1. Warren Buffet, worth $46 billion, "still lives in the Omaha, Nebraska, home he bought for $31,500 more than 50 years ago." And Carlos Slim Helú, chairman and CEO of Telmex, worth $69 billion, has lived in the same modest house he's had for the last 30 years. Christy Walton, worth $27.9 billion raised her son in an 1896 Victorian house so he could have a normal life and, after her husband died in a plane crash, donated the house to charity.
2. Chuck Feeney, co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group, gave away $4 billion, leaving himself with (currently) $2 million, and he orders the second-cheapest wine on the menu. David Cheriton, worth $1.3 billion says he's "quite offended" by people who build big mansions, thinks "there's something wrong" with those people, and recently bought a Honda Odyssey.
3. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, worth $3 billion, claims to drive a 15-year-old Volvo and always fly economy. He eats in cheap restaurants and has his house furnished with IKEA stuff. More on him here, including a picture of his unassuming ranch-style house.
He always does his food shopping in the afternoon, when the prices in his local market start to fall....But Kamprad's image may be a big fake, and who knows about those other characters? The modest image helps the company's reputation, and they don't want to attract the attention of tax collectors, government regulators, and criminals (e.g., kidnappers).
Explaining his frugal nature, he said: "I am a bit tight with money, a sort of Swedish Scotsman. But so what?
"If I start to acquire luxurious things then this will only incite others to follow suit. It's important that leaders set an example. I look at the money I'm about to spend on myself and ask if Ikea's customers could afford it."