Funny how the threat of a layoff/walk-out/strike makes even those earning six-figures (or higher) re-evaluate their finances. In today’s USA Today I read a story about the National Football League’s latest advice for players facing the prospect of a salary-less autumn. Suggestions included save a bigger chunk of salary, don’t buy rounds of drinks for everyone in the club, socialize with a purpose (try to find work outside of football), don’t pay friends to do work you can do on your own, and increase your sources of income.
Funny, that’s the same information readers have been getting right here on The Wisdom Journal for over three years!
- Save a big chunk of your salary –
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Personal finance isn’t as complicated as it may seem
As a matter of fact, getting hold of your finances can be summed up in four truisms:
- Spend less than you earn. The holy grail of all personal finance.
- Increase your income sources. Easier said than done, but hey, what ISN’T?
- Don’t waste your money. Remember that any habit is dangerous and luxuries, once sampled, become “necessities.”
- Be a good steward of your financial resources. Learn to manage your money, to maximize it, to make it work for you so you don’t have to work for it your entire life – and avoid almost all debt!
Our fiscal “playbook” is relatively simple
But don’t let it’s simplicity fool you … it isn’t easy. But with the self-discipline you already have inside, you can put these simple plays into motion in your own life.
I think it’s a great thing that the NFL is encouraging their employees (that’s really what they are) to be more responsible with their money. After all, most of the players earn the league minimum, $325,000 per year. That sounds like a lot and it is, but after you factor in agents, lawyers, taxes, insurance, union dues, and the other mandatory trappings that come along with being in the big leagues, that money can quickly slip through the fingers of someone who never made more than a few bucks per hour in high school. Not every NFL player has two commas in their annual salary.
In 2010, Sports Illustrated reported last year that 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt, or are facing financial stress because of joblessness and divorce just two years after leaving the game.
The problem is never a lack of money. The problem is how it’s handled.