Almost everyone dreams of becoming a billionaire some day, and plenty of people daydream about lounging in a mansion with everything they could possibly buy. But few of us actually imagine just how much money it costs to keep up with the lavish lifestyle we see on movies and TV. Keep in mind that the lifestyle choices of millionaires and billionaires will vary drastically. (After all, Warren Buffet still lives in the same house that he has had for decades, and he keeps the same car for years on end, too.) But these are 30 examples of how much it costs for the stereotypical choices we expect from a “billionaire lifestyle”.
30. A Huge Mansion
When we imagine a billionaire lifestyle, one of the first place everyone’s mind goes to is a lavish mansion. And it’s not just any mansion. We’re talking a mega-mansion of palace-like proportions. Maybe it’s located in a luxurious destination, as well. According to Realtor.com, the average mansion in The Hamptons costs $15 million. A 20% down payment would be nearly $3 million, and the monthly mortgage is well over $60,000. Not to mention the cost of electricity, heating, cooling, and the staff that may be necessary to keep up with the property.
According to Forbes, super yachts cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build. The docking fee for a boat of this size is estimated to cost $350,000 per year, $240,000 a year in repairs and maintenance, and a full-time captain to drive the boat makes between $70,000 to $180,000 per year, depending on the size of the yacht. Based on these numbers, you would think that next to no one would ever fathom spending such a ridiculous amount of money on a boat, but in 2013 alone, 355 super yachts were sold to wealthy consumers.
In the United States, people really care a lot about what kind of car you drive. It becomes a status symbol of success. So, it only makes sense that billionaires would drive a luxury car (unless you are Warren Buffet, of course.) If you think Tesla is expensive, get ready to clutch your pearls, because the Rolls Royce Sweptail costs $13 million. (Say what!?) We can only imagine the cost of paying for car insurance and repairs.
Have you ever noticed that some billionaires, like Jeff Bezos actually look better with age? Some of them are getting a little bit of help from stem cell therapy. Bezos has invested in a company called Unity Biotechnology, which claims that it will help people live much longer lifespans. Then, of course, there are plenty of celebrities who do not shy away from getting lip injections, laser hair removal, face lifts, liposuction, or any other type of plastic surgery that will help them look better as the years go on. These treatments vary in the cost, depending on where you get it done, and how frequently. They can be a few thousands dollars up to tens of thousands in order to complete a treatment.
First-class flights on Emirates can cost up to a whopping $60,000. Yes, this is truly ridiculous, but guests get loads of perks, like a comfortable seat, television and a tablet. They even get to take a shower on the plane, as well. If you are interested in seeing what these expensive first class experiences are really like, check out Casey Neistat’s review of the Emirates First Class Suite on YouTube. In it, you can see that this suite actually allows you to close a door so that you have total privacy from other passengers. With that being said, a lot of people manage to get into these seats without paying $60,000. Some people can get amazing deals by signing up for frequent flyer mile credit cards, and then they can use their points for an upgrade at a fraction of the price.
For billionaires, spending millions of dollars on a wedding is to be expected. There needs to be over a hundred guests in a luxurious location. There also needs to be a designer wedding gown, of course, as well as a massive wedding ring. Here on Self-Made, we already made a list of the 30 most expensive weddings in history. The number one most expensive wedding on that list was Princess Diana. In today’s money, her wedding ceremony would have cost $110 million.
If you are a millionaire or billionaire, it is probably because you worked extremely hard to get there. A lot of busy people do not have time to cook their own meals, but they still want to have custom, healthy meals. Many wealthy people choose to hire a personal chef to make their meals, because it guarantees that they can stay on a strict diet. According to Insider, personal chefs are paid $515 per day, and occasionally get bonuses and paid vacations.
When you imagine a billionaire party, your mind probably goes to scenes from The Great Gatsby, where there are live orchestra, unlimited free drinks, and people wearing fancy clothes. Aside from the fact that we live in a different era, your imagination isn’t too far off from the truth. Even for a kid’s party, some millionaire parents will go as far as to spend 70,000 pounds (That’s 87,517 US dollars) on a birthday party for a one year old. When it comes to parties for adults, the sky is the limit. When The Atlantis Hotel was first built in Abu Dabi, they threw a grand opening party that cost $31 million. There are billionaires who regularly spend over $1 million on birthday bashes for their kids, as if it is to be expected.
Sometimes, if you go to the gym, there is a bit of an overwhelming feeling of “what am I doing here?” Maybe you’ll get on the elliptical, lift some weights, and call it a day. But a personal trainer has an education in physical fitness. They can take your measurements, and give you suggestions on a workout plan that will get you in amazing shape. As long as you are willing to listen to their advice, you should be able to get fit. A personal trainer who works for a gym is actually affordable to pay once a week, and usually costs roughly $20 per session.
For millionaires and billionaires, they do not go to a public gym. They typically have their own private gyms in their homes. Thumbtack is a website that lets you browse through a catalog of personal trainers who take house calls. Depending on where you live, this typically costs $50 to $150 for an hour-long workout. If you choose to hire a personal trainer a few days a week, you can see how this can add up.
Oddly enough, there is a growing trend to bring butlers back. For a long time, it was only a phenomenon that existed in Great Britain. But as countries around the world are growing increasingly wealthy, more and more people want a butler, if only for the bragging rights. According to the International Butler Academy, butlers make $50,000 to $150,000 per year. The range in salary depends on if they are living in the home, or living out. Typically, if a butler is being given free room and board, a car, and other expenses, that can count towards their overall salary. Since butlers are forced to to so much to help a millionaire or billionaire, they can sometimes work up to 60 hours per week.
It is possible to stay at luxury hotels for around $300 per night, which is expensive, but not totally out of the question if you are going somewhere for a special occasion. If you book the special suites at famous hotels like The Savoy, they can easily go as high at $20,000 or more per night. Usually, these expensive suites will include a butler, and it’s big enough to feel like an entire apartment. If you are curious to see what one of these rooms look like, check out Casey Neistat’s review of an $18,000 room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Raising kids is hard work. For many working moms who just so happen to be married to wealthy men, they often choose to hire a babysitter to help them get their work done. For the uber-wealthy, they take it one step further and higher a full-time nanny. The cost of a nanny varies drastically. Some choose to hire someone local who commutes, and they pay around $100 per day. Others have a live-in-nanny who gets their own car, allowance, and salary. For some of the higher-end nannies, billionaires will pay upwards of $400 per day for all of the expenses to give towards childcare.
For most American public school kids, when we think of boarding school, our minds automatically imagine scenes from Harry Potter. In reality, getting into boarding school is not as easy as receiving a letter from Hogwarts. According to Private School Review, the average cost of prep school tuition varies dramatically from state to state. For example, if you live in Nebraska, it’s only $3,352 per year. Compare that to Connecticut and Washington DC, where tuition is more like $25,000 per year. There are elite schools in Switzerland that charge over $100,000 per year, meaning that you’re putting out at least $1 million for each child’s education.
One iconic part of the lives of the rich and famous is having an Ivy League education. This is for both the billionaire, and their children, of course. Even in undergrad, schools like Harvard University costs nearly $50,000 per semester before room and board. This means that it will cost over $200,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree. Then, of course, if they decide to get a Master’s or Doctorate degree, it could cost even more. This can easily cost a half-million dollars per child. If you have more than one kid, good luck sending them all to Ivy League.
If you go places like Saks Fifth Avenue, it is not that unusual to see purses that cost over $1,000 each. Of course, only a small segment of the population can afford such an expensive hand bag. For billionaires, they go to the next level. Some luxury designer purses are over $100,000 each. With that kind of money, you could pay off your student loans, or buy a house! If you know what you are doing, it is possible to buy a purse and wait until it doubles in value. Sure, that sounds like a lot of money, but it is far from being the most expensive purse in the world. The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse cost $3.8 million.
Football fans all over the Unite States dream of going to the Super Bowl to root for their favorite team, but few people can actually afford to experience it live. No matter where you are sitting in the stadium, tickets to the Super Bowl are ridiculously expensive. The “cheap” seats are $2,500 each. They can go over $5,000 per ticket if you are trying to get a better view. The VIP luxury VIP box seats are on a level all their own. These boxes cost $50,000 to $662,000, depending on the location.
Most millionaires and billionaires are extremely busy people. (How do you think they got rich in the first place?) They also may be public figures, and showing up at a supermarket might cause a riot. Since these billionaires may not have the time or ability to do normal things like grocery shopping, they usually hire a personal assistant. There are different types of assistants- virtual and in-person. Both pay roughly $15 per hour. If you have someone assisting you full-time, that’s $600 per week, or $31,200 per year.
Water-front property seems like a dream (until it floods.) Plenty of people wish they could own a house on the beach, river, or bay. One of the most sought-after locations for beach front property is in The Hamptons. But be ready to dish out over $20 million to live on the water.
Rich and powerful people often have enemies, or crazy fans who are trying to meet them. It becomes necessary to hire a security team to protect you. According to Thumbtack, security guards make an average of $25 to $30 per hour. If you had to hire someone to protect you full-time at 40 hours a week, that is $1,200 a week, or $62,400 per year. In many cases, wealthy people need to be guarded 24/7. Multiply that by however many guards you may need to protect you, and it is likely to reach the six figures.
Paying for a lawyer on retainer costs between $500 to $5,000 for your average individual, but for a billionaire with a company, it costs much more than that. At minimum, this costs thousands of dollars. But in major lawsuits, lawyers can make over a million dollars if they have to represent a company in a very serious case.
Believe it or not, it is actually affordable to buy a chateau in France. After decades of neglect, castles have been abandoned by their former owners. Many buyers can get a huge castle for around $300,000 to $1 million, depending on the location and condition. The only catch is that these chateaus need so much work, you might end up spending an additional $1 million to fix them up. Then, the monthly bills to heat or cool the place is outrageous, as well. Most chateau owners only buy them if they plan to make some kind of profit, like a wedding business or hotel.
According to Home Advisor, the average maid service costs between $116 and $235 for one house cleaning. Normally, people who can afford it hire a maid once a week to clean the bathrooms, dust, and other basic things. However, if you were a billionaire, you might want a full-time maid to come in 7 days a week. Assuming that you pay $200 per day, that’s $1,400 a week, or $72,800 per year.
Billionaires often do not have the time or energy to maintain their gardens, so they decide to hire someone to help. If you pay a day laborer to do basic garden maintenance like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, expect to pay $20 to $25 per hour. For professional landscapers who are doing more complicated tasks, they can cost between $50 to $150. Not many people need to have a gardener at their house 7 days a week, but for large estates, there are multiple people working on staff full-time.
If you want to dress in the highest fashions, you are going to have to pay crazy amounts of money. Millionaire women often wear couture gowns that are straight off the runway, and these can be $10,000 each. Of course, if you are a celebrity attending multiple events, you cannot be seen in the same thing twice. Some women spend over $100,000 a year on clothes alone- sometimes more. According to Market Watch, many billionaires have a closet with a wardrobe that is worth over $1 million.
Way back in 2001, a man named Dennis Tito paid a cool $20 million to make his dream come true of going into space. Since then, billionaires have been trying to get someone to take their money so they can get in a rocket ship. We cannot go on vacations to space yet, but there are already 700 people who have pre-ordered a seat through Virgin Galactic, which is the space program launched by Virgin Airlines. Each seat costs between $200,000 to $250,000.
If you want to buy your own private jet, it costs $3 to $90 million, depending on the model you buy. Of course, this does not include the cost of fuel and the pilot. Some people choose to get an account with Wheels Up, which is a private jet membership where you can rent private flights without actually owning the plane yourself. No matter which option you choose, it will still be incredibly expensive, no matter what.
Most celebrities need a manager or an agent to help them book gigs, and they often act as both advisor and lawyer. Usually, they take around 10% to 20% of the pay of whatever their talent makes per contract. Millionaires and billionaires are not typically paying their agents out-of-pocket. Agents are not getting paid unless they secure profitable contracts for their clients. Even so, the most rich and famous people may end up paying their agents over $100,000 from their annual salary.
Loads of wealthy people give to charity, if only for the tax write-offs. At some point in time, everyone who is rich and famous decided that they would have fancy parties to celebrate certain charities. When billionaires go to these events, they almost always wear designer clothing that is worth over $1,000. Then, the cost of the plate could be as low as $100. If you think that’s expensive, consider The Philly Union League’s Ritzy Paul Ryan Dinner, it was $50,000 per plate.
Who doesn’t want to stay young forever? It’s not really possible to look like you are in your 20’s for the rest of your life, no matter how hard we try. There is no denying that good skincare habits using the right products make a big difference. Billionaires can afford to get facials, laser treatments, and skincare brands that are over $100 per product. Sometimes, people go as far as to have surgeries and injections that can cost thousands of dollars.
For a billionaire bachelor, they will have to give their lady friend an engagement ring worthy of a future princess to say “yes!” Celebrity actresses regularly receive million-dollar engagement rings. The wives of billionaires can expect an even bigger rock on their finger. Mariah Carey goes down as having one of the most expensive wedding rings around, at $10 million.