Billionaires: The Big-Spenders and The Saver-Scrooges!

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With Christmas just round the corner, spending money is what we are all doing. Often it feels like we have no choice but to splash out – it is Christmas, after all!

But what would you spend your money on if you were measuring it by the million? Would you go crazy, or would you play it cool? There’s two ways of dealing with great wealth, it seems; below we take an entertaining look at two Big Spenders and two Saver Scrooges in the world of billionaires …

Roman Abromovici (Big-Spender)

Roman Abramovich, born in Russia, is a billionaire who came to the public eye whilst owning London-based football club Chelsea. With $9.1 billion in the bank, Roman can afford to pull spectacular stunts of personal convenience:

Mark Hollingsworth and Stewart Lansley relate in their book “Londongrad: From Russia with Cash” that Abramovich was on a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, and suddenly had a desire to eat sushi. There’s no sushi in Azerbaijan, but there is in Canary Wharf, London – so from his favourite restaurant Ubon, Roman ordered £1,200 of sushi and had it brought by private jet to him. Total cost? Something like £40k – making Roman’s sushi in Azerbaijan probably the most expensive take-away in history.

Abramovich is also prepared to splash out on the big stuff. During his 14 years at Chelsea football club, the oligarch has spent about £1 billion on players.  The list of players whose transfer prices exceed £25 million includes Fernando Torres, Andriy Shevchenko, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, and Alvaro Morata. However, big spending doesn’t necessarily mean silly spending: the club has sold some players for good money, and it has already won prestigious trophies.

Carlos Slim (Saver-Scrooge)

Carlos Slim was officially as the wealthiest man in the world for three years, and is now ranked in sixth position, with over $54 billion in the bank.

Slim dominates the Mexican economy, as noted by the Telegraph:

“The average Mexican will wake up on sheets bought from a Slim-owned store; buy their morning bread from a Slim-owned bakery; and drive to work in a Slim-insured car. They will call friends on a Slim-owned mobile phone, lunch at a Slim-owned restaurant, and smoke Slim-owned cigarettes. It is little wonder that the country is referred to as Slimlandia.”

However, despite his immense financial clout, Carlos lives humbly. He has lived for over four decades in the same house, he drives on his own, and he doesn’t buy fancy luxury goods like supercars, yachts or private jets. He is popular for wearing a plastic calculator wristwatch for many years during the 90s. The story goes that, once, Slim negotiated with a store owner for hours to get 10% discount on a tie.

Johnny Depp (Big-Spender)

The Hollywood actor, who is famous for his roles in Pirates of the Carribean and Finding Neverland, seems to be an avid spender.

Hollywood Reporters says that Johnny Depp has had an enduring legal fight with his business managers over his inclinations toward lavish expenditure. The star reportedly spends around $2 million each month on his extravagant lifestyle; which includes $30,000 monthly for wine bills, $3.6 million annually for his private staff, millions per year for occasional one-time acquisitions like yachts, diamonds or arts, and hundreds of thousands each month for his ex-wife, Vanessa Paradis.

However, Johnny says he has the right to use his money the way he wants: “It’s my money. If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Warren Buffett (Scrooge-Saver)

Warren Buffett is the second wealthiest person in the world, with over $75 billion tucked away (according to Forbes).

For many investors and finance enthusiasts, Buffet is a true investment guru; interestingly, he reached his first billion after turning 50. As an old-generation guy, Buffett is not really interested in spending for luxury stuff and is known to be a frugal billionaire. Even when he became a millionaire in 70s, his spending didn’t exceed his $50,000 annual salary. As of 2006, Buffet didn’t have a computer, and he has said that he has sent only one email during his life (the recipient was Jeff Raikes of Microsoft). And, as of 2013, Buffett owned a “vintage” Nokia flip mobile phone.

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