The secret lives of billionaires
and the things that make them tick
There’s something incredibly alluring about having a billion or two in the bank. Hollywood has us living in a fantasy world of champagne, diamonds and bank notes are thrown around like it’s monopoly money. Sure, there’s the glamour of Valentino suits and Prada shoes, most billionaires don’t spend their day playing dress up and going out to parties.
In fact, they’re a lot more like us common people than we realize. The only difference is that they’ve managed to hit jackpot in their pursuits and everyone has elevated them to god status for their extreme wealth.
While millionaires tend to be a bit more showy with their wealth, the top 10 billionaires could easily be mistaken as just your regular Joe Blob if you weren’t paying attention.
Shopping at Walmart
What’s the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire?
Most billionaires look like they buy their clothes from Target and isn’t even ashamed of it. Mark Zuckerberg’s been wearing the same kind of jeans and grey t-shirt for more than a decade. Bill Gates wears a Casio Quartz Diver 200m WR — available from Walmart about around $50 — or cheaper if you’ve got coupons.
Speaking of coupons, Warren Buffett is also known to use coupons to grab a deal every now. He even once treated Bill Gates to lunch at McDonald’s using coupons.
Whoever said money can’t solve your problems Must not have had enough money to solve ’em
— 7 Rings, Ariana Grande
Living within the means of the common folks in a common habit that many billionaires take on. Despite having their net worth in the billions, some only draw a low six-figure salary and live like ordinary people. Mark Zuckerberg is the only exception — he only takes home about $1 as his yearly salary from Facebook.
You can have all the money you ever wanted but if you don’t know how to use it, then no amount of money will ever be enough. Buffett’s life goal is not the make people envious. He’s on a different league. The man’s transcended the material world. Bill Gates is following closely behind him.
Not a Ferrari
Larry Page, co-founder of Google drives a Toyota Prius. Steve Ballmer ( net worth $41.9 billion) is a little bit more eco-conscious with a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Jeff Bezos, newly crowned number 1 of the world, really splashed out on his Honda Accord.
Warren Buffett — king of the world and supreme thrift lord — didn’t finally splash out for a new car until 2014 and only because his daughter kept complaining about his old, second hand one.
Billionaires seem to have a thing for functional and normal cars — just like they do for functional and normal day-to-day things.
Focus on the non-material things
Functionality is the key and common trait among all of them. There is no over thinking, no over design, no over anything.
While there is the occasional private jet rides and mansions here and there, they treat their money more like conservative players of monopoly. To them, being flamboyant only leaves you broke at the end of your career — sort of like former NBA stars who chased after the music video lifestyle and are now living in trailer parks.
Dennis Rodman made about 27 million during his basketball career. In 2014, he filed a document that he was too broke to come up with $808.39 in child support.
Millionaires tend to spend their money. Billionaires treat compounding interest like it’s their religion.
Healthy(ish) morning routines and habits
They wake up early. They eat breakfast. They shower. Exercise. Do all the things that a healthy and happy person would do. They live the same and repetitive routines of almost every YouTube ‘morning routine’ video — minus the 45-minute face pampering part.
They are — in fact — as normal as your usual 9–5 office worker, except perhaps they wake up a little bit earlier. They do the things that they’re supposed to do rather than just read about them like we do.
Every one of them has a not so secret love and priority for sleep. They’re not out late partying with the kids (or pretend to be one like the now deceased Hugh Hefner). After work, they go home, have dinner and do the dishes.
More normal than your average millionaire
Being a millionaire today is a lot easier than how it was a few decades ago. There are YouTube stars, self-published successes, Twitch streamers, bloggers and Instagrammers with partnered deals that can easily make their first million if they play the game right.
Making a billion dollars, however — now that’s a different kind of game. While everyone is busy getting their first, second and third million, the billionaires are on their way towards their first trillion.
Modern-day millionaires can only sustain their millions if they look like they’re spending millions. The moment they stop is the moment they lose it all. Billionaires, however, invest in the bigger and less depreciate things. They invest in time and the future. They play a game that only a select few has figured out. They haven’t got time to play dress up in Prada shoes. That’s the millionaire’s game — and in that game, people tend to run out of money.
Billionaires live within their means. They spend less than they make. They invest in their mental and physical health. They do all the things we all know we should do but don’t.
And that’s the difference between us, millionaires and billionaires. We are the dreamers, millionaires are the spenders and billionaires — billionaires are the ones that chased their dreams and ideas into reality and figured out how to make money from it.