Don’t live beyond your means and you will be able to invest more

There is nothing that will destroy your ability to save money for the future and invest in your own welfare like living beyond your means. I am often told by my readers (by email, Facebook, or Twitter) that they cannot afford to invest because they cannot even live on their own paycheck.

Far be it for me to tell someone else how to live and the personal decisions that individual or family has to make. I did read this article recently that impressed me for the frugality of these super-rich people. These people are not just rich; several of them are the 1% of the 1%. While I am sure there are certain aspects of their individual lives that we may deem excessive, it is important for all of us to do whatever is reasonable to reduce our daily costs of living. If you invest that savings, you have the potential for financial independence some day.

  • Legendary US investor Warren Buffett, who has an estimated net worth of $US54.6 billion, famously still lives in the same five bedroom house he bought 55 years ago for $US31,500.
  • Chuck Feeney, co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers who has donated his fortune of more than $US6 billion to charity, travels in economy class “because first class won’t get me to my destination any faster”. He doesn’t own a house or a car and wears a $15 watch.
  • Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad also prefers to fly economy class, and prefers to book with budget airlines. He also encourages his Ikea staff not to be wasteful, and tells people off if they don’t use both sides of a sheet of paper or leave lights on when they leave a room.
  • US oil magnate T. Boone Pickens, worth $US1.2 billion, reportedly shops with a grocery list and only carries enough cash in his wallet to cover what he is about to buy for better budgeting.
  • Indian mogul Azim Premji, worth an estimated $US11.2 billion, drove a Ford Escape for eight years before he traded it with a Toyota Corolla. When he travels he prefers budget hotels over five-star accommodation.

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