Cents-ible Advice about Money from Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of over $62 billion, is not known for his lavish lifestyle. Instead, he lives in the same home he bought in Nebraska in 1958 (worth $31,500 back then and $700,000 in today’s dollars) and has been known for his habit of using public transportation. Although he’s richer than any of us could possibly imagine, his frugal habits and sayings are worth listening to:
“We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”
This simple quote is similar to the ‘journey vs. destination’ debate, just with a financial twist. Whether it’s working at a job we love, starting a side business selling items you created yourself or volunteering for a charitable event, we should enjoy what we’re doing in the moment rather than focusing solely on what we’ll get paid and how we’ll spend it after the ‘process’ is over.
“It is better to hang out with people better than you … you’ll drift in that direction.”
This quote can apply to nearly every aspect of life, but it’s particularly relevant when it comes to money. The distinction here is not comparing yourself to those who are richer than you (“keeping up with the Joneses” mentality) but rather those who live more frugally than you. These people exemplify the possibility of living happily on a budget and hanging out with other frugally-minded people will encourage you to live more frugally as well.
“We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations.”
Strangers have no obligation to us and relying on potential help from someone you don’t know very well could jeopardize your financial situation. In this quote, Buffet is all about self-sufficiency – a term that perfectly describes frugal-minded folks. Do what you can with the tools you have available to you instead of getting into a never-ending cycle of asking others for help.
“If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need.”
It seems that we consumers are simply prone to getting ourselves into debt and there’s no worse way to take on debt than accumulating things you never needed. Rather than making impulse purchases and/or acquiring material possessions deemed ‘non-necessary’ for your living situation, keep to a strict budget (never shop without a list and don’t buy anything that’s not on it), stretch your dollars by finding coupons in local ad publications or through SumoCoupon, and save up for items on your “want” list incrementally instead of buying them now and figuring out how to pay for them later.
“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.”
Money can bring out the worst and the best in us, depending on the person. Despite having a personal net worth that’s higher than some countries’ entire national incomes, Warren Buffet is still a humble man living a relatively frugal lifestyle. The same should go for all of us; whether we’re super rich or dirt poor, how we treat others around us will always be more noticeable than the figures in our bank accounts.