Personal Finance: Many NFL players living paycheck to paycheck

Michelle Singletary
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 11:35 AM

As I've said over and over again, more money doesn't mean your money problems go away. Take the possible lockout of National Football League players, who are in a contract dispute with team owners. If there is a lockout, many players, despite hefty annual incomes, would struggle to pay their bills.

It seems more than 20 percent of players live paycheck to paycheck, failing to save much at all, according to a report on

Now consider this. The average player salary for the 2009-10 season is $1.8 million. Of course, that number is skewed because it also includes the gigantic earnings of the league's superstars. Still the minimum salary for a rookie is $320,000.

In anticipation of a possible lockout, the NFL Players Association has been urging its members to stockpile cash for two years. One would think this wouldn't be so hard if you're making a very high six-figure salary, right?


"Young guys in the locker room see what the older guys have, and they're not there yet," veteran Jets player Bart Scott told "They're trying to keep up with the Joneses."

There go the Joneses again, setting the standard that's keeping so many people broke.

Celebrity Cash: A Duchess In Debt

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York is in a money mess, again. Ferguson made headlines this week for taking money from a wealthy convicted sex offender to help get rid of her hefty debt.

Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to two prostitution offenses in Florida and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a further year under house arrest. Prosecutors said Epstein paid several girls younger than 18 for naked massages that sometimes became sexual encounters, the Associated Press reported.

Ferguson admitted that she took $24,000 from Epstein to settle a debt to her former personal assistant. Here's a clue that you are acting richer than you are: You have a personal assistant you can't afford.

The duchess has had money in the past, but it seems she can't hold onto her fortunes. Last year, she was caught on tape telling a London tabloid reporter that she could get them access to her husband in exchange for $724,000.

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