Inspiration from Athletes

If you’re like me and follow professional sports religiously, you probably have SportsCenter on in the evenings while you’re winding down. (Even if you don’t, some of the choices the athletes below are making will probably inspire you!) You probably keep up to date on the sports world using the ticker at the bottom of ESPN or various sports websites. You get inundated with new multi-million dollar contracts and massive signing bonuses. You hear about how Player X had millions stolen by Agent Y. You hear about players declaring bankruptcy. You hear stories about the mistakes that athletes have made with their money. Everyone makes mistakes, but those from athletes get plastered on ESPN. It’s not that often you hear the stories about players living within or even drastically below their means. When you do, it’s rarely on the front page of ESPN. I get it,

“Alfred Morris makes almost 2 million dollars a year and drives a 1991 Mazda 6”

doesn’t generate as much as traffic as

“Tim Duncan says he lost $25 million in investments”


Not that I don’t feel bad for Tim, because I do, having someone commit fraud against you would be awful. I’m sure Tim was diligent in choosing advisors, and was just taken advantage of.

I just think it would be awesome to celebrate some more of the athletes make that ensure their earnings are put to the best use possible.  Recently I have seen stories that do this, they’re just few and far between. I’ve loved these recent stories:

Marshawn Lynch is apparently super cheap frugal

Alfred Morris drives his 1991 Mazda, when he isn’t riding his bike and Ryan Kerrigan has a roommate

Ryan Broyles lives on 60K a year

Take Marshawn Lynch, if the article is correct, he has over $50 million banked. He was able to walk away from the NFL on his own terms and will never have to worry about money. He basically pulled off the perfect FIRE plan. He worked for 9 years, saved up a bunch of money, and then rode off into the sunset. He just did it on larger scale then what I usually read about.

Ryan Broyles signed a multimillion dollar contract, but was living off of a fraction of that. Ryan and his family have made conscious decisions to ensure that they have enough money once his NFL career is over.

I’m positive there are more athletes who are doing this, we just don’t hear about them. Which is a shame. They’re setting an amazing example on how to live a sustainable life, while facing a lot more of the “keeping up with the Jones” in an NFL locker room than I do as an accountant. If these guys can live a frugal life while being around guys who drop thousands of dollars at strip clubs, drive brand new sports cars and buy high-end jewelry, then I can live a frugal life with my fellow accountants. It’s easy to be inspired by these players athletic feats, but I feel more inspired by hearing their financial stories.

Do any of you know of other athletes that live well below their means? If you made as much money as these guys do, would you have the will power to live frugally?

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