The billionaire investor Warren Buffet is acknowledged for his frugality. He still lives in the same home he purchased in the 50s and drives himself around in an American car which is by no means one of the luxurious varieties. Warren Buffet does not qualify to be named as one of the richest cheapskates of all time.The co-founder of Walmart, the late billionaire Sam Walton also led a comfortable life but refrained from owning the expensive toys he could have afforded. He was happy driving around a pickup truck and maintained his frugality until the end. He too does not make it to the ranks of the richest cheapskates of all time.
There is a subtle difference between being frugal and being cheap. The world is not without famous personalities who crossed the line from being thrifty and joined the ranks of being known as the richest cheapskates of all time. These people were earning millions every week and preferred to lead a life that was comfortable but always made it a point to let others foot the bill for their expenses.
Who Are The Richest Cheapskates Of All Time
This great star of the silent movie era carried his onscreen character even to his life. He assumed the role of a quiet man whenever he was required to buy another round of drinks or in a hotel when the waiter appeared with the check. Charlie Chaplin was earning $10,000 a week in 1916, which corresponds to $219,000 a week in present-day conditions. Chaplin had millions of dollars in the bank, but the money was surprisingly missing from his wallet. When dining out with friends, he always displayed the generosity to allow others to pick up the tab. Chaplin’s habits led Marlon Brando to call him “an egotistical tyrant and a penny pincher.”
J Paul Getty
Paul Getty was believed to be the world’s richest individual during his day, and the oilman was a billionaire who was frequently hanging with the international jet set. He was, however, unhappy to pay for his ticket. Getty never hesitated to stay in the most fashionable hotels where he generally booked the cheapest room which was available. Getty could be found living out of a suitcase while conducting his business out of shoe boxes. The purchase of a mansion outside London made observers believe he was perhaps loosening up until reports started appearing that guests to his mansion were required to use a pay phone because all the other phones were locked up. Getty never denied the stories but just tried to explain his actions in his autobiography in a rather unconvincing manner.
Cary Grant was good-looking, suave, and was also cheap to the core. Grant was born in England and grew in modest circumstances before migrating to the US in his teens. He was one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood by the 30s and also married one of the richest women in the world. Frugal habits can be difficult to get away from but in the case of Grant, he seemed to have made them immortal. He was known to charge $.25 for an autograph and even remove buttons from worn-out shirts calling it a sensible thing to do. The habits of Cary Grant made it possible for him to save every single penny he had ever earned along with a big load of buttons.
Leona Helmsley, the New York hotel Baroness was popularly known as the ‘Queen of mean’ and may also have been called the Princess of Penuriousness. She was quoted to have said, “we don’t pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes.” It looks like she had applied her philosophy to all bills that were forwarded to her. She was sued by eight separate contractors for stiffing on work at her Greenwich mansion. It has been reported that Helmsley demanded kickbacks from suppliers and also cheated on sales tax and income tax. She also charged all her expenses to her hotels. Helmsley was eventually put on trial for tax evasion and had to spend 18 months in prison. President Donald Trump had extensive experience dealing with Helmsley and was among the people who were not sympathetic to her cause and was quoted as mentioning, “she deserves whatever she gets.” Helmsley passed away in 2007 but was generous enough to leave $12 million to her dog.
These were some of the richest cheapskates of all time. They had everything they ever needed but decided to join the infamous list of individuals who are remembered for cheapness rather than their deeds or fame.