I am an avid reader on Quora Digest. Often questions like this that come up intrigue me. So far I have only shaken hands with one billionaire, the second is now a billionaire but was only hundred millionaire when we shook hands.
In my business of VIP transportation I often come across wealthy people, people who control wealth (bankers, corporate heads, politicians, diplomats, etc) and many more wannabe millionaires.
One common trait I found, the wealthier they were, the more humble, accessible and generous. The only billionaire, young (late 40s) and self-made, he tipped well, had a special was of $100 bills that appeared to be only for tipping.
On the other side of the scale, never will forget the millionaire who controlled a large sales force, not even a hello or good-bye when he got in and out of the car. Another, I think he was a wannabe millionaire, demanded an all night drive on some pretty bad roads of the north Pacific coast. He (and his family) just had to be there by the morning, after arriving at the San Jose airport at almost midnight.
Back to Quora. When the question, “What do billionaires do that 100 millionaires are unable to do because of wealth?”, I was not surprised at some of the answers, who, by the way, the asked of the question wanted only answers from billionaire, a hundred millionaire, or someone with credentials that gave them an excellent insight into the question.
Among the answers was this, Billionaires go to McDonalds for breakfast and order a $3.17 breakfast. Meanwhile 100 millionaires probably have their own private chef.
If you click on the link above you will learn that investing legend Warren Buffett, the 86-year-old billionaire still lives in the five-bedroom home in Omaha, Nebraska, with has an estimated net worth of US$74 billion, as of February 2017 is the second wealthiest person in the world, never spends more than US$3.17 on breakfast.
On his five-minute drive to the office, which he’s been doing for the past 54 years, Buffett stops by McDonald’s and orders one of three items. “I tell my wife, as I shave in the morning, I say, ‘Either $2.61, $2.95 or $3.17.’ And she puts that amount in the little cup by me here [in the car],” he explained in HBO’s documentary, “Becoming Warren Buffett“.
Each amount corresponds with a different option at McDonald’s.
“$3.17 is a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, but the market’s down this morning, so I’ll pass up the $3.17 and go with the $2.95.”
In a 2014 interview, Buffet had this to say when explaining why being cheap leads to happiness.
“There are things money can’t buy. I don’t think standard of living equates with cost of living beyond a certain point. Good housing, good health, good food, good transport. There’s a point you start getting inverse correlation between wealth and quality of life. My life couldn’t be happier. In fact, it’d be worse if I had six or eight houses. So, I have everything I need to have, and I don’t need any more because it doesn’t make a difference after a point. When you get to 10 times or 100 times or 1,000 times, it doesn’t make a difference [in quality of life],” said Buffet. Read the interview here.
As I have gotten older and after meeting and interacting (shaking hands) with some wealthy people, I have come to the conclusion that living a simple, quiet personal life, is all that we need. It is our refuge from the frantic business (public) life.
Many see me in a late-model Land Cruiser, their lower lip drops at the sight of the Sequoia. Great cars to drive, but I am more at peace with myself behind the wheel of my 1975 Landcruiser that never fails to start and it does, a jump wire is all that is required. This 41-year-old beast passes the vehicle inspection every year at first try.
Although people consider me cheap.
Being cheap is about spending less; being frugal is about prioritizing your spending so that you can have more of the things you really care about. Those who are cheap are often afraid to spend money. They are willing to sacrifice quality, value and time in order to cash in on some short-term savings.
I won’t be heading to a McDonald’s anytime soon, no $3.17 breakfasts in McD in Costa Rica, so I will stick to making my own muffins, looking for bargains and stocking up on everyday items when they go on sale.
I should be a billionaire!