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10 Strangest Financial Habits of the Rich

by Amber Smith
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Riches. Fame. Wealth. Power. These are the things that come with amassing copious amounts of money—money that not every average person can achieve in their lifetime. While everyone’s, or at least most people’s, dreams are to be wealthy, there can only be so many successful people. For the rest, we can only observe and learn from their financial habits and hope to get there someday.

It’s not strange to hear a certain billionaire has invested in a sports team, bought a mansion, or owns a yacht. It is what society expects the upper class to spend their cash on. On the other hand, spending hard-earned or trust fund money on gold-plated toilets, ghost detectors, and dinosaur skulls may seem like eccentric splurges to most people. Here we discuss ten of the strangest financial habits of the rich, from the frugal ones to the frivolous ones.

Related: Ordinary Items That Made People Rich

10 Dogs Day Out

Mariah Carey spending thousands on holiday for dogs

Remember the “Touch My Body” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” singer? Apparently, all the pop singer wants for her dogs is for them to have a “soft life.” In an interview, Mariah Carey, a talented musician with a net worth of over $320 million, admitted that she spends over $34,000 per year on her pooches. Wait. Hold up. $34,000 on dogs? We all love pets, but even if we had the money, few would figure out how to spend that much on their dogs—not so for Mariah Carey.

The singer’s pets have a full-time groomer, chauffeur, and occasional trips to the spa. If you add the monthly standard cut and blow dry services the pets get, the cost can easily surpass the said amount. This is a habit we won’t be jotting down notes on.

9 Warren Buffett Still Lives in His Original House

Warren Buffett Lives In A Modest $652K House

A self-made success, mentor, firm believer in investing, and more importantly, an ordinary billionaire. I know. It’s disrespectful to put the words billionaire and ordinary in one sentence, but Warren Buffett embodies this. With an estimated net worth of over $82.7 billion, the 88-year-old business mogul can afford to live in any lavish house he pleases. However, believe it or not, Warren Buffett still lives in the 6,000-square foot house in Omaha, which he purchased in 1958 for $31,500.

Understandably, $31,500 in 1958 wasn’t a small amount of money. However, Warren’s ability to shake off the “trends” and stay true to his principles allowed him to remain true to his course. He can afford any modern house with a beachside view, but still, he insists on living in his old home.

With his billions, when asked to give a list of his best investments, he values his house at number three. Can you guess the first two? Twenty yachts and 15 private jets? Wrong! The first two are the wedding rings he bought for his first and second wife. Warren embraces other frugal and strange financial habits, such as looking out for buffet coupons and affordable hobbies. Interestingly, he used a Nokia flip phone for a long time, even after smartphones hit the market.

8 Mike Tyson Tigers

Mike Tyson’s $200,000 Yearly Food Bill For His Tigers

There is Warren Buffett, and then there is Mike Tyson—two rich people with opposite but equally strange spending habits. Nicknamed “Iron Mike,” Tyson is one of the greatest boxers ever to grace the ring. While you would not expect him to have regular kittens or Chihuahuas (no disrespect) as pets, owning tigers might be farfetched. To begin with, tigers are wild animals; they eat their prey whole—domesticating them requires you to match their appetite.

With an estimated net worth of over $400 million, Tyson purchased three Bengal tigers, costing around $70,000. He then hired a trainer for them who was paid $125,000 per year, according to reports by the International Business Times. Tyson also bought a $2.2 million, 24-carat gold bathtub for his first wife as a Christmas gift. He later divorced his wife and filed for bankruptcy in 2003. While we’re not in a position to classify Mike’s spending habits as “stupid,” they are, however, strange.

7 Ghost Detectors

Lady Gaga’s $50,000 Ghost Detector

We all agree ghosts are creepy; nobody goes to bed hoping to encounter one. However, there is only so much we can do to deter them. For instance, if you are religious, you can say a prayer or put a sacred book under the pillow. Not for Lady Gaga, though. She doesn’t take any chances with ghosts. In fact, her phobia is so strong that she invested in a $50,000 ghost detector. At 34, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician and actress has a net worth of around $150 million.

With such money, you would expect her to spend on her brand, fashion, or investments, as is the norm with many rich and famous. Lady Gaga embraces eccentric behaviors; this ghost detector simply highlights her type of person.

6 Saving Meals for the Next Day

File:Leftovers doggie bag.jpg

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

David Cheriton is a Canadian-born businessman who was among Google’s first investors. He gained wealth by investing in the giant search engine and other investments. With an estimated net worth of $10.1 billion, Cheriton can afford to have meals in different countries every day, but he opts not to. If anything, he does the exact opposite.

Reliable reports show that the businessman saves half of his meals from restaurants for the next day. If this was another person, we could have assumed that he couldn’t afford to buy meals regularly or didn’t like to cook. But for a man of Cheriton’s status, cooking or buying food doesn’t sound like something he can’t afford.

Furthermore, he has been shaving himself for the past decade. He has never paid a cent to a barber. No wonder the rich stay rich; they don’t spend their money, to begin with. We’ll be keeping these strange strategies in our back pocket.

5 Another Ticket for the Hat, Please

Bono Buys First Class Ticket For His… Hat?!

What can’t you leave your house without? Favorite jacket? Phone? Wallet? Keys? Surely you won’t go far without keys. But are you so attached that you pay for a plane ticket to go get the item you forgot at home while on vacation? Maybe we would if we could!

Bono, a renowned musician and guitarist, is famous for spending $1,700 on a plane ticket for his hat. You might think the amount was equal to purchasing another hat from wherever he was. We are, too, but Bono knows best. He wants his favorite hat; he gets it. With a net worth of over $700 million, you can afford to charter a flight to retrieve your precious clothing article. Just maybe don’t make this one a habit.

4 Living in Space

Elon Musk Sold Most Of His Homes, So Where Does He Live Now? | Forbes

Elon Musk is a man that continues to divide opinions. With a net worth of over $220 billion, we cannot question him much but wonder why he makes strange financial decisions. For instance, he recently sold all his houses and now “owns no home.” As it stands, Elon Musk now sleeps at his friends’ places. For someone among the top five wealthiest people in the world, you would expect him to own as many homes as he wants, but he chose to do the opposite.

Considering Musk is the co-founder of Tesla and his recent investments in Space X, chances are he is no longer interested in residing here on Earth. If anything, he has been looking at the possibility of relocating to Mars.

3 Kim Basinger Purchases an Entire Town

Kim Basinger Once Purchased An Entire Town For $20 Million

“Alright, everybody, listen up. As of today, this town is private property. We urge everyone to remain calm as we await further instructions from the new owner.” We can’t help but imagine that the residents of Braselton, Georgia, woke up to such an announcement when Kim Basinger bought the entire town in 1989. In her mind, she wanted to convert the area into a tourism attraction center and promote large film festivals.

Following lengthy negotiations, she was finally allowed to purchase the town for $20 million. It is safe to say this was not only a strange financial decision but also a failure. Five years later, she was declared bankrupt and resold the town for $1 million.

2 Drinking Water Made from Poop

Bill Gates Drinks Poop Water – IGN News

While some parts of the world face water shortages, consider how far you’re willing to go to solve the problem. For billionaire Bill Gates, he decided to drink water recycled from human waste to push his agenda. Of course, he invested in Waste Management, Inc. and owns 18.6 million company shares, but was drinking poop water necessary?

The billionaire could have simply invested and let other people do the drinking. After all, he had already made a significant contribution. But Gates’s campaign paid extreme dividends. He assembled a team of top scientists and sanitation professionals worldwide to create transformative technologies and commercialization by reinventing the toilet for the poorest of diverse peoples and places. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

1 Divorce

Why do so many Billionaires get divorced? (Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Dr Dre and more)

“After much thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage.” Does this quote sound familiar to you? Yes, this was the first statement Bill Gates made when he announced his divorce from Melinda Gates.

For most, it’s impossible to look at divorce as a cost, but for all those billionaires and millionaires, they know it doesn’t come cheap. For example, Melinda Gates ended up with billions worth of stock in various companies following her divorce from Bill Gates.

Nobody goes into marriage hoping to divorce. On the other hand, it is hard to ignore that 35 out of 72 billionaires who have tied the knot have since divorced and spent a lot of money in courtrooms. This means that 35 people were willing to part with some of their hard-earned cash just to see the divorce through. It is a strange financial habit because not everyone is willing to share their money with people they no longer have relationships with.

fact checked by Rachel Jones