Athletes often have lives that the average person is incredibly jealous of, with the normal everyday person only wondering what life would be like with the riches that the top sports stars in the world boast. Whether it's golf, wrestling or American Football, if you are able to make it to the elite level of any major sport then you are destined to earn the wildest riches. From multi-million contract signings to all the sponsorship deals that come alongside it, not to mention the countless amounts of free things that also get thrown on top.
Top level athletes have it all, from the flashy cars to the latest gadgets and the incredibly mansions, they often live a lavish lifestyle that many people could only dream of. However, not every athlete lives that way. While the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor might enjoy throwing their cash around (perhaps a little too much), some athletes decide to become frugal and not spend their earnings. From refusing to tip waiters to living in small apartments, some athletes just don't like parting with their hard earned money. I guess that is how the rich stay so rich.
This list will look at 15 examples of exactly that, with athletes from varying sports living incredibly cheaply, despite earning incredible amounts of money.
15 Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris entered the NFL world in 2012 as a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic and most people would likely not forgive the running back for becoming your average sports star who quickly threw his money about.
However, that hasn't been the case for Morris, ensuring that his hardworking attitude has remained. He keeps himself humble following his rise to fame following his recent successes, something that is good to see. Driving the same beat up 1991 Mazda since he entered the league, Morris has claimed that the car keeps him both grounded and humbled and he continues to live a cheaper lifestyle than most people in his position. The car itself only cost 2$ and he bought it from a pastor. Talk about living simple!
14 Daniel Bryan
As a former World Heavyweight Champion and WrestleMania headliner, Daniel Bryan had an incredibly successful career with WWE, earning plenty of money before his career was cut short due to injury.
However, you wouldn't think Bryan was a mega wrestling star when you see how cheap he lives his life. Not living in a big mansion, Bryan stays in a normal home and even goes to the extreme of saving wrapping paper from gifts he receives. When you consider the fact he his married to another major name in wrestling (Brie Bella) it makes it even more shocking that he does as much to save his money. Perhaps when you consider that his injury cut his time at the top short, perhaps all his savings have been for the best.
13 Giovani Bernard
The NFL star might not be earning the biggest money possible in comparison to others that will appear on this list, but Giovani Bernard is certainly enjoying a level of wealth that is richer than the majority. You wouldn't know that about him though if you just saw his car.
Unlike most athletes who look to splash out on fancy cars or big mansions, Bernard still drives a borrowed minivan while living in a small apartment, showing that he isn't spending money just for the sake of it. Perhaps the fear of potential injuries that running backs often suffer from throughout their careers is his driving force, or something totally different. But whatever the reason, Bernard is certainly being careful with his cash.
12 LeBron James
It might seem ridiculous to have somebody such as LeBron James on this list, after all, the man is worth an estimated $300 million. It's fair to say that if he wants something, he can have it and easily afford it.
James isn't known for being a poor tipper or someone who won't ever spend money, but he also is not somebody who has ever splashed his cash in the way other sports stars such as Floyd Mayweather have done. James currently drives a Kia, rather than an overly expensive sports car, proving that he can live a normal life just like everybody else, even if he lives in a mansion. He has also been spotting biking to practice. This way he stays in shape, saves money on gas and helps the environment.
11 AJ Francis
This NFL star might not be the most well-known star on this list, currently applying his trade for the Washington Redskins, but there is a chance you might recognize his face should you use the taxi service known as Uber.
That's right, during the early parts of his career when AJ Francis was breaking into the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, Francis actually worked for Uber when he had some spare time as a driver. So should you have ordered an Uber and seen Francis, we hope you gave him a five-star rating to help him on his way to earning a little extra cash during that time in his life. This just shows that even a rising star athlete can't turn down making a few extra dollars here and there.
10 Ryan Kerrigan
The Washington Redskins linebacker manages to live his life on the cheap, despite the fact he signed a five-year deal for a measly $57.5 million in 2015. From his house to his car, everything he does is cost effective.
Kerrigan claimed he makes his own meals, rather than splurging on restaurants, and even when he does head out for a meal it isn't an expensive five-star establishment, with his favourite place being Chipotle. Living in an apartment with a childhood friend, Kerrigan hasn't spent millions on a mansion and only has to pay for half of the bills, which will help him fund his modest Chevy Tahoe. He definitely is making sure that he has a comfortable future by living a modest present.
9 John Urschel
Potentially one of the smartest men in the NFL, John Urschel certainly does his best to be as frugal as possible, saving his money from his football career to support him throughout the rest of his life.
Driving a sensible Nissan Versa, his car choice alone shows that he is clever in regards to how he spends his money, not wanting to blow his bank despite having a good career in the NFL. In fact, during his off-season, Urschel actually spent time at MIT, learning mathematics. Studying at one of the top universities in that subject isn't something to be looked down upon, and perhaps his number-crunching skills are the reason he saves so well. Perhaps he has a future as a financial advisor after his career is over.
8 Jordy Nelson
Imagine earning millions during your career in whatever chosen job you have, yet still working on your family farm. Well that is exactly what Jordy Nelson does. The Green Bay Packers wideout signed a $39 million extension a few years ago, so it's clear he is not short of money.
Yet he remains grounded at his roots by working on the Kansas family farm, often spending 12-hour days doing different jobs, from rounding up the herd to working the cattle, which happens to be his favourite farm duty. Even when he has suffered injuries, instead of resting up and healing, Nelson has done whatever he could on the ranch to support his family, showing that he still knows a thing or two about hard work.
7 Carmelo Anthony
Everybody loves a saving, right? Well, that also includes the Oklahoma City Thunder star, Carmelo Anthony, who, despite his riches from his basketball career will still do everything in his power to save some money here and there.
Playing basketball for a top side like the New York Knicks brought Anthony wealth that he had never been used to, but he remained a keen saver, continuing to use coupons even after becoming a celebrity. Anthony has admitted that he takes coupons out of Sunday newspapers in order to save a little money at supermarkets. Imagine the shock when the employees recognize who he is and see how tight he is with his money.
6 Kirk Cousins
Grandmas are always there for you, whether it's providing sound advice, a warm meal, or selling you a dented passenger van. For Kirk Cousins, it would be the latter where his grandma came into play. He definitely doesn't fall into the category of player who burns money on cars.
The Washington Redskins quarterback might have been earning around $20 million a year for the past few seasons, but that doesn't mean he lives a lavish lifestyle. Driving a dented van that he bought from his grandma, Cousins has kept his money tight over the years. For someone, a successful as him, the fact that he still chooses to live in his parent's basement during the summer time should tell you how cheap Cousins likes to live his life.
5 Matt Bonner
He might be an NBA reserve, not earning anything close to the millions that others on this list have, but that doesn't mean that Matt Bonner isn't living an incredibly cheap lifestyle, saving every penny possible, as well as doing anything possible to earn a little more.
Whether it is driving cheap cars or living in smaller homes, Bonner will do everything in his power to save money here and there, including using public transport to his advantage, mingling with the fans on his journeys. However, the best story regarding Bonner relates to New Balance. Bonner would wear New Balance sneakers due to the fact they are cheaper than the likes of Nike. Eventually, his trainers wore away and he asked New Balance for a deal on social media, and they agreed, not only giving him sneakers but being paid to wear them.
4 Scottie Pippen
When you have earned a nickname of “Stiffin Pippen,” it is no surprise to see Scottie Pippen rank highly on this list as the Bulls legend has been known for being incredibly tight with his money, especially when it comes to tipping servers. He has also been called "No Tippin' Pippen", and though he burns money, he can also be mean in his cheapness.
Whether it is bars, restaurants or casinos, if you just so happen to be waiting on Pippen, don't get your hopes up for a big tip at the end of the night, as he is well known for never giving any money. The fact that Pippen earned enough money during his career to buy an airplane and wouldn't tip waiters is quite an astonishing fact, but that's how the rich tend to stay rich.
3 Daniel Norris
He might be a millionaire pitcher, but he also lives an incredibly cheap life, despite being a famous sports star. After signing a $2 million bonus to join the Blue Jays, you would expect Daniel Norris to be enjoying life's riches in a mansion somewhere, but that isn't the case. In fact, it's quite the opposite with Norris spending his off-season living in a Volkswagen camper van with very little space and none of life's expensive gadgets, showing at his core he is just a very normal human being.
His most prized possession in the van is actually his surfboard, which he uses frequently. While some might be happy spending millions on expensive cars, he is content in his van which is in such a bad state it will occasionally just die out at a red light.
2 Tiger Woods
While recent years may not have been as successful and his name was tarnished due to his problems in his personal life surfacing to public knowledge, that doesn't mean that Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer in history, hasn't earned plenty of money throughout his lifetime.
Woods has used the excuse that he doesn't carry cash around with him as a reason for why he is a lousy tipper, which seems like a pathetic reason to get away with giving someone a tip, even though you are incredibly rich. Arguably the worst story that has surfaced about Woods and his cheapness comes from the fact he once took back and re-pocketed a $5 tip that he put down on a Blackjack table, all while playing a $10,000 hand.
1 Michael Jordan
When it comes to sporting icons there are few names bigger than Michael Jordan who is often considered to be the greatest NBA star in the history of the sport. Yet just like his former teammate, Scottie Pippen, Jordan is incredibly cheap with his money, especially with tips.
Stories have surfaced of Jordan refusing to tip servers, despite everyone knowing about his incredible wealth, with one story stating that he refused to tip at a casino after winning millions, that's right... millions. Whether Jordan and Pippen just got together and decided to be so tight it is unknown, but even his own friend, Charles Barkley has called him out in the past for his poor tipping, something you wouldn't expect from someone as legendary as him.