How billionaires spend their money

To Jeff Bezos, spending $88,000 is equivalent to the average American spending $1. 
Cliff Owen/AP

It’s hard to fathom life as a billionaire

Business Insider previously calculated that the typical billionaire can afford to spend $80 million a year, while most Americans earn less than $60,000. And for the world’s richest billionaire, Jeff Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of $156 billion, spending $88,000 is similar to an average American spending $1.

Where does one even begin to drop such billions?

While some remain somewhat frugal, such as Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, others are known to drop money on more lavish items. A sprawling real estate portfolio is a staple for billionaires, as is lavish means of personal transportation — think private jets, colossal yachts, and expensive cars.

But while many billionaires are known to indulge, they’re also known for their philanthropic efforts and donating billions to charity.

See how billionaires spend their billions.

Billionaires are often on the go — many buy a private jet to makes the jet set lifestyle that much easier.

Donald Trump.  Tyler Olson / Shutterstock

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, owns a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet.


Businessman Mark Cuban also owns a Gulfstream jet — he purchased a Gulfstream V for $40 million, the Guinness World Record for the biggest purchase ever conducted over the internet.

Greg Bishop, Flickr

Dell CEO Michael Dell has also been part of the Gulfstream club — he used to own a Gulfstream V, but reportedly upgraded to a Boeing Dreamliner 787.

Wikimedia Commons

Billionaires also get around the traditional way, via a set of four wheels — but these cars are typically either more lavish or vintage than the average American’s.

A participant drives a 1954 Porsche 356 1500S up a street on mount Stoderzinken during the Ennstal Classic rally near the small Austrian village of Groebming July 18, 2013. Some 206 oldtimer cars took part in a three day vintage and classic car rally around Ennstal in the Austrian province of Styria.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Bill Gates is an avid luxury car collector. His first big splurge after founding Microsoft was a Porsche 911 supercar. He later bought a Porsche 959.

Porsche 911.  H&H Classics

Elon Musk also has an affinity for cars. In 2013, he purchased the Lotus Esprit submarine car used in a James Bond movie for $920,000. In addition to Teslas, he owns a Ford Model T and Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster.

Lotus Espirit.  AP/ Lefteris Pitarakis

Rob Walton of the Walmart family fortune has a large collection of vintage cars. He once owned a Daytona Coupe, worth $15 million and one of only five ever made.

AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

Dell also has quite the car collection, which has included a 2004 Porsche Boxster, Porsche Carrera GT, and Hummer H2.

Porsche Carrera GT.  Barrett-Jackson

But not all billionaires travel by air or by land — some travel by sea on their personal yacht.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Billionaire Shahid Khan owns the 312-foot yacht Kismet, which has a weekly charter rate of around $1.29 million. Billionaire couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z have chartered onboard.

Rob Wilson/Shutterstock

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owns the second largest yacht in the world, Eclipse, equipped with two helicopter pads and a disco hall. It’s worth $1.9 billion.

AP/Axel Heimken

Steve Wynn, cofounder of Wynn resorts, owns the 301-foot yacht Aquarius, which has a massage room, helipad, beauty salon, swimming pool, and beach club.

Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

And Paul Allen owns two superyachts — the 414-foot Octopus, which cost $200 million to build and has a basketball court and recording studio, and the 303-foot Tatoosh, which he once tried to sell for $160 million.

1000zen / Flickr

A sprawling real estate portfolio is a staple for billionaires, who often spend and grow their billions by investing in property.

AP Images

Michael Bloomberg reportedly owns between 12 and 15 houses around the world, from his home base in New York City and a ski resort unit in Vail, Colorado, to an abode in Bermuda and two houses in London, including one in Knightsbridge worth $18 million.

Knightsbridge, London.  Chrispictures/Shutterstock

In addition to his $125 million Seattle home, Gates spent $27 million on a string of properties in Wellington, Florida, and $18 million on Rancho Paseana.

Rancho Paseana.  Facebook, Hilton & Hyland

He also has partial ownership of Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Four Seasons hotel chain.

The Charles Hotel.

Bezos is one of America’s biggest landowners and owns five homes across the US in Medina, Washington; Beverly Hills, California; Van Horn, Texas; Washington, DC; and New York City

The gate of Bezos’ estate. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Bezos’ Washington, DC abode is undergoing $12 million in renovations. The former textile museum, which he bought for $23 million in 2016, will become a two-structure compound used largely for entertaining.

Redfin/AP/Susan Walsh

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also has residence in Washington — he owns a $10 million waterfront home in Hunts Point, Washington, and property on Whidbey Island.

Steve Ballmer’s house in Hunt’s Point.  Bing Maps

Dell owns a 33,000-square-foot home outside of Austin, Texas, and a 6,380-square foot ranch house nearby. He also reportedly owns a four-story home on the exclusive Caribbean island of Anguilla and an 18,5000-square-foot compound in Hawaii worth $73 million.

Michael Dell’s Hawaii estate. Google Maps

Dell and Walmart billionaire Rob Walton both share a stake in the resort area of Hualalai, Hawaii.

Four Seasons resort in Hualalai, Hawaii. Four Seasons Hotels

Rob’s sister, Alice Walton, owns a two-floor condo on New York’s Park Avenue, which she purchased for $25 million in 2014. It has more than 52 large windows overlooking Central Park and more than 6,000 square feet of space.


Billionaire couple Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr own a $12 million, 7,164-square-foot home in Los Angeles and a $2.15 million ocean view home in Malibu.

Altitude Images/Shutterstock

Another well-known billionaire couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, have a massive real estate portfolio across the Hamptons, New Orleans, and Bel-Air. Collectively, the properties are worth more than $116 million.

From listing on Trulia

Musk owns more than $70 million worth of residential property in Bel-Air, including a $24 million estate and a $17 million mansion.

Google Maps

Mark Zuckerberg also has plenty of property in California. He bought his 5,000-square-foot home in Palo Alto for $7 million. Shortly after, he began buying properties surrounding his home, totaling more than $30 million.


Zuckerberg also owns a San Francisco townhouse, which he renovated for more than $1 million. He also purchased two properties in Kauai, Hawaii, for $100 million.


Some cities are such a special place to billionaires that they buy their local sports teams.

Associated Press

Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in 2000.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Jerry Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys, which he paid a record $140 million for. The team was worth $4.8 billion as of September 2017.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

And Robert Kraft owns the New England Patriots, which he purchased for $175 million.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In 2014, Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

And Allen owns not one, but two teams: the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Meanwhile, other billionaires invest in media.

The Washington Post sign is seen on its building in Washington. 
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

In 2013, Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post for $250 million.

Stelios Varias/REUTERS

Laurene Powell Jobs founded Emerson Collective, an organization that makes grants and investments. Through Emerson, Jobs acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

And Salesforce CEO and cofounder Marc Benioff and his wife announced in September 2018 that they’re buying Time Magazine for $190 million cash.

Kimberly White / Stringer

Some billionaires invest in art.

Facebook/Crystal Bridges

One of Bloomberg’s houses in London is reportedly filled with American art.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg performs in a comedy routine during the Inner Circle dinner in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2004. AP Images

Gates also has expensive art hanging in his home — he bought a Winslow Homer painting for $36 million in 1988.

P. S. Burton / Wikimedia Commons

Alice Walton is a huge patron of the arts. She has an immense private art collection that includes works from Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe. She once spent $44.4 million on a Georgia O’Keefe painting — the biggest sale for a woman’s piece of art in history.

D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Walton even opened a museum called Crystal Bridges in 2011 to house her $500 million private art collection.

Crystal Bridges Museum. Flickr / Kevin Dooley

Despite their lavish purchases, many billionaires also donate money toward philanthropy.

Bill Gates/Facebook

The Gates have donated more than $36 billion to charitable causes through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including global health and development and US education.

Bill Gates/Facebook

Zuckerberg is donating some of his Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization he founded with his wife in 2015. They invested $3 billion into research focused on curing the world’s diseases by the end of the century.


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative also gave $5 million to help at least 60 teachers in Redwood City and East Palo Alto, California, purchase real estate.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Personally and through his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg has donated $3 billion to a variety of charitable causes.

Tim P. Whitby/Getty

Dell’s charitable foundation has given away $1.23 billion to nonprofits and social enterprises in the US, India, and South Africa since 1999.

John Locher/AP

WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton has launched three charities: Sunlight Giving, Family Giving, and Solidarity Giving, which collectively support basic needs of low-income families, build empathy, and focus on human and civil rights.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum donated $556 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation after the sale of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum. Getty

And Warren Buffet — ever the frugal billionaire — has donated more than $28.5 billion to charities throughout his lifetime.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Source:Business Insider