- Amobi Okugo is a recently retired soccer player and founder of personal finance platform A Frugal Athlete.
- He said there are a few “rookie mistakes” that many professional athletes make with their money.
- Lifestyle creep, not asking enough questions and trying to follow the big players can hurt you.
Amobi Okugo is a retired professional footballer who founded a personal finance platform for professional athletes: A Frugal Athlete.
Now that his football career is over, Okugo wants to turn his attention to helping professional athletes make the best and most informed decisions with their money, so they can use their resources to prepare for their lives and to their later careers.
Okugo said he sees pro athletes making three “rookie mistakes” all the time.
1. Succumb to lifestyle creep
The first common mistake Okugo sees other professional athletes make with their money is lifestyle creep, which is when they start spending a lot more while earning more.
Okugo said that when you are a young professional athlete, “you make a lot of money and your income and expenses are not proportionate. If you make a lot of money, you feel like you have the luxury of spending a lot silver.”
A smart thing to do with your money instead, he continued, is to use it as an opportunity to build wealth. Due to the fact that most athletes have to retire y
As a youngster, he said it’s important to focus on what your second career will be and use your athletic gains to your advantage.
“While you have this capital – this head start – what are some things you can do both financially and professionally to help settle in and ease this transition?” Okugo said. “Because you can only be a pro for so long, but you’re going to be ‘a pro’ forever. So what are the things you’re going to do?”
2. Do nothing with your money
The second mistake that many professional athletes make, according to Okugo, is allowing others to manage their finances without too much oversight.
Okugo said he believes this lack of involvement in their own finances is due to a “lack of curiosity”, and added that the first step to solving this problem is to ask more questions of those who manage your money. . That said, Okugo sees promising change afoot.
“We’ve seen a lot more athletes being more proactive and taking more ownership of their finances,” he said, “and leagues and organizations are doing a lot of work to guide and educate athletes on some of the financial decisions that they take.”
3. Bite more than you can chew on offers
Okugo said one thing that hurts the pockets of many athletes is “biting off more than they can chew”, in terms of the opportunities and deals available to big players in professional sports.
“There’s a level of opportunity that will show up on some people’s plates,” Okugo said. “Kevin Durant invests in over a hundred deals – maybe that’s not what I can do. I might be able to invest in five deals.”
He said, however, that he understands where the temptation comes from.
“I’m an athlete and I’m an entrepreneur,” Okugo said. “I see the great players doing this stuff and I want to do it, but everyone has their own level and I hope that by continuing to grow and learn more you can reach that level.”