Sleeping in the Stadium and Buying Fake Jewelry Is How NFL Legend Reportedly Saved 83% Of Career Salary

Published 03/13/2023, 5:33 PM EDT

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The NFL is known for its extravagant spending culture. There are countless stories from players detailing their reckless spending sprees. Many iconic NFL stars have gone broke after retiring. Some even have been seen filing for bankruptcy due to poor money management and other financial challenges. But Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson has bucked this trend and decided to take a different approach. He took a dive into his approach on Shannon Sharpe’s show ‘Club Shay Shay’. 

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Johnson was formerly a WR for the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots. With a career salary of almost $49 million, Johnson claims to have saved a remarkable 83% of that amount. That’s a feat that many of his fellow NFL players have often struggled to achieve. Let’s take a look at how the WR managed to achieve his unique money mindset. 

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson’s secrets to saving money in the NFL

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One of the most unusual methods Johnson used to save money was by wearing fake jewelry from retail stores like Claire’s. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on real diamonds and gold, Johnson opted for cheaper costume jewelry that looked just as flashy. By doing this, he saved a ton of money without sacrificing his style or image.

As he himself said, “Everybody’s caught up in image, looking a certain way and being rich. It’s pointless.”

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Johnson also leased his exotic cars instead of buying them outright, which saved him a considerable amount of money in the long run. Instead of flying first-class or on private jets, he opted for budget airlines to save on travel expenses. These may seem like small changes, but they added up to significant savings over time.

Perhaps the most surprising money-saving technique Johnson used was living in the Bengals’ stadium for two years. Instead of renting or buying a house, Johnson put up inside the Stadium and its facilities. While this may not be the most glamorous living situation, Johnson was able to save a considerable amount of money on housing expenses. 

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Chad’s unique approach to life in the NFL

Johnson’s unique money management approach has earned him admiration from fans and financial experts alike. By avoiding the extravagant spending culture seen across the NFL and other sports he was able to save an incredible amount of money during his career. In combination with his smart financial decisions, Ochocinco has set a standard with his finances. 

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Obviously, it is not good to go the extremes that Johnson went to, his decisions serve as quite a lesson. In his own words, “There’s nothing I can buy that’s bigger than my name alone.” That’s an invaluable piece of advice that everyone can take a page out of. One thing’s for sure. Chad Johnson and his methods are an inspiration to us all. 

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Written by:

Armaan Gupta

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Armaan Gupta is an NFL author at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing a degree in Mass Media and Communication. He is your quintessential sports nerd, as you’ll always find him consuming some form of sports content.
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Edited by:

Hitesh Nigam

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