Money Changes

During a conversation with a friend this week, he mentioned that as we become more educated and improve our standard of living, our taste for things generally become more sophisticated. While that may be true for some, additional money may not have the same effect on everyone…example Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett is ranked among the world’s richest men but lives a lifestyle that hasn’t changed much since before he made his billions. He is often referred to as the world’s greatest investor and despite this, he is legendarily frugal, residing in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought in 1958 for US$31,500. He is well known for his simple tastes, including McDonald’s hamburgers and cherry Coke, and his dislike for technology and luxury items. Despite being worth billions, he earns a salary of US$100,000 a year at Berkshire Hathaway and this salary has not changed in 25 years. He is a man of simple tastes and enjoys watching sports and eating junk food, which is easily supported with his salary. Now there aren’t many people like Warren Buffett walking around, so why is it that most of us live our lives as if we are worth so much more than him. How much should we really allow money to change us? It’s understandable that if you never owned a home or a car or are in serious debt, the influx of money can be used to take care of those needs…but to what point are we then considered materialistic and wasteful. There are many other frugal billionaires out there and this article from Business Insider takes a look at 15 frugal billionaires. Instead of spending lavishly on private jets, yachts, and mansions, they have saved up, lived modestly, and given away huge amounts of money to charity. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has been quoted as saying in the book Inside Apple: “I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.”

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