Most people who come into a large sum of money aren’t going to save it. Be honest: if you suddenly had your salary go up a few million dollars, wouldn’t you start splurging a bit? But what if you considered every purchase very carefully and understood that money, like all resources, can go as easily as it comes? Could you fight off the desire to blow all your cash with big purchases?
Frugal spending with an NFL salary
NFL linebacker Devon Kennard is someone who has resisted that urge. His life choices serve as a good example. Even with the salary of an NFL player, which Business Insider says averages $2.1 million annually, Kennard still holds on to his old high school car. According to a CNBC article explaining his decision, he “take[s] a long time to consider” purchases over $300 — this obviously includes something as major as a car. “Can I afford it if I never play another down of football?” he asks himself before a big purchase.
This is the logic that led to him keeping his 2005 Kia Sorento even as he started an NFL career and moved out to the east coast. Eventually, he bought another car – another Kia – and had it for three years before deciding to move up to a Range Rover, a decision that he thought over very carefully. Of course, after a few years of an NFL salary and what one could assume was frugal spending, a Range Rover isn’t that unreasonable. He still has his original Sorento, too. It’s back at his family’s home; he drives it when he’s visiting.
How not to spend money
According to the article, 78 percent of NFL players undergo “significant financial stress.” This is likely due to the fact that when people suddenly come into money, they tend to spend it all in one place – or spend it without thinking over purchases. Fifteen percent of NFL players actually go on to declare bankruptcy, which is ironic considering we think of professional athletes as affluent, able to afford anything they please. These statistics are proof that sometimes our eyes are bigger than our wallets.
Even for someone who isn’t pulling in few million a year, it’s wise to think over every purchase. Even if you can spare the money, you shouldn’t always spend it. Think about what you really need and what you can go without. Understand that money isn’t always guaranteed to be there. If it’s spent unwisely, it can vanish as quickly as it came. You may not even know where it went. Be sure to budget thoughtfully no matter your income level.
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