Being a Baller Doesn’t Mean Giving Up a Frugal Lifestyle

by Susan Paige on December 4, 2019 · 0 comments

The term “baller” was commonly used to describe people who had gone from “the streets” to become successful basketballers. Over time, the term has evolved to refer to anyone who has had a lot of money to spend, with many in the music industry declaring that they were “ballers” and would frivolously spend their money just to demonstrate their wealth.

Some ballers choose not to behave this way though, instead choosing to stick to a more frugal lifestyle. Here are some. 

LeBron James

LeBron James is one of the most well known players in basketball today, and has become the star of Western Conference contending side, the LA Lakers. He is also the best paid player, earning almost $89 million per year. Despite this immense income, James doesn’t like to spend money, leading to the nickname of “the cheapest guy in the NBA”. 

For example, he refuses to pay for mobile data on his phone, only using WiFi when it is available. He also refuses to pay for a music streaming service, instead relying on the free version of Pandora to stream songs that are interrupted by ads. 

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is one of the most frugal and humble players in the NBA. He until very recently continued to drive his 1997 Chevy Tahoe, the car he has owned since he learned to drive. The car, which is valued at less than $5,000 is worth a tiny fraction of his multi million dollar contract. 

Trey Burke

The 76ers star, Trey Burke, has a very grounded approach to spending money. He limits his expenditure to $5,000 per month. This $60,000 annual spend may not be tiny, but it is a very respectable figure for someone who earns millions of dollars each year. 

John Stockton

John Stockton played in the NBA between 1985 and 2003. Back when Stockton was drafted, salaries in the league were not even close to what they are today. However, he was still bringing in $150,000 ($358,753.72 in 2019’s money), a very respectable income. Despite this salary, Stockton decided to rent a basement apartment costing just $125 per month ($299 adjusted for inflation). He also refused to turn on the heating to save even more money. 

Despite the influence of modern culture, which promotes spending and consuming to excessive levels, these ballers have proven you can stay humble, even when you have a large salary. Whether it’s not turning on the heating, or refusing to pay for mobile data, there are plenty of lessons we can learn.

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