He owns one of the largest beer companies in the U.S., and yet he drinks coffee out of Styrofoam cups—and then rinses the cups out so he can reuse them.
He is Dick Yuengling, Jr., the 67-year-old owner of Yuengling & Son, the Pennsylvania company that’s been brewing beer—pretty good, and pretty cheap beer—for 181 years.
According to a WSJ story, Yuengling—both the man and the company—have been successful largely because they’ve operated frugally and cautiously over the years, even while they’ve been surrounded by quick-moving upstarts and giant competitors selling out to the highest (often foreign) bidders.
While the business’s careful expansion to open a new brewing plant in Memphis is the main story here, I love getting to know how Mr. Yuengling himself is a tightwad in his personal life. For instance, he:
*wears jeans to work
*just got his first cell phone last year (and you know it’s not a fancy-schmancy smartphone)
*rinses Styrofoam cups to reuse them
*drives a crappy 2002 Ford Taurus to work—a car he bought used, by the way
The WSJ describes the car:
On a recent morning, the gray sedan sat coated with dust, papers strewn across the front and back seats.
“He won’t get it washed because he won’t spend money on a car wash,” says David Casinelli, Yuengling’s chief operating officer.
At this point, why bother?
The article also notes that Mr. Yuengling smokes Marlboros, which is surprising—not because smoking is unhealthy, but because it’s so damn expensive.
Overall, though, the point, as I’ve made before, is that people who know lots about money are often total cheapskates when it comes to personal expenses. It makes sense when you think about it: No one gets rich by spending lots of money.