It seems a very easy advise – live with a reasonable but limited budget during (and after) your career so that you can save as much as possible. The budget of the player should be determined on the basis of a financial plan so that, also after your career, you can maintain this monthly budget.
Overspending is, in our view, the main reason for the financial problems of professional football players. Creating a monthly budget could be a good step in the right direction to avoid overspending. Footballers can spend this entire monthly budget on private expenses such as clothes, restaurants, bars, etc. The aim is to maintain this monthly budget when the footballer hangs up his boots. In other words, this monthly budget needs to be determined so that the footballer can maintain it from the age of 35 for the rest of his life.
For this monthly budget we create a special account (the so-called “leisure account”) to which a credit card is coupled. The limit of this credit card is the agreed monthly budget. If the limit is exceeded during a particular month, the footballer knows he has spent more than was agreed. In this way, this system encourages the footballer to curb his expenses.
This system ensures a football player only lives off his monthly budget (and not off the total net-salary). And the footballer also becomes aware after time that the monthly budget is gone sooner than expected. This prevents them from making extravagant costs. Everything that is saved can be put on a separate account which is used for (preferably ‘safe’) investments.
The system of a monthly budget has two main advantages: first of all, the budget avoids that the player overspends during the career. Secondly, the budget (if determined on the basis of a financial plan) also avoids the situation in which the player after his career should cut his monthly budget. Our experience teaches us that it is harder for players to cut their budget after their career than to maintain and live with a limited budget during the career.
In our book The Bankrupt Footballer – 50 guidelines to take control over the business side of your football career, we explain in further detail how a player can take control over the business and financial aspects of his career.