Carol R. asks: How much money does Bill Gates carry around with him on a daily basis?
We’d bet that the vast majority of people reading this, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic background, carry the same few basic items with them at all times; a phone, some keys, a few dollars, a debit card, and maybe some I.D are all items you’d reliably expect to find if you asked an average person on the street to turn out their pockets. But what would you find if you asked a millionaire, or even a billionaire, to do the same thing? As it turns out, it would appear you’d find they’d produce more or less the same or less from their pockets as the average Joe.
For example, Bill Gates rarely seems to carry cash at all, or at least rarely admits to doing so. Gates is frequently asked by both journalist and the people he meets how much money he carries around with him on a daily basis and in most every interview we found, Gates’ stock response is that he seldom carries either cash or a wallet with him. An exception to this was a preamble Gates did to an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, where he pre-emptively answered some of the more popular questions he’s found himself being asked in the past, including “How much do you have in your wallet?”. The answer to which, at least at that moment in time, was a single, crisp $100 bill.
It should be noted that the next question Gates answered was “Can I have a million dollars?”, which he tactfully answered by explaining he donates the bulk of his money to needy causes. This question, and Bill’s desire to answer it ahead of time, likely explains why he rarely carries cash, or at least doesn’t admit to doing so. After all, nobody can ask you for money if it’s well known you never carry any around.
Gates is by no means an outlier and it’s an observable phenomenon that the ultra-wealthy rarely seem to feel the need to carry all that much cash (or even a wallet at all). Reasons vary from billionaire to billionaire, but the most common given we found is that they simply don’t need to. Billionaires are inevitably flanked at all times by an army of assistants and aides who can take care of things like restaurants bills and tips on their behalf, so the need to carry physical currency, credit cards, or even necessarily ID, is diminished somewhat.
On the credit card front, it’s also worth noting that in more recent years credit and debit cards have become more of a status symbol than physical currency in some circles; to quote Vanity Fair on the matter:
Possessing two or three of the right cards bound together by an ordinary rubber band now conveys a level of distinction greater than that of any cash-filled Louis Vuitton wallet or purse.
The fact of that matter is that cards like the hyper-exclusive American Express Centurion card – which as we’ve mentioned in another article, can literally be used to buy anything that’s for sale, even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars – convey more about a person’s wealth than even the crispest stack of hundred dollar bills.
Another reason the super-rich don’t need to carry much cash around with them is that their fame largely makes it unnecessary, whether they have any aids with them or not. For example, prior to becoming President, Donald Trump admitted that he didn’t carry a wallet because people usually gave him stuff for free; in his own words from a 2013 interview:
“You know it’s very sad. I go to a restaurant and almost every time they say, ‘Mr. Trump, it’s on me,’ the owner: ‘Mr. Trump it’s on me, no charge, Mr. Trump,’ no I never need cash.”
This isn’t to say Trump doesn’t sometimes…
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