In the past, so, so, so, so, sooooo many pro athletes have gone broke after making millions and millions of dollars during their careers. It’s still amazing to us when we hear that Player X doesn’t have any money left after making more than $100 million in his career, but it has happened so often that we’re not surprised by it anymore. It’s clearly way harder than we think to hold on to a significant amount of money and make it last for a lifetime.
Or is it? Steve Smith has been making the rounds on ESPN today and dropping gems left and right. He dropped this one when he was asked which team he thinks will win the Steelers/Bengals game:
And he dropped this one when he was asked if his teenage daughter is allowed to date (spoiler alert: %&^$ NO!):
But his best quote of the day (so far, at least) came this morning when he appeared on Mike & Mike in the Morning and was asked to explain how he has been able to manage his money and avoid going broke. His answer to the question was so simple: He pays for everything in cash, which oddly enough, means he ends up spending a whole lot less of it.
“If you can pay for something in cash, then do it,” he said. “Some people may say, ‘Of course [you can pay for things in cash], that’s a lot of things.' No. When you have to go out and buy something in cash and it’s a big expensive item, you have to decide: Where are you pulling it from? What stocks? What mutual bonds? What investments are you going to cash in to do that, and is it worth it in the long term? And so, actually, you will say no to a lot of things, because the process and the procedure of calling your financial guy and selling this stock and, right now, the stock market is down, that means you got to sell some losses that are realized losses when you cash in. So a lot of times, I say no. When I do say yes, it’s strategic. I start having to move things here and do that, and a lot of times, I end up not doing it.”
Smith also said that he will typically use his endorsement money to pay for the large items he does purchase so that he doesn’t have to dip into money he has earmarked for retirement.
“If a check comes in, I sometimes will have a check for whatever amount, it may sit because I know I’m going to spend it on something or say the kids have something going on or spring break is coming, I will let it sit for a couple of weeks until I know what I’m going to spend it on,” he said. “It’s not a lot of money. It’s little nuggets here and there.”
Smith’s strategy may not work for everyone, but it sounds like it has worked for him. So it might be something other athletes—and hell, regular people!—should try.
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