put the clothes on the drying rack =)

JW

Haha that’s funny, and true, it is annoying at times having to put them on the drying rack. That may have ultimately been why my wife wanted to switch back to the drier…

Thanks for sharing, Andrew!

Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog

I definitely like the “set it and forget it” ways to save. Things like the curtains and solar panels. I don’t focus as much on the little things like turning off the shower while I’m soaping up, but honestly, after 10 years of frugal living like that, my wife and I do a lot of it without thinking about it. That’s the thing people don’t realize. If you do this stuff, it will become natural. We spend very little, even though we have the money, because we’re so used to being frugal from when we were paying off debt. And this is coming from a guy that used to not even turn the lights off when I left a room. Ha!

It’s nice to see so many millionaires and billionaires living frugally!

Cheers,
Kalen

Kathy

I truly get the point of the Warren Buffett story about his home but back when he bought it, a $31K home was quite impressive. By comparison, my parents and in-laws bought their homes around the same time for $6K. And his house is not worth that little now. And buying something expensive might not be the least frugal way to spend. If you get something that costs very little and needs constant replacing due to poor construction, it isn’t frugal. If buying something that is better made and costs more allows you to buy once not have to replace it might be the most frugal way of all.

Juli

I flush toilets with my leftover glasses of water I find around the house. Grew up in California so we still use the “if it’s yellow let it mellow” plan. I buy my kids clothes on super sale at gap for the next year. Usually spend $2.99 per top. $5 for jeans. Occasionally things don’t fit in the right season so they go NWT on eBay. I consign their clothes too and make a little back.

I stopped washing my hair daily and just wear it up. I wash three times per week now. I think that have saved a bundle. I don’t like getting haircuts. Now only do it twice per year.

I buy shampoo and conditioner at target with coupons. Last week I bought three big tresemme bottles that were $5.99 each. Had $5 off and got a $5 gift card off $15 from target. Three big ones for $8.

I bring lunch. We have a crockpot in my office. Made a soup today with leftovers.

I also make a habit of certain bargains. We eat a Costco Roto chicken weekly. Can’t get meat much cheaper than that. There is also a Kum & Go that has buy one get one free large pizza every Friday. With their club after 6 pizzas you get one free so I get 4 free pizzas for buying 3! Hope they don’t figure that one out.

JW

Juli, thanks so much for the great frugal tips! I really like the idea for buying your kids clothes, that could help us a lot with our growing family.

Nice find on the Costco chickens and Kum & Go pizza! The grocery store near us has a deal on Sundays for a roto chicken for $5-6 which we’ve taken advantage of a couple times.

Thanks again for stopping by and the comment!

Laurie Pysczynski

I really like hearing about people who are frugal in spite of being uber wealthy. I find it inspirational. Besides the blackout curtains and the carpooling which can save you a ton of money, a lot of these habits are focused on not wasting. I really don’t consider myself frugal. I consider myself ” a smart manager of resources”! I hate waste and there is more to be gained by using what you have wisely than just some extra cash.

On the clothing, my husband worked in fabrics & the clothing industry for almost 20 years and when we got married he said “no drier for the clothes”. I only dry towels and sheets, underwear and socks. Clothes last much longer when you don’t subject them to the drier. But the secret to softening the ones that dry stiff (like jeans) is to throw them in the drier for less than 5 minutes (with or without a drier sheet) on the delicate or non heated air cycle. Fluffs them right up.

JW

Yeah I think that’s a great point, so much money can be saved by just not being wasteful.

That’s great info on the drier piece, thanks for sharing that. My wife and I may have to give that frugal habit another try.

Thanks for stopping by, Laurie!

Mrs. Picky Pincher

I remember the first time I heard someone talk about passive income and early retirement. It was a speaker at my college’s honor society, and they brought in some hotshot investor dude–I can’t remember his name.

But I’ll never forget his definition of wealth.

“Being rich is living below your means.”

And that means it’s possible to be wealthy at any income level. All it takes is prudent financial decisions and not growing your lifestyle beyond what’s absolutely necessary.

Kurt

Hey, I do the ‘navy shower’ thing too! Get wet, turn the water off, wash, turn the water on, rinse. My wife thinks I’m wacky (not because of the shower thing, but that’s another story 🙂 ). I’ll share one crazy thing I’ve thought about, but actually haven’t done yet. Here in Canada we got rid of the penny you know. So if my grocery tab comes to $37.52, two cents gets knocked off (rounded down) if I pay in cash and I pay only $37.50. But if I pay with a debit or credit card, I pay the un-rounded amount: $37.52. You can see what’s coming: If my purchase would be rounded down if I pay cash, then I pay cash. But if it would be rounded up if I pay cash, I use debit or credit. Again, I’m contemplating this, no execution yet. Over the course of the rest of my life I figure it will save me, oh I dunno–about $3.15? 🙂

JW

Ha that’s great. Nothing wrong with being a little wacky! 🙂

Ahh I didn’t realize that’s how it worked. Do you get rewards on your credit card though? Because if so I don’t think the pennies rounded down would offset the rewards you’d be sacrificing. I like your thinking there though!

Thanks for sharing, Kurt.

Roxanna

Fun article and replies! I have some physical problems that require frequent therapeutic massages. We bought a massage table and hubby learned the techniques off the internet. Huge savings! As for my most cheap-o habit…if I buy a coffee on the run (which is almost never) I keep the takeout cup and will reuse it for like a year to take my home coffee with me. Oh and Aldis saves us hundreds a month on groceries!

JW

Oh that’s a good idea with the message table! You can learn so much so easily online these days, nice work. I’m sure that saves a ton.

I have never been much of an Aldi shopper but I’ve always heard so much about it and how the savings are real. I may have to give that a go sometime soon.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Roxanna!

Sikasem

As someone who comes from Africa, the hang drying part is something I’m used to. All the same, learning these frugal tips from millionaires/billionaires and that of you is very motivating. I however find the hotel toiletries part weird.😃

Adam Leviness

Well here it goes:

*I keep all my electric devices on a power bar that i turn off when i leave the house or go to also
*my fiance and I make extra dinner every night and take the left overs to work for lunch
*I use ibotta, checkout 51, mobisave, Wal-Mart savings catcher, and receipt got when I go shopping to earn cash back on our groceries
* we live off my paycheck and out my finances check towards debt and savings
*we don’t have a car walk everywhere
*use a southwest credit card and shopping portal for purchases to get airline miles for trips as well as survey sights that pay out in miles
*spend no more than $120 every two weeks on groceries for two people
*go to the movies o.j. Tuesday morning when it’s only $6 and $2 for a small popcorn but we DEFINITELY don’t sneak in our own snacks 😉
*keep the hater set to 69 in tyre winter and 65 if we’re away or sleeping… We live in pa
– we earn less than 40k a year combined yet I have increased my credit score over 100 points in one year, got out of default on my student loans and started paying off debt and in the last year have traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rome, Italy and Punta Canna, Dominican republic

JW

That’s awesome, Adam, thanks for sharing! That’s a good idea to use a power bar and unplug while you’re away. I wonder how much that would save? I think there are easy tools to use to measure idle electricity usage…but not sure they are cheap.

We use the WalMart savings catcher, but I hadn’t heard of the others before. I’ll have to look into those…

I think that is awesome you life just on your paycheck. I know that is what my parents did when I was growing up and it has always stuck with me.

Haha…wait you can sneak candy into the theaters instead of paying their ridiculous prices!!?? I’m totally on board with matinees…it’s just too expensive otherwise.

I think I have you beat on the heater settings…pretty sure we set ours to 63 at nights…!! I’m not afraid to wear a sweatshirt inside.

Thanks again for sharing, Adam! Impressive list.

William D. Moore Jr

Just run your stiff sundried clothes in the dryer for a short period to get the ‘dryer’ feel. You will get the same dryer effect with 80% electricity savings versus the 100% dryer electric hog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

Millennial Money

So funny about the Wingstop coupon! I think a lot of peoples attitude and money values come based on how they grew up. A lot of frugal millionaires came from very little and so early on they developed frugal habits as part of their wealth building strategies. I also think that some frugal millionaires might take it too far and might miss out on some life experiences because they are afraid (or can’t) spend money. I personally believe that managing money is all about finding the balance between spending and saving. Once someone can find your own spend/save balance with money they will be happier. I personally saved too much money and it’s one of the biggest mistakes with money I have made. During my mid-20’s I missed out on a lot of experiences because I was too frugal! I have a much healthier relationship with money now. Great post BTW!

JW

I’m not much different than you, MM. The financial crisis hit shortly after I entered the workforce. Times were tough and that’s when I formed many of my ultra frugal habits that I held onto for quite a while…perhaps too long.

Thanks for the comment, MM!

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