Monday, September 6, 2010

7 Spending Tips From Frugal Billionaires

Carlos Slim Helu (Carlos Slim), a telecom tycoon and billionaire with well-known frugal tendencies, has a net worth of $60.6 billion, according to Forbes. Assuming no changes in his net worth, he could spend $1,150 a minute for the next 100 years before he ran out of money. To put this in perspective, he could spend in 13 minutes what a minimum-wage earner brings home after an entire year of the daily grind.

Granted, the world's billionaires (all 1,011 of them) are in the debatably enviable position of having, quite literally, more money than they can possibly spend, yet some are still living well below their means, and save money in surprising places. Even non-billionaires (currently 6,864,605,142 of us) can partake in these seven spending tips from frugal billionaires:

1. Keep Your Home Simple
Billionaires can afford to live in the most exclusive mansions imaginable -- and many do, including Bill Gates' sprawling 66,000 square foot, $147.5 million dollar mansion in Medina, Wash. -- yet frugal billionaires like Warren Buffett choose to keep it simple. Buffett still lives in the five-bedroom house in Omaha that he purchased in 1957 for $31,500. Likewise, Carlos Slim has lived in the same house for more than 40 years.

2. Use Self-Powered or Public Transportation
Thrifty billionaires including John Caudwell, David Cheriton and Chuck Feeney prefer to walk, bike or use public transportation when getting around town. Certainly these wealthy individuals could afford to take a helicopter to their lunch meetings, or ride in chauffeur-driven Bentleys, but they choose to get a little exercise and take advantage of public transportation instead. Good for the bank account and great for the environment.

3. Buy Your Clothes off the Rack
While some people, regardless of their net value, place a huge emphasis on wearing designer clothes and shoes, some frugal billionaires decide it's simply not worth the effort, or expense. You can find David Cheriton, the Stanford professor who matched Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to the venture capitalists at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (resulting in a large reward of Google stock), wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the furniture company Ikea, avoids wearing suits, and John Caudwell, mobile phone mogul, buys his clothes off the rack instead of spending his wealth on designer clothes.

4. Keep your Scissors Sharp
The average haircut costs about $45, but people can and do spend up to $800 per cut and style. Multiply that by 8.6 (to account for a cut every six weeks) and it adds up to $7,200 per year, not including tips. These billionaires can certainly afford the most stylish haircuts, buy many cannot be bothered by the time it takes or the high price tag for the posh salons. Billionaires like John Caudwell and David Cheriton opt for cutting their own hair at home.

5. Drive a Regular Car
While billionaires like Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation) enjoy spending millions on cars, boats and planes, others remain low key with their vehicles of choice. Jim Walton (of the Wal-Mart clan) drives a 15-year-old pickup truck. Azim Premji, an Indian business tycoon, reportedly drives a Toyota Corolla. And Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea drives a 10-year-old Volvo. The idea is to buy a dependable car, and drive it into the ground. No need for a different car each day of the week for these frugal billionaires.

6. Skip Luxury Items
It may surprise some of us, but the world's wealthiest person, Carlos Slim (the one who could spend more than a thousand dollars a minute and not run out of money for one hundred years) does not own a yacht or a plane. (Reducing the amount you spend is the easiest way to make your money grow.)

Many other billionaires have chosen to skip these luxury items. Warren Buffett also avoids these lavish material items, stating, "Most toys are just a pain in the neck."

What We Can Learn
Some of the world's billionaires have frugal tendencies. Perhaps this thrifty nature even helped them make some of their money. Regardless, they have chosen to avoid some unnecessary spending (at least on their scale) and the 6,864,605,142 non-billionaires out there can follow suit, eliminating excessive, keep-up-with-the-Jones style spending. No matter what a person's income bracket is, most can usually find a way to cut back on frivolous spending, just like a few frugal billionaires.

The Sound That Professionals Have Chosen for More than 60 Years
Have you been to a movie or gone to a concert recently? There’s a good chance that you were enjoying the show on JBL loudspeakers. For more than 60 years, JBL has been the loudspeaker brand of choice for recording and theatrical professionals around the world. JBL engineering, power, clarity and technical accuracy are legendary, and today’s high-resolution digital media demands nothing less than loudspeakers that can handle their sonic range. So why not enjoy your movies or music on loudspeakers from the company that likely helped to mix and master them? With JBL speakers, you can enjoy the thrill of the show or the excitement of a live concert--all right in your own home.

The JBL SCS145.5 speaker system delivers blockbuster
performance in a small package
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Blockbuster Performance in a Small Package

JBL engineers have designed the Surround Cinema Speaker systems to deliver JBL’s famous high-performance audio at a price anyone can afford. Despite its small size, the incredibly affordable SCS145.5 delivers a sound experience equal to systems much larger and much more expensive. What's more, it's presented in an elegant design that will look at home in any listening environment. In their sleek, attractive enclosure, the SCS145.5’s small, black satellite speakers disappear into a room, making them perfect for small spaces where big sound is important. And when it comes to installation flexibility, the SCS145.5 is a great value. Unlike other speaker systems at its price, the SCS145.5 includes wall-mount brackets. Optional aluminum floor stands that hide all of the wires are also available (sold separately).

Advanced Speaker Design for Precise Sound

Great sound starts with incredible clarity and a rich, natural midrange. Despite the SCS145.5’s small size and price, its satellites easily reach this high standard. Created in the same state-of-the-art facilities where JBL’s engineers design the company’s widely renowned (and far more expensive) premium high-end speakers, the SCS145.5 satellites will amaze you with their performance.

Titanium is both extremely rigid
and light weight for crystal clear sound
Titanium Tweeters Deliver Crystal Clear Sound
Half-inch titanium-laminate tweeters re-create all of the high frequencies you hear in your favorite movie or song. Titanium’s strength and light weight make it perfect for quickly and accurately reproducing high frequencies from music and movies without strain or distortion. Each tweeter sits in a patented EOS waveguide. The waveguide ensures that the SCS145.5 disperses high frequencies widely and uniformly. Simply put, the SCS145.5 satellites spread smooth, high-frequency sound over a large listening area.

The woofer does not bend or
flex, providing distortion-free sound
Lightweight Midrange Woofers Deliver Rich Vocals
The SCS145.5’s rigid, 3" midrange drivers are both strong and lightweight. The cone is so strong that it does not allow the unwanted bending or flexing that causes harmful distortion. Being lightweight, it can easily stop and start as the audio signal from your music or movie does. The result is rich, precise sound from any medium or source. Unlike many other speaker systems at its price, the SCS145.5 benefits from the extra attention that JBL’s engineers have been paid to the critical center channel, which delivers dialogue and other vocals. They have built it with a dual-woofer design so that voices sound especially rich and clear

8" Powered Subwoofer Delivers Deep Bass
Good bass is critical to a great-sounding home theater and is especially important when you are talking about a subwoofer-satellite speaker package. A well-designed subwoofer should complement the satellites, making them sound much larger than they are while adding deep, low bass reinforcement. The SCS145.5’s eight-inch subwoofer has both strength and light weight, so it reproduces bass effortlessly and with maximum impact. Its 100-watt on-board amplifier delivers all the power that a subwoofer needs to get things really moving, while the level control allows you to customize the subwoofer’s performance to your taste. And since it uses a small enclosure, this subwoofer can fit easily into nearly any room.

The included wall brackets make
perfect speaker placement easy

Quick and Easy Installation

Whether you’re doing it yourself or a professional is doing it for you, the SCS145.5 is easy to set up and wire. High-quality connections on the back of each speaker allow you to use high-performance speaker wire, while the powered subwoofer uses a line-level LFE (low-frequency effects) connection that attaches easily to today’s 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround-sound receivers. The LFE input even has an “audio sense” circuit to turn itself off automatically when you’re not using it. The included wall brackets allow full horizontal rotation, so you can precisely lock in the best speaker placement.

What's in the Box
Four SCS145.5 satellite speakers, one SCS145.5 center channel speaker, one SCS145.5 subwoofer, brackets for all five speakers, and speaker wire

Product Description

JBL Surround Cinema Speaker systems are designed to deliver the high-performance sound that JBL has been known for at a price anyone can afford. Despite its small size, the incredibly affordable SCS145.5 delivers a sound experience equal to systems much larger and much more expensive