- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday.
- He said he hasn’t spent a dime of the six-year, $US54 million contract he signed in 2012.
- The four-time All-Pro said he lives off his endorsement earnings.
- Gronkowski has suggested buying a car instead of leasing one, among other things.
Professional athletes make bank.
An NFL representative confirmed to INSIDER that Los Angeles Rams players each took home a cool $US59,000 for playing in the Super Bowl LIII – and they didn’t even win.
New England Patriots players each took home $US118,000.
Among those winning players is tight end Rob Gronkowski.
But getting paid like a rock star doesn’t mean Gronkowski lives like one. He most likely earned an $US8 million base salary in 2018 alone, but Gronkowski has said he hasn’t spent a penny of his NFL career salary or signing bonuses, choosing instead to live off his endorsement deals.
Gronkowski made the surprising revelations about his spending in his 2015 book, “It’s Good to Be Gronk.”
“To this day, I still haven’t touched one dime of my signing bonus or NFL contract money,” he wrote. “I live off my marketing money and haven’t blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewellery or tattoos and still wear my favourite pair of jeans from high school.”
How close are you to being able to retire? Find out with this calculator from our partners:
You don’t have to get paid like a football player to benefit from Gronkowski’s methods. Here’s what those of us who aren’t pro athletes can learn from the money-savvy tight end.
Don’t spend your earnings or bonuses all at once
According to CNBC, a big piece of advice Gronkowski shares with his young teammates is to “get what you need to live comfortably, but don’t go crazy with splurging until you feel comfortable in the league.”
In other words, Gronkowski might tell you that suddenly finding yourself flush with cash – perhaps getting a fat bonus check – doesn’t mean a shopping spree is in order. You might be tempted to buy a big-ticket item or pay for a lavish vacation, but blowing all your money at once could be a recipe for disaster.
You never know when you might face a huge financial blow, like divorcing or losing your job – especially if your job could be a risky one. For example, a disproportionately high number of former NFL players end up filing for bankruptcy protection.
Make the most of what you have before buying something new
On an August episode of Uninterrupted’s “Kneading Dough,”Gronkowski said he didn’t spend much money on clothing and shoes.
“If I like the clothing, if I like the shoes, I’ll wear those shoes and I’ll wear that clothing down to its rags,” Gronkowski – who said he spent his childhood inheriting hand-me-downs from his brothers – told host Maverick Carter.
You can try to save some cash in this category by shopping at thrift stores, using coupons, and taking care of your wardrobe to extend its lifespan. You might want to use up or wear down what you have before buying new versions.
Buy a car instead of leasing it
Most financial experts will tell you it’s smarter to buy a car than to lease one. That’s what Gronkowski advised one of his Patriots teammates do earlier this year. He shared the story on the same episode of “Kneading Dough.”
He said his teammate came up to him and said: “Hey, Rob. You got a Hummer. I see it. I want to get a Hummer. But my agent’s telling me I shouldn’t get a Hummer – you know, it costs too much, it’s like 22 grand. What do you think?”
Gronkowski said he told the player, who was spending $US400 a week on a rental car at the time, to “hurry up and buy that damn Hummer.”
Though leasing a vehicle might save you money in the short term, you’ll have nothing to show for it once the lease contract ends. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of making that final monthly loan payment and knowing the car is all yours.
Save for your future
Gronkowski also said in the “Kneading Dough” interview that he still hadn’t touched a cent of the six-year, $US54 million contract he signed in 2012.
Unlike Gronkowski, you don’t need millions of dollars to start saving for or investing in retirement. Investing even small amounts of money can add up over time, thanks to the power of compound interest. The trick is to start while you still have years ahead of you to earn healthy returns on your savings.
Diversify your income sources by trying a side hustle
Gronkowski has said he lives off the money he makes from endorsement deals, which have included brands like BodyArmor SuperDrink and Dunkin’ Doughnuts.
You can take a page from his book and try adding a side hustle like pet-sitting or teaching an online class. There’s an option for just about anyone, and it can help supplement your primary income source.
Though you may not be able to live off your side-hustle income like Gronkowski, it could boost your saving and spending power.
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