ESPN 30 for 30: Broke — Budgeting and Spending

 

Young professional athletes are essentially lottery winners once they’ve signed a contract with a team. Seemingly overnight they become millionaires. One reason why so many athletes become broke after retirement is not for a lack of income, but rather a misunderstanding of needs and wants. Many athletes struggle to budget their income appropriately and don’t consumption smooth between in-season and offseason.

Common spending patterns include:

  1. Buying a home/car for self and family members
  2. Jewelry/clothes/shoes

The issue that many athletes face is the lack of realization that most professional careers are short term, but the costs of those items have lasting impacts.

Abdullah Al-Bahrani and Darshak Patel have a great paper in the Southern Economic Journal that looks at using ESPN 30 for 30 to teach economics.

South Park — Spending and Debt

 

Stan gets a no-limit credit card and pays the debts for the citizens of South Park so that they can go out and begin shopping again, and stimulate the economy. The entire episode is themed around the crucifixion as Stan “pays for the debts” of everyone in town. Keynesian economics argues that governments can increase spending during times of recessions in order to help lift the economy out of recessions.

Thanks to Zoe Cook-Nadel for the suggestion!

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