Why Athletes Need Fun Money

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a sports and entertainment executive about how she interacts with her clients and her process of getting them to understand the importance of building a financial nest egg and being smart with their money. One thing that caught my attention was her saying, “athletes need fun money.” I was surprised by her complete honesty in the fact that many times you get the generic answers about athletes needing to save and be smarter with their money but also the fact that she said they need money to enjoy their hard work and even “waste” or lose money in a sense. It wasn’t until we spoke further where I understood her mindset and why it’s helped her become a successful advisor in the business for over 30 years.

Don’t Touch The Hot Stove

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, sometimes it takes the kid touching the hot stove to realize it’s hot. Well that’s the case for athletes in helping them understand why it’s important to be frugal with their money. You can preach and stress to athletes all you want but until they experience or understand why after their own doing, it won’t really hit home. You can show all the statistics and tell all the stories but when an athlete makes a dumb purchase they regret or offers a loan that they don’t get back, the lessons learned hit home. As someone who helps regulate an athlete’s financial situation your job is to make sure those lessons are controlled in a sense and not to a point where an athlete’s financial base is broken.

No more than 10% after taxes..

Should be allocated for fun money. To put it in layman’s terms if you got $100,000 you should only use up to $10,000 for fun money. Fun money may include money for vacations, entertainment, fine dining or the occasional shopping spree. It’s important to reward yourself but not at the expense of all your capital. You have to draw a line in the sand.


Think of finances like healthy foods. You categories of saving and investing are like your fruits and vegetables, things you need on a daily basis to build your health or financial structure. Sometimes you need your dessert though, you need to have a cheat day every once in a while to offset all the healthy food you’ve been eating. Like the parent that says to their kid, they can have desert if they finish their vegetables. It’s the same scenario, if an athlete is being smart with their money they can then allocate a small percentage [LESS THAN 10%] for fun.