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7 Cheap Money Habits That Are Common for the Super Rich

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The tabloids love to gush over the exploits of wealthy celebrities who squander small fortunes on designer outfits they throw away after wearing once. But GOBankingRates spoke with several experts who know and advise some of the most affluent people in America. In their experience, the rich tend to have more in common with average people on shoestring budgets than with flashy rock stars who rent gaudy jewelry to show off as their own.

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Value-Conscious Shopping

Rory Donadio, CEO of the legal financing firm Tribeca Ca

pital Group, serves wealthy clientele and is a self-made millionaire. He and his affluent peers can afford to blow through piles of cash on unbridled shopping sprees, but they rarely do.

“Despite their affluence, many of my wealthy clients still look for the best value for their money,” Donadio said. “They often compare prices before making purchases and are not shy about using coupons or waiting for sales.”

Budgeting Every Dollar

Many people dream of getting so rich that they can’t even keep track of all their money. But the few who actually do it tend to take keeping track of it very seriously.

“Many wealthy individuals maintain a strict budget, tracking their income and expenses meticulously,” Donadio said. “This discipline allows them to keep their wealth growing and avoid unnecessary

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Buying Quality Things Once Instead of Designer Things Often

Pretenders engage in throwaway shopping — buying the hottest, trendiest trophy merchandise, only to do it all over again as soon as their latest purse, Porsche or Peloton gets stale.

But the rich tend to join average earners in spending as much as they can afford on quality items they won’t have to waste money replacing soon after.

DIY Home Improvement

The image of the rich mogul delegating tasks to armies of gophers and caretakers might hold up in the professional lives of the ultra-wealthy, but when it comes to their own personal spaces, they’re often more hands on than you might think.

“Surprisingly, a number of my clients prefer to handle their own home and property maintenance,” Donadio said. “This not only saves them money but also allows them to stay grounded and connected to their assets.”

Frugal Travel

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Few images define elite wealth more perfectly than luxe Learjets and Gulfstreams cruising through the clouds — but when the affluent take vacations, they’re more likely to slum it in coach with the commoners, even if a lavish resort awaits them upon landing.

“Despite having the means to fly first class or hire private jets, many prefer to travel economy,” Donadio said. “They understand that the value isn’t necessarily in the mode of transportation, but in the destination and the experiences they gain.”

Collaborative Purchasing

Like Donadio, financial author and speaker Alan Beard is no stranger to the spending habits of the wealthy.

One of the most common is the frugal habit of pooling money to save money.

“As a finance expert, I’ve had the privilege of working with affluent clients who have introduced me to the concept of collaborative purchasing,” said Beard, who is the managing director of financial advisory firm Interlink Capital Strategies and adjunct professor of international business and finance at Georgetown University.

“It’s an intriguing and lesser-known habit where individuals pool their resources with friends or acquaintances to make high-priced purchases. This approach allows them to tap into bulk discounts or exclusive deals, significantly reducing their expenses.

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“What’s particularly insightful about this practice is their ability to leverage their network to achieve savings on substantial items,” Beard added. “It highlights their strategic thinking and resourcefulness, proving that even in affluence, they are mindful of maximizing the value of their expenditures. It’s a testament to their financial acumen and their knack for finding innovative ways to preserve and grow their wealth.”

Green Living To Save Green Dollars

According to Beard, the ultra-rich have adopted the eco-friendly trend as enthusiastically as the multitudes of middle-classers who aspire to be like them. While the rich are as likely as anyone else to go green on principle, they also do it as a means to save money. 

“Another fascinating habit I’ve observed among wealthy clients is their commitment to eco-friendly living,” Beard said. “This goes beyond environmental responsibility. It’s a strategic choice to reduce costs over time while staying true to their values. By adopting energy-efficient practices and making sustainable choices, they not only contribute to a better environment but also realize long-term financial savings.

“This approach showcases their foresight and the alignment of their financial decisions with a sustainable future. It underscores that affluence doesn’t preclude the adoption of eco-friendly practices, and it’s a reminder that wealth can be used to benefit both the individual and the planet.”

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