To most, the idea of a professional athlete choosing to live on a $60,000 a year budget might seem a little strange, but, for NFL wide receiver Ryan Broyles such a choice is the first step to financial freedom.
In 2012 Broyles was drafted by the Detroit Lions, signing a contract worth $3.6 million with nearly $1.4 million of that amount guaranteed. Sure, he could have spent lavishly like his peers by indulging in cars, bling, and other material possessions, but Boyles was determined not to become another NFL statistic. According to Sports Illustrated, by the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress. Instead, this Detroit Lion decided to get smart about his money. Now, his money management moves showcase a wealth blueprint for all of us.
Your budget is your freedom plan
By creating and following a budget, Ryan Broyles was able to avoid the financial pitfalls that entrap so many of his colleagues. No matter how much you make, a budget is essential. Control your money or it will control you.
You must take charge by giving your Washingtons, Jeffersons and Benjamins their marching orders.
At the beginning of the month sit down and tell your money exactly where it’s going. When each dollar understands its mission, your financial life will fall into place. You’ll avoid financial distractions and ensure you have the funds for your necessities and financial priorities.
Live below your means
It’s hard to avoid, and it strikes all of us. From doctors to janitors, we’re all seduced into spending just as much or even more than we earn. The problem with spending everything we make is that we leave nothing on the table to create wealth. Experts suggest that by saving just 10% to 15% of our income we can put ourselves on the fast track to wealth creation.
Broyles could have expanded his spending to match his new paycheck but resisted the temptation. Instead of purchasing a new Bentley or Range Rover, for instance, he chose a Mazda for his family and still drives his 2005 Chevy Trailblazer.
Create lasting wealth with the money left over
Wealth comes through ownership, whether it be ownership of stocks, bonds, real estate, or your own business. The problem is that too many of us are so caught up in consuming and creating debt that we don’t have money left over to invest in ownership.
This is a lesson that Broyles has taken to heart. By budgeting and living below his means he has the necessary funds left over to build wealth. The Detroit Lion has developed a passion for investing, but he didn’t start blindly. He understood the value of a financial education. He consulted a financial advisor soon after being drafted and has since immersed himself in increasing his financial IQ. While he didn’t go into specifics about his investments when questioned by ESPN, he did flash a wide satisfied smile.
This brother has mastered the game of football but also understands the simple equation for wealth creation in America: Budget in order to live below your means. Use the money left over to purchase ownership in wealth building assets.
BMWK, what are you doing to increase your wealth?