An Inside Look at the Spending Habits of Billionaires

We can only dream of what it’s like to be a billionaire, and usually we think of endless numbers of cars, travels and living a life of luxury and extravagance. But it’s not always smooth sailing, and it can be pretty expensive. Just take a look at the cases of Anne Dias Griffin and Sam Wyly. If you look at the cases of Griffin and Wyly, it will give you an idea of just how the world’s richest families spend their money, and how it sometimes gets them in trouble. Serious trouble.

It’s true billionaires have different spending habits, with some frugal and others living the high life. But the monthly spending habits of Wyly and Griffin, which became public records after court filings, prove that what they spend in a month is more –way more- than the yearly income of most people.

The Wyly Case

An Inside Look at the Spending Habits of BillionairesSam Wyly was a man who made billions by way of his Sterling Software and Michael’s Stores (MIK), but he recently declared bankruptcy after a 9 figure forfeiture order from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). The order came about after a jury found Wyly and his brother Charles (now deceased) guilty of violating securities regulations by utilizing various software trusts to conceal their trades.

According to court records, Wyly spent $450 million the past ten years for an average of $3.75 million monthly. Part of the expense, court filings show, includes $32,000 a month for a couple of writing assistants (Wyly has written numerous books), $2,000 a month for groceries and $2,000 monthly for the upkeep of his home, pool and landscaping. The combined salaries of his housekeeper and assistants were $523,345 annually.

But Wyly’s expenses don’t end there as he also spent $29,000 a month on mortgage of Explore Booksellers, which was being run by his wife and is now being sold. These expenses are in addition to the $7,000 he spent monthly for his family and friends. Furthermore, Wyly paid more than $100,000 to the family office, which oversees his finances.

Wyly filled these expenses for the approval of the court. The SEC, which called his monthly expenses “mind boggling” and “unjustifiable”, is asking for an asset freeze.

The Griffin Case

An Inside Look at the Spending Habits of BillionairesBut Wyly isn’t alone, as the case of Ken Griffin, billionaire hedge founder and Anne, his estranged wife, will demonstrate. In court records that Mr. Griffin filed, he showed that Anne Dias Griffin was living a lavish lifestyle. Anne on the other hand, says that Ken has a yearly income of $900 million but has cut off her credit card line and dismissed all her staff. For this reason she is seeking a termination of their prenuptial agreement.

Griffin countered this, saying Anne had already received $40 million and he continues to pay their children’s monthly expenses. The couple, when they were married, had homes in Aspen, New York, Chicago, Hawaii, and Miami Beach. They had two private jets, and a large staff to assist the family, including family office employees, security and more.

Apart from these, Ken Griffin also says his ex-wife is forcing him to fund her other lavish expenses such as helicopter rides,  private air travel,  expensive clothing and more. As this time, the case is still in court.

So what’s the moral of the story? Even billionaires don’t have easy, and money problems always come up in one form or the other. As it turns out, some billionaires are still faced with money issues like other people. Sure the amounts may be much bigger, but it seems like when it comes to the all mighty dollar, no one is spared.

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