Team Frugal: Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson

Being frugal is about more than being stingy with your money. It means being prudent, smart and economical with your finances and career decisions. Every Tuesday, we share profiles of athletes that exemplify what it means to be A Frugal Athlete.


How come when business individuals are frugal they are seen as business savvy but when athletes do the same they are scrutinized as being cheap or must have learned from a  big financial mistake? Society has portrayed athletes as big money spenders and plugged them into a specific category. As an athlete, everyone is wondering what kind of car you are driving or how big your house is. It’s perceived that you have to live the life of a “superstar” athlete.

Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson future Hall of Fame football player, most famous for his time with the Cincinnati Bengals, is a great example of an athlete that hasn’t let the perception of the athlete life cloud his spending habits. It’s very easy for athletes to fall into this trap and for someone as big as Ocho Cinco, it’s commendable that he’s a frugal athlete. He’s an outspoken member of #teamfrugal if you follow him on twitter. For that reason we decided he was this week’s team frugal edition.

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Ocho Cinco is adamant about living a simple life and within your means. He wears fake jewelry claiming that it all shines the same and when you are rich no-one questions if it’s fake.  He doesn’t shop excessively for clothes and he uses money from endorsements when he does make the odd expensive purchase on cars and such. The only payment that Ocho Cinco acknowledges as a major expense is for child support, which he coordinates with the mothers of his children.  


Ocho Cinco has also done a great job expanding his brand off the field. Back in his prime he was one of the most popular athletes because of his unqiue and charismatic personality which led to a number of great partnerships. At his peak, he was everywhere from TV shows to commercials to books. By creating a  persona off the field, he was able to leverage that into bigger deals for him. 


Even now in his retirement, Ocho Cinco has continued to live frugally and build his empire off the field. He continues to build strategic partnerships with brands and has recently opened a cigar shop