10

Debt Lessons You Can Learn from Football Players

My years in the NFL taught me almost as much about staying out of debt as my subsequent career as president of Debt.com. So let's kick off 10 debt lessons you can learn from football players.

1. Brains Beat Bucks

Money will get you out of debt, but it won't keep you out of debt. I saw that up close for years. Give someone $1 million and don't teach them how to budget, save, and invest and I promise you they'll be down to their last dollar before they retire.

2. Budgeting is Your Game Plan

You can't save money for a new car or a new home, or a new family if you don't know what life is costing you now. I promise you those NFL players who went bankrupt didn't have a budget.

3. Shorten the Field with Technology

There are secure online tools that do the boring math for you. Mint is free, while YNAB (You Need A Budget) charges $84 a year but offers more personalization.

4. Prepare for the Trick Plays of Life

Whenever I tell people they need an emergency fund that can pay their bills for at least three months, they laugh and reply, “Every week, there's an emergency in my life!”

5. Recruit a New Teammate

If you really want to run up the lead on your emergency fund, ask your boss or your Human Resources Department if they'll help you. Almost 95 percent of Americans are paid by direct deposit.

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