You Won’t Believe Who Lives Well Below Their Means

I am a lifelong New York Giants fan, but on Sunday, I’ll be rooting for the Washington Redskins when they play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Why? I just learned that there a bunch of frugal guys on that team… and you won’t believe how frugal these guys are.

Several months ago, I reported that Ryan Broyles of the Detroit Lions was living on $60,000 a year, even though he makes $600,00 a year. Why? He and his wife get it; they know that his career is short and they will need to make that money last for many decades. Sure, he may find another job after football, but he understands that the money he’ll make in the future likely won’t compare to his NFL earnings. As such, he and his wife are living well below their means.

Many players on the Washington Redskins are also thrifty. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, several Redskins players are living well below their means. When you think of professional athletes, you might think that they all drive expensive cars; and you’d be right — many do. However, the ‘skins have several players who drive very basic cars

It’s better to buy appreciating assets than depreciating — no yachts, no sports cars

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins drives a dented GMC Savana passenger van to work. He says, “…it’s better to buy appreciating assets than depreciating. No yachts, no sports cars.” Awesome, this guy gets it! Why spend a lot of money on an asset that immediately loses value and will continue to do so. Why not put your money into assets that appreciate, like real estate, rather than those that will almost certainly depreciate over time.

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins and RB Alfred Morris photo credit: Keith Allison

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins and RB Alfred Morris
photo credit: Keith Allison

Cousins isn’t alone. Starting running back Alfred Morris drives a 1991 Mazda 626. Yes, that’s right, a man making $1.5 million a year is driving a 25 year old car. Well, he actually only drives his “Bentley” as he calls it when the weather is inclement; other times he rides his bicycle to work and parks it in his parking spot. There are several other players on the team who not only drive basic vehicles, but also live in modest digs. Pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract earlier this year. But he still shares his apartment in suburban Virginia with a roommate.

He makes most of his own meals but when he does splurge, he’s going to Chipotle

Kerrigan is also frugal when it comes to food. A close friend of his indicated that “he (Kerrigan) makes most of his own meals but when he does splurge, he’s going to Chipotle. Clearly several Washington Redskins are living the frugal life; living well below their means.

Very few people are fortunate enough to make the salaries that professional athletes make. Unfortunately, many athletes spend much of their earnings all too quickly; you frequently hear about athletes having to file for bankruptcy or are completely destitute. It’s truly unfortunate and shortsighted on their part; they earn far more than the average American and have the opportunity to live comfortable lives by saving huge portions of their earnings.

Most of us don’t have this opportunity. however all of us should save for the future. Try to sock away as much money as you can; aim for 20% of your gross wages. Remember, you have an easy way to save money; simply invest in your employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan. The earlier you start and the more you save, the happier you will be in retirement.

There are many athletes who are role models; people that children and adults of all ages look up to. Please consider adding Kirk Cousins, Alfred Morris, and a host of players to your list of role models for yourself and for your children. These guys get it. Life may be short and precious; you don’t know how long you are going to live. But if you live a long life, you want to have enough money to make your golden years financially sound.

A while back, Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives, submitted an article suggesting that more money can equal more happiness at certain income levels. “As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.” While I can’t agree with the actual number being tossed around — ask anyone who lives in San Francisco or many other major cities if $75,000 a year is satisfactory — I agree with the sentiment; after a certain point, you don’t need more money; it just provides more stuff. Instead of surrounding yourself with more stuff, save as much money as you can for the future. Chances are, you are going to need the money much more than the stuff.

As a life long New York Giants fan, it’s really hard for me to root for the Washington Redskins and once the game starts, I’m sure that I’ll be rooting for the Packers, but I am now a fan of many of the Redskins players; these guys are truly role models.

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