During his playing days, Chad Johnson was one of the flashiest receivers in the NFL. He never shied away from some good trash-talking, his touchdown celebrations were the stuff of legend. Oh, and he changed his last name to "Ochocinco" to match his #85 jersey. Yet even with all that bravado, Johnson never let one thing get out of hand: His money.
Chad recently appeared on Shannon Sharpe's "Club Shay Shay" podcast and talked about how his brash persona wasn't the same off the field.
"There's nothing I can buy that's bigger than my name alone. So it made no sense. But everybody's caught up in image and looking a certain way and being rich. Do you know how hard it is to live like that consistently and be fly every day?"
Johnson added that he doesn't need a private jet, only something that gets him from Point A to Point B. He's fine flying a budget airline like Spirit.
He also doesn't get fancy watches, rings, or necklaces. When he isn't wearing fakes, he wears pieces he bought from Claire's. That's right, the same place where you can get your ears pierced at the mall is where a star NFL player does his bling shopping.
By being thrifty and not concerned with showing off wealth as a status symbol, Johnson claims he's saved 80 to 83% of the his post-tax $48 million salary he made over 11 seasons, primarily with the Cincinnati Bengals. Assuming roughly $24 million after-tax income, that lines up fairly well with our current $15 million net worth estimate for Chad.
Johnson also had a word of caution for his fellow athletes. He specifically called out people who spend money because they think they can easily earn it back.
"People think the fix to the problem is, 'well, give me more money, I'ma be alright'. But the more you make, the more you spend — if you have no discipline and structure."
Johnson's words are also pretty poignant for non-athletes, too. He discussed how so many people live or dress a certain way to impress others who "don't really care nothing about you."
The next time you make a lavish purchase, think about Johnson's advice — why are you doing it? If it's something that will make you happy, like a trip to a new city, go ahead. Or if you're doing something kind for another person, like leaving an excellent tip at a restaurant (something else Johnson loves to do), that's a good decision, too.
But if the purchase is solely to indicate wealth or status to show off to other people, you might be better served to put that money elsewhere.
Check out a clip of Johnson from "Club Shay Shay" below.
.@ochocinco saved 83% of his salary by flying Spirit & wearing fake jewelry pic.twitter.com/RMC7AYPREa
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) January 31, 2023