Monday, March 28, 2011

Money Tips from the NFL Players' Association

If you are a sports fan, you know that the NFL is in the middle of labor strife.  The owners of the 32 NFL teams have instituted a lockout.  The NFL has barred the players from entering team facilities in an attempt for force them to accept the owners' terms for their next collective bargaining agreement.  That means no football until the labor situation is resolved.  For the NFL players, that means no paychecks.  For players used to living the high life, no paychecks could be a bit of a shock.  Some players are coping by moonlighting in other jobs.  However, the majority of players are sitting tight - hopeful that they will be back to work shortly.

For its part, the NFL Players' Association has published a handbook for players which contains several money-saving tips for players faced with the prospects of prolonged unemployment.  Some of the tips ("reduce the size of your entourage") are geared towards the lifestyle of the professional athlete.  However, some are quite practical and applicable to everyone:

- Hold off on buying "motorized toys".  Cars are a person's second-biggest purchase, so buying wisely can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

- Save 25% of your annual pay.  Putting money away for a "rainy day" is never a bad idea.  This is especially true of football players and others whose income is variable and uncertain.

- Say no to money requests from family or friends.  Loaning money to friends is an excellent way to lose your money or your friends (or both).

- Don't pay friends to perform work that you can easily do.  While you may not pay your friends to perform trivial services, think of all the money we waste out of convienence. 

According to the article, the handbook also gives advice on mundane financial topics like refinancing mortgages and obtaining continuing health care coverage.  The article closes with some comments by current NFL player Heath Evans.  Anticipating the possibility of a lockout, he planned ahead by selling some property and putting the money aside for him and his family.  I guess living the athlete's lifestyle is taking on new meaning these days!

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