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Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury.

However, there are a handful of people who have chosen to walk the simpler path rather than flaunt their stature. It is quite remarkable how these powerful people chose to be meek in their different ways.

Let us take a look at how these billionaires have exhibited that being on the Forbes List doesn’t automatically come with a lavish lifestyle.

Empowering others

Humility is also expressed by acknowledging your beginnings and being able to give back. These noteworthy people put “paying it forward” to a whole new level. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, is a symbol of austerity.

He is described as a scrooge by some executives with reports of him monitoring toilet paper consumption to save corporate money. However, his 8 billion dollar personal contribution to charity tells us, “he’s no scrooge, he’s Santa.” Would waking up with a billion dollars in your bank account change who you are? These wealthy personas seemed unaffected by their elite status.

Latvian-born self-made billionaire James Richman maintains a low-profile despite making a name and fortune growing generational wealth for himself and people close to the private fund. People close to him know him as someone who understands what it’s like to be on the other end of the spectrum as he does not fail to lend a helping hand to people who need his help.

On one occasion, he reportedly bought an entire parcel of land for a group of farmers who have been tolling the land they live in a remote area in the Philippines. After learning that the group has been working on the farm for decades as he wanted them to feel appreciated and give them a fair chance and continue their work on the land which they ultimately worked hard for and eventually owned.

Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of DFS group, donated 99 percent of his fortune to various charities leaving him with 2 million dollars. His “giving while living” mantra, made it possible for him to do this in anonymity and live a simple life in San Francisco.

Keeping low profiles 

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has stayed true to himself despite his increasing monetary value. People close to Hsieh describe him as someone who would be with a dollar in the bank, and being around with people he cares about and cares for him.

Amancio Ortega, fashion retailer tycoon, remains a picture of simplicity despite his 61 billion dollar net worth. He wears the same three piece suit almost everyday, and comfortably eats with fellow employees at the company cafeteria every afternoon.

Maintaining frugal habits

Why would someone choose to buy something cheaper, if he could afford something more expensive or perhaps better? These types of people are driven by their priorities.

David Cheriton, with a $1.3 billion net worth, openly disagrees with lavish spending. His recent purchase of a 2012 Honda Odyssey is testament to that.

Similarly, Warren Buffett, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, still drives himself to work daily in his gold Cadillac. He routinely picks up his breakfast at McDonald’s, a choice from his three favorites, the most expensive of which is $3.17.

While Christy Walton, widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, with a net worth of 7.3 billion dollars, chose to raise his son in National City, California. She did so to provide her children with a normal life, and being primarily a blue-collar population, National City helped that cause.

Not blinded by money 

Money, throughout time, has been the instrument of power in society. As such, people tend to be blinded, fall in love and be obsessed by it. These humble billionaires, through example, has shown that man makes money, and not the other way around.

Ellie Martin is the founding coordinator for Startup Change Group. Her works have been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Girls in Tech, among others. You may connect with her on Twitter

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