7 Unbelievable Ways Warren Buffett Practices Frugality
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- By Amanda Garcia
- May 25, 2014
When you first think about billionaire chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett, you probably can’t help but think about how much wealth, power and business success he’s accumulated over the last half-century.
However, Buffett is most proud of being frugal with his spending and savings, prompting him to share frugal living tips during interviews and public appearances on several occasions.
Living frugal might not be at the top of a to-do list for many people, yet that’s exactly what Buffett practices on a day-to-day basis. With a net worth of $46 billion, according to Business Insider, it’s undeniable that Warren Buffett must be doing something right when it comes to managing his personal finances.
7 Ways to Be Frugal Like Warren Buffett
We’ve gathered the seven best frugal habits Warren Buffett practices so that you too can live like a billionaire on a budget.
1. Buy a Modest and Affordable Home
Believe it or not, Warren Buffett has lived in the same five-bedroom Omaha, Neb., home since 1958, when he bought it for just $31,500 — the equivalent of roughly $255,000 today.
Although buying a lavish home in a wealthy neighborhood can be tempting at times, buying a modest and comfortable home like Warren Buffett will free up extra money you can use to build your savings and retirement accounts, or even invest.
Being frugal when it comes to owning a house will pay off in the long run, especially if it helps you avoid substantial mortgage payments that could quickly escalate into mortgage debt if you’re unable to keep up.
2. Handle Investments Carefully
When it comes to making investments, Warren Buffett is often quoted saying, “The first rule of investing is don’t lose money; the second rule is don’t forget rule No. 1.” As far as investing goes, Buffett discourages anyone going into debt unless they’re certain they’ll make a profit later.
However, Buffett also stresses that one of the best investments you can make is in yourself, according to San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you,” Buffett said. “You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold. ”
3. Avoid Expensive Toys and Luxuries
This might seem like one of the more obvious frugal habits, but if you have billions like Warren Buffett, sometimes it can be a hard one to employ. According to Business Insider‘s “15 Frugal Billionaires Who Live Like Regular People,” Buffett doesn’t own a yacht or other stereotypical luxury items because, as he said, “Most toys are just a pain in the neck.”
Take a hint from Warren Buffett and avoid splurging on a new sports car or expensive wardrobe. Instead, take your extra cash and place it in a certificate of deposit offering a competitive interest rate. You can sit back, relax and watch your money grow.
4. Pursue Your Passions Relentlessly
While this might seem like a luxury to some people, Buffett does not consider it one. Buffett has said countless times that he loves what he does for work, meaning he doesn’t have to spend much money on travel or leisure.
Although you might not be as in love with your job as Buffett is, you can find an inexpensive hobby that you do enjoy. You can even possibly earn side income while being frugal, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on spas, relaxing therapies or exotic vacations to de-stress.
5. Never Pay Retail Price
For all you bargain hunters out there, you’ll be happy to know that Warren Buffett also shares your love for a good sale. By practicing patience and waiting for sales on the market, Buffett often finds a great company he can purchase on clearance.
Don’t be hesitant to take the extra time to find sales, clip coupons or wait for deals on big purchases like cars, homes or getaways.
6. Give Back to Others
Philanthropy is an art Buffett has no doubt mastered thanks to his significant net worth, and many people wouldn’t consider it an act of frugality.
That said, donating old clothes to Goodwill or canned goods to food drives can be a great way to give back to others while clearing your home of unnecessary items.
7. Weigh the Pros and Cons
Sometimes we forget to think things through and review the pros and cons before making personal financial decisions. This can often lead to hasty spending and money trouble. Buffett often credits his commitment to thinking decisions through to his financial success.
“You ought to be able to explain why you’re taking the job you’re taking, why you’re making the investment you’re making, or whatever it may be, ” Buffett told the U-T. “And if you can’t write an intelligent answer to those questions, don’t do it.”
Photo credit: WarrenBuffettGroup