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I’m a Self-Made Millionaire at 25: Why ‘Expensive Dinners Are a Waste of Money’ and More Ways Wealthy Can Live Frugally

Ruslan Lytvyn /
Ruslan Lytvyn /

Let’s be real: becoming a millionaire from scratch by the age of 25 (or ever) doesn’t exactly come easy. It takes incredible dedication, relentless work ethic, a keen vision and, more often than not, a healthy side serving of luck.

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And it takes discipline — not only in your work life but in your life-life. Typically, self-made millionaires aren’t blowing their money on decadent indulgences; they’re buckling down and sticking to a budget. And if they are spending their big earnings, they just might come to regret it.


That’s what happened with Luca Netz. The 25-year-old CEO of Web3 NFT community Pudgy Penguins, who is reportedly worth $100 million. He recently told Fortune that he regrets buying a Rolls Royce Cullinan, which, in 2024, will sport an MSRP of nearly $400,000, per Car and Driver.

“[It] is easily the worst car I’ve ever owned,” Netz said. “It’s a great car on its face. But it’s big and clunky — I call it the oil rig. It has no gadgets and no functionality. Outside of the pretty orange interior I have, it serves no purpose.”

So, in case you were thinking that self-made millionaires are enjoying their mega expensive purchases that most of us could only dream of affording, that is not necessarily the case. Many opt to live well below their means.

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5 Ways the Wealthy Can Still Live Frugally

Here are some key ways the ultra-rich live ultra-cheap and, thus, protect and grow their wealth:

They Don’t Eat at Decadent Restaurants

A luxury dinner out now and again won’t break a millionaire’s bank. But these are not to be enjoyed on a regular basis.

“Expensive dinners are a waste of money, because once you eat it, it’s gone, and there’s nothing left to enjoy,” Netz said. “I think good food is important, but I am not a firm believer in $1,000 steaks, or gold flakes on your steak.”

They Don’t Buy Extravagant Cars

Netz admitted that he regretted purchasing his Rolls Royce, and he’s not alone in recognizing that lavish automobiles are a big waste of money, even for the rich. Fortune noted that earlier this year, Chris Nassetta, the CEO of Hilton Hotels, said that buying a Porsche was his worst-ever financial decision and that it “nearly broke” him.

Grant Cardone: Passive Income Is the Key To Building Wealth — Here’s My No. 1 Tip

They Don’t Rush to Buy A Home

Been waiting to become a millionaire to finally buy a home? No need to rush. Even self-made millionaires may practice restraint in this department.

“In my opinion, homeownership doesn’t always see the same return on investment as other places you can put your money,” Grant Cardone, a multimillionaire wrote for CNBC last January. “I own three homes, but I didn’t purchase them until I was able to buy them in cash.”

They Buy in Bulk

Thought it was just the average American getting that bajillion-pack of toilet paper at Costco? Nope! Millionaires do the same.

The wealthy are willing to spend more on each purchase in order to get a better price per unit and save time spent on repeating useless activities,” Cardone wrote. “This can apply to a business — the rich may contract to buy bulk supplies or equipment — or to you personal life. When I can, I buy everything without an expiration date in bulk.”

They Don’t DIY Everything in Their Lives

It may cost you to hire someone to work with you on a big project like, say, your retirement plan, but the typical millionaire would endorse avoiding doing everything yourself.

“The wealthy know that time is the only truly scarce resource. You can’t buy more of it,” said Cardone. “So they maximize their time by letting go of the need for control every small detail of their business or portfolio, and learn to effectively outsource and delegate to good, smart people who will trade their time for money.”

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This article originally appeared on I’m a Self-Made Millionaire at 25: Why ‘Expensive Dinners Are a Waste of Money’ and More Ways Wealthy Can Live Frugally