Mark Zuckerberg was just spotted shopping at Costco. Look inside the lives of surprisingly frugal millionaires and billionaires, from businessmen like Warren Buffett to A-list celebs like Jennifer Lawrence.

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Mark Zuckerberg may have a $US80 billion fortune, but that doesn’t stop him from shopping at Costco. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t need to hunt for wholesale bargains at Costco, but that doesn’t stop him from doing it anyway.

The billionaire Facebook CEO was spotted in the electronics section of a Costco store in Mountain View, California, alongside wife Priscilla Chan on December 13, TMZ reported. But he’s not the only billionaire that goes out of his way to pinch pennies. Many millionaires and billionaires have something in common, aside from having high net worths: They’re frugal.

It’s this characteristic that helped them become rich in the first place, according to Sarah Stanley Fallaw, director of research for the Affluent Market Institute. She co-authored “The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth,” in which she surveyed more than 600 millionaires in America.

To identify characteristics that are the most predictive of net worth, Stanley Fallaw conducted two studies that included a group of individuals with net worths ranging from $US100,000 to $US1 million and a group of high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

She found that six behaviours, which she called “wealth factors,” are related to net-worth potential, regardless of age or income. One of those is frugality – a commitment to saving, spending less, and sticking to a budget.

That’s not surprising when you consider the habits of some of the richest people: Warren Buffett is notoriously frugal, and Richard Branson has previously said that displays of wealth embarrass him. The same extends to some A-list celebrities who rake in millions for their movies and TV appearances.

Here’s a look inside the lives of some famously frugal millionaires and billionaires.


Sarah Stanley Fallaw, director of research for the Affluent Market Institute, studied more than 600 millionaires for her book, “The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth.”

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She found that six behaviours, which she called “wealth factors,” are related to net-worth potential, regardless of age or income.

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Source: “The Next Millionaire Next Door”


One of those factors, frugality, came up several times during Stanley Fallaw’s research — many of the millionaires she interviewed stressed the freedom that comes with spending below their means.

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Source: “The Next Millionaire Next Door”


“Spending above your means, spending instead of saving for retirement, spending in anticipation of becoming wealthy, makes you a slave to the paycheck, even with a stellar level of income,” she wrote.

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Source: “The Next Millionaire Next Door”


Several of the most well-known millionaires and billionaires built wealth by living frugally — a habit they continue to practice even after becoming rich.

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Source: “The Next Millionaire Next Door”


Consider the billionaire Warren Buffett, who’s worth $US89.9 billion and is currently the fourth-richest person in the world. Not one for lavish purchases, he spends relatively little money.

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Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg


He previously told CNBC and Yahoo Finance’s “Off the Cuff” that he’s “never had any great desire to have multiple houses and all kinds of things and multiple cars.”

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Source: Business Insider


He still lives in his modest Omaha, Nebraska, home, which he bought for $US31,500 in 1958.

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Source: Business Insider


He also drives a relatively modest set of wheels — a 2014 Cadillac XTS, which had an MSRP of $US44,600.

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Source: GOBankingRates, US News & World Report


And instead of buying a smartphone, he uses a flip phone.

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Warren Buffett tells former CNN host Piers Morgan about his flip phone in 2013. CNN

Source: Business Insider


Buffett also famously pays only $US18 for a haircut.

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Source:Marketwatch


And he doesn’t pay much for food — he spends no more than $US3.17 on his daily McDonald’s breakfast and gets dinner at the modest Gorat’s steak house, where the menu items range from $US3 to $US41.

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Source: Business Insider


Then there’s “Canada’s Warren Buffett,” the billionaire Jim Pattison, who earned his nickname from his own relatively frugal lifestyle. Pattison is worth $US6.17 billion …

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Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg


… but, like Buffett, he keeps his wheels modest, driving a Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie truck around his hometown. The pricing for the 2019 model ranges from $US31,695 to $US56,495.

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Source: Edmunds, Bloomberg


His frugality partly stems from his upbringing: Pattison was born during the Great Depression and grew up poor, wearing hand-me-downs and living in “Vancouver’s gritty east side.”

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Source: Bloomberg


“Most of the time, I didn’t have the money to buy anything that was any good, so I had to buy stuff that nobody wanted,” Pattison told Bloomberg.

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Source: Bloomberg


The billionaire Richard Branson — who’s now worth $US5.75 billion — also has modest roots. He’s frugal when it comes to luxury items, largely because he grew up in a middle-class family.

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Source: The Guardian, Business Insider, Bloomberg


“The idea of having a possession that is there just as pure luxury, and is not actually paying its bills is something which I’d be embarrassed about,” he previously told The Guardian.

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Source: The Guardian


You wouldn’t find a lot of expensive artwork hanging in any of his homes — he prefers to buy watercolors at reasonable prices.

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Source: The Guardian


He also doesn’t spend much on clothes.

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Source: The Guardian


To Branson, the biggest luxury isn’t money: “If we’re talking about personal luxuries — and the luxury of being your own boss — the biggest reward is the amount of time one can find for family and friends.”

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Source: The Guardian


Like Pattison and Branson, Charlie Ergen’s frugal habits at work and home also take root in the way he was brought up. Ergen stepped down as CEO of Dish Network in December 2017 and has a net worth of $US12.6 billion.

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Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, Bloomberg


“My mum grew up in the Depression,” he told the Financial Times. “I don’t have a mahogany desk.”

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Source: The Financial Times


Every day, he brown-bags his lunch, which consists of a sandwich and Gatorade.

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Source: Business Insider


Despite her $US4 billion net worth, Judy Faulkner, the founder of Epic Systems, also resists the lavish life: “I never had any personal desire to be a wealthy billionaire living lavishly,” she wrote.

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Source: Business Insider, Forbes


She reportedly has owned only two cars in the past 15 years and has lived in the same Madison, Wisconsin, suburb for nearly three decades.

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Source: Business Insider


Mark Zuckerberg — currently the fifth-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $US80 billion — also lives a relatively low-key lifestyle.

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Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg


His daily uniform consists of a simple T-shirt, a hoodie, and a pair of jeans.

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Source: Business Insider

Read more: 9 iconic work uniforms, from Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck to Karl Lagerfeld’s sunglasses and 1,000 white, high-collared shirts


He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, famously chowed down on McDonald’s shortly after their backyard wedding in 2012 …

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Source: Business Insider


… and were spotted browsing at Costco in Mountain View, California, on December 13.

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Zuckerberg not pictured. Alastair Wallace/Shutterstock

Source: TMZ


He’s also been spotted driving relatively inexpensive cars, including an Acura TSX, a Volkswagen hatchback, and a Honda Fit, all of which are valued at or under $US30,000.

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Sources: Business Insider, CNBC


Jeff Bezos is also known to live modestly.

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Source: Business Insider


With a net worth of $US118 billion, Bezos is the richest person alive, but he used to drive a 1987 Chevy Blazer. As of 2013, he was driving a Honda Accord.

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Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg


But billionaires, CEOs, investors, and businesspeople aren’t the only ones who live frugally. Some celebrities don’t act like they have millions to their names.

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Consider Tyra Banks, who has always been more of a saver than a spender. One estimate puts the businesswoman, model, and producer’s net worth at $US90 million.

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Tyra Banks in 2018. Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider, INSIDER


“While a lot of models were partying it up and going shopping and buying a closet of designer clothes or staying at the top hotels during fashion week, I was at the DoubleTree or Embassy Suites, saving my money, and bought a house at 20 years old,” she once said.

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Source: MONEY via Business Insider


“I was always more interested in experiences over things,” she told Money magazine. “Things didn’t make me happy. I saved, saved, saved. But I saved to a fault.”

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Source: MONEY via Business Insider


Her accountants told her she needed to spend money and had her set up a frivolous account, in which she had to budget to spend money on “stupid stuff.”

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Source: MONEY via Business Insider


With the exception of his well-known car collection, Jay Leno — who has an estimated net worth of $US350 million — is also quite the saver.

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Source: Business Insider, Money


He has always tried to hold two jobs, spending the money from one job while saving money from the other.

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Source: Business Insider


Early in his comedy career, Leno also worked at a car dealership. He saved his comedy money and spent his car-dealership money.

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Source: Business Insider


When he hosted the “Tonight Show,” he saved all of his “Tonight Show” money — reportedly as much as $US30 million per year, according to CNBC — and spent only the money he made from stand-up-comedy touring.

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Source: Business Insider


Likewise, Jennifer Lawrence, who was born to a middle-class family, has always been thrifty.

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Source: Business Insider


“I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it,” she previously said.

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Source: Business Insider


Even after her rise to fame and consequently hefty payouts — she received $US15 million for the 2018 film “Red Sparrow” and was one of the highest-paid actresses that same year — she lived for several years in the same three-bedroom apartment she got when she moved to Los Angeles.

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Source: Business Insider, Variety, Forbes


And she’s been spotted driving a Chevy Volt, which has a $US39,000 price tag.

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Source: Business Insider


She also loves to clip coupons. “I still look for bargains when I go to the market,” she said in an interview.

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Source: Business Insider


The actress and singer Kristen Bell also loves coupons — she’s previously said she exclusively shops with them.

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Source: Business Insider


She’s particularly a fan of Bed Bath & Beyond’s 20% off coupons. “I may or may not have stolen them out of my neighbours’ mailboxes sometimes,” she told Conan O’Brien.

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Source: Business Insider


And her wedding with Dax Shepard famously cost just $US142, including the gas to get to the courthouse.

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Source: Business Insider


That’s pretty frugal for someone who reportedly earns $US125,000 per episode of the TV show “The Good Place” — and that’s not counting her undisclosed earnings from the movie “Frozen,” which grossed more than $US1.2 billion at the box office.

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Source:
The Cheat Sheet