Learn how Trey Burke, Alfred Morris, Carmelo Anthony and three other frugal athletes scrimp and save

Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke. (David Zalubowski/AP)

If $5,000 a month sounds more than enough to live on, you’re not alone. But one person who happily abides by that budget might surprise you — it’s millionaire Utah Jazz star Trey Burke. The Deseret News writes:

“Burke’s rookie salary is about $2.4 million, but his monthly budget for spending money is about $5,000. He admits that having access to so much money is exciting, but it also requires discipline.”

That means no showing off multiple luxury watches on Instagram. No lion-skin rug purchases. And no 47-foot speedboats named Sexual Chocolate.

Sadly, many athletes don’t go the way of Burke. If you have a spare hour-and-a-half, ESPN dedicated one of its “30 for 30″ episodes to broke athletes, aptly titled “Broke.”

Some athletes, however, such as Burke, are choosing to live a little more frugally. They realize that along with the flashy cars and fancy homes comes expensive expenses. So, instead, these six athletes, along with Burke, choose to keep more of their money in the bank and their lifestyles middle-class. Well, sort of.

1) The Cincinnatti Bengals’ Giovani Bernard forewent owning a car to drive his girlfriend’s mom’s minivan, as shown in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2013. “It’s a car that gets me from point A to point B,” Bernard said on NFL.com’s “Built for Training” series last year. “It’s definitely good on gas.”

2) The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony cuts coupons. “I go to the supermarket, make sure I get the newspaper and tear the coupons out; save a dollar or two,” he told Denver’s CBS 4 in 2011.

3) The Redskins’ Alfred Morris famously still drives his 1991 Mazda 626, which he calls Bentley. To keep it running, the football star had it refurbished last year, and managed to sneak in a few extra perks, including leather seating, a souped-up sound system and a back-up camera.

4) The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love sacrificed going out to eat with friends and picking up the bill in 2011 in the face of the NBA lockout, according to ESPN. But … he added a personal chef to his payroll instead.

5) Ex-Pacer Jeff Foster sold his $100,000 Porsche that he bought after signing a two-year, $12.7 million contract extension in 2008 ahead of the 2011 lockout. He went for the more modest — relatively –Infiniti SUV instead, Business Week reports.

6) Semi-retired basketball player DeShawn Stevenson kept an ATM machine in his apartment while he was signed to the Nets, TMZ reported in 2012. TMZ said Stevenson paid $3,500 for the machine and charged $4.50 to people who use it, which TMZ said are mostly his “rich NBA friends.”

Who’s your favorite thrifty athlete?

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Cindy Boren · May 8, 2014

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