Many people fall into the trap of spending whatever money comes in. This is why most people don’t feel any better off after they have received a pay rise, as the additional money that they get paid is swallowed by an equal increase in personal expenditure.
This is true for people who earn 5 figure salaries, just as much as it is true for billionaire businesspeople and millionaire sports stars. This is why the term “baller” has come to mean someone who has a lot of money to spend frivolously
Some of these millionaires and billionaires choose to stick to much more frugal lifestyles though. For example, billionaire investor Warren Buffet still buys his breakfast from McDonald’s, and he always uses coupons when he has them. His friend and Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates also follows these humble principles.
There are also many examples in the world of sport, where athletes refuse to blow their enormous incomes and instead choose to live more grounded lives.
Playing for Eastern Conference contending team, the Philadelphia 76ers, Trey Burke is one of the most frugal players in the NBA. He has stated on several occasions that he limits his monthly expenditure to $5,000. While this is certainly more than many others would spend, it is still way below his annual earnings, which are reportedly in the millions.
Sadio Mane is one of Liverpool Football Club’s top goal scorers, and one of the reasons the team looks like they’re on their way to winning the 2019/20 Premier League. Such footballing success means that he is able to command a salary of £150,000 per week, which works out at around £8 million ($10 million) per year.
Despite earning more in a week that most Brits would earn in five years, Mane was recently spotted carrying an iPhone with a broken screen and wired headphones. This caused a big stir among the tabloid press and sports media, who were shocked that someone with so much money would not have fixed his screen.
Mane has also been spotted undertaking community work, including cleaning toilets, which he does for free.
When asked about his frugality, Mane commented that he doesn’t need material objects, adding “what would I want (with) ten Ferraris”? The Senegal national grew up in poverty, which gave him a very humbling outlook on life, and he chooses to use his money to support others in poverty in his home country.
LeBron James is one of the most famous and most successful basketball players currently in the NBA. Playing for the LA Lakers, James rakes in around $90 million each year but is still averse to spending money. This frugality has earned him the name of the “cheapest guy in the NBA”.
An example of James’ penny pinching is that he doesn’t have a mobile data contract on his phone. Instead, he just uses WiFi when it becomes available. In reality, this probably isn’t too much of an inconvenience as you can find WiFi in most places these days. James also doesn’t pay for music, instead, he uses the ad-supported, free version of Pandora.
Nnamdi Asomugha played in the NFL between 2003 and 2013, during which time he conducted 407 tackles and 80 pass deflections, as well as winning NFL Man of the Year in 2009. This helped him to earn more than $11 million per year, before retiring and becoming an actor.
Despite his millions, Asomugha continues to drive his 1997 Nissan Maxima, which was given to him by his brother. He says that many people poke fun at him for his frugal transportation, but that he sees no point in changing it since his Nissan does everything he needs it to do.
These athletes can teach us a lot about living frugally. By maintaining sensible spending habits, despite their fame and wealth, they set a great example for future generations and can put their money to much better use.
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