Being wealthy isn't by accident. "Controlling what you spend is part of wealth preservation, "says Susan Bradley, founder of the Sudden Money Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "You can't control interest rates and the stock market, but you can control a lot of the discretionary part of your lifestyle."

Studies found that the very wealthy have more money because they realize its value, explaining in part why they are frugal.

1. Don't concern yourself with peer approval

Resist the urge to always have the latest and greatest. In his book, The millionaire next door, Thomas J Stanley concluded that people who look rich often are not, and vice versa. "Glitzy displays of wealth and a penchant for prestige brands," he said, is mostly the domain of middle-class wannabes. While they are trying to emulate the wealthy, as portrayed by advertising, glossy mags, and TV, they are really just imitating each other.

2. Live frugally

Earning a reported $15 million annually from hosting the Tonight Show, Jay Leno saved and invested the money. He and his wife Mavis, lived on his earnings from his standup comedy act.

Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of Duty-Free Shoppers doesn't own a car or a house.

David Cheriton, a Stanford University professor whose net worth is $1.3 billion, derived mostly from his investment in Google stock, saves half of his restaurant meal for the next day. He also cuts his own hair and drives a 1986 Volkswagen.

T. Boone Pickens, an oil tycoon is worth $1.4 billion. In a Kiplinger article he said, "I buy three suits every five or so years and only own ten total. That's all I need."

3. Purchase a modest house.

To live in affluent areas many people pay large monthly mortgage payments, rather than saving their money and building equity.

Warren Buffet, the founder of Berkshire Hathaway, whose worth is $44 billion, purchased his Omaha, NB. home in 1958 for $31,000. Today, he still lives in the modest 6,000 square foot house.

Hedge fund manager, David Tepper, worth $1.2 billion, resides in a modest New Jersey house he bought in 1990.

As the former richest man in China, Huang Guangyu and his family resided in a tiny Beijing apartment.

4. Drive an affordable car

Karl & Theo Albrecht, the brothers behind Aldi, a supermarket chain, together are worth more than $50 billion. According to the Irish Times, Karl drives a 1980's Volkswagen.

A 1979 Ford pickup truck was the vehicle of choice for Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton. His son, Jim, preferred an older Dodge Dakota, despite his $16 billion net worth.

Alfred Morris, A Washington Redskins running back, who has an annual $2 million contract, still drives a 1991 Mazda he purchased when he was an undergraduate at Florida Atlantic University.

Contrary to what many believe, Toyota is the number one choice of millionaires, not the BMW or Mercedes.

5. Forget the lottery

The self-made rich take charge of planning their financial future and don't depend on winning the lottery.

This means not buying into the myth that the only way an average person can get rich is by winning the Lotto.

Statistics illustrates that playing Lotto is a waste of time other than the entertainment value. Lower income people largely buy into the myth that winning it is the answer to all financial problems.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery is a long shot, at 1 in 176 million, compared with:

Becoming President: 1 in 10 million

Becoming a Movie Star: 1 in 1,505,000

Getting Struck by Lightning: 1 in 1 million

6. Don't blow your fortune on designer clothes

Entrepreneur reports that 74 percent of the super-rich shop at Wal-Mart, while only 6 percent shop at Brooks Brothers.

Academy Award nominee, Sharon Stone attended a 1996 awards event wearing a charcoal turtleneck purchased from the Gap.

Helen Hunt and Penelope Cruz separately attended Oscar ceremonies, looking stunning in gowns purchased from H&M, a fashion retailer.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook is most comfortable wearing plain t-shirts and hoodies

7. Don't let money spoil your kids

Several business tycoons plan on leaving their estates to charities and foundations. Their children may receive a small portion, or in some cases nothing whatsoever.

According to Forbes, eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar plans to donate the majority his billion dollar fortune to those less fortunate, instead of his children.

Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in Australia, believes her four children do not have the skill to manage the family fortune and does not intend to leave them any money.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Ted Turner are other tycoons who plan to leave little of their estate to their children.

8. Don't fly first class

Microsoft's Bill Gates is widely known for flying commercial, as well as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad.

According to a profile in Business Insider, multi-billionaire Azim Premji, the owner of Wiprol, technology giant, flies only economy.

9. Carry less cash

One study shows that 86% of cash spenders of luxury items are non-millionaires trying to act the part.

T. Boone Pickens, the wealthy oil tycoon, makes it a practice to carry cash intended only for a specific purpose.

10. Hunt for bargains

Despite having an estimated fortune of $200 million, former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney travels on cheap flights, purchases his golf equipment from Kmart and is always on the lookout for a bargain. "Just because you can afford something doesn't mean you should buy it," he said.

First lady Michelle Obama, who bought a $35 dress at Target is also a bargain hunter.

11. Use coupons

Barron's reported that 71 percent of the affluent use paper coupons every month, with 54 percent using online coupons every month.

Award-winning actress Hillary Swank still sticks to her frugal ways. Whenever possibly she purchases in bulk quantities and clip coupons. "When you open up the paper and you see those coupons, it looks like dollar bills staring you in the face," she said.

Not surprisingly, a number of wealthy people are coupon-clippers, which include Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kirsten Bell and others.

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Published on: Dec 15, 2015