Surviving Peer Pressure When It Comes to Your Finances
Peer Pressure amongst teammates can have you paying for things you don’t need just to keep an appearance. It’s a different type of peer pressure than when you’re in college and your teammates or friends are trying to get you to drink or something like that. It’s kind of like a you’re-a-professional-athlete-so spending-money-is-expected type of pressure. It's one of the reasons how athletes end up spending money on things that hold no true value in the long run. It’s one reason why I think every player has the standard Louis Vuitton toiletry bag. I never understood having a $300 bag that's sole purpose is to hold a toothbrush and lotion, but that’s just me. I guess I’ll continue to use the free adidas bag they send me every year.
Shaq recounts a time where peer pressure got the best of him on an impulse buy. He was at the car dealership and saw Mike Tyson buying Bentleys like he was a kid in the candy store. Shaq felt like he couldn't get shown up so he went and bought one himself. This is an example of how peer pressure to keep up with your teammates or the people around you can mess your financial playbook.
A friend of mine went through the same thing when he first got his car after his second year in the league. He spent his first year using public transportation because he had no need for a car. When he finally got a modest car (for NBA standards) his teammates were clowning him. As I recall when he told me the story, his teammates said, "how are you going to have a luxury car and not even tint the windows?" or “you want everyone seeing you, out driving in a fish bowl?" so he went back to the dealership and got tinted windows. He came back with the tinted windows and they said, "so you just going to have regular rims on a nice car like that?" This went on and on until he finally ended up completely upgrading his car.
Peer pressure can happen on many levels. Whether it’s gambling with or against your teammates, shopping for clothes and luxury items, or bottle popping at the club. Athletes would be wise to stay in their own lane and not worry about what the next person is doing when it comes to their finances. You shouldn’t let your teammates pressure you to keep up with a certain way of life and you shouldn’t let yourself get swayed from doing what is best for you.
Peer pressure amongst teammates can have you paying for things you don"t need
It's important to understand that even though you may be a professional athlete, you may not be on the same pay scale as the next man in the locker room. There is no written code on how athletes have to live their lives. Don't make the mistake of forcing things because you just may end up being the professional athlete who is broke. You don't want to be that guy that is the butt of the jokes when everyone is saying, " If I had that much money, there is no way I would be broke!" Like I always say, everyone has an opinion when it's not their money.