A person making a $200,000 salary can live a very comfortable lifestyle. Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland knows that.
So Copeland, who signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Jets this offseason, said he’ll live as if he was only making about 10 to 15 percent of that, or around $200,000 a year. The rest, he’ll save.
“I’m not too flashy; I don’t need a lot,” Copeland told CNBC. “I need to be maximizing every single day I have in the NFL because I don’t know when this NFL platform will be swept right under my feet.”
Copeland said he feels no need to drive the nicest car to the team facility or wear the expensive clothes that many NFL players wear.
“The biggest money lesson I’ve learned is basically don’t try to keep up with the Joneses,” he said. “If that’s not something of value to you, then don’t chase it.”
Copeland is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is spending time there this offseason talking to students about the importance of saving money.
“Ultimately, being able to cut your expenses will help you save money so that you can have a nice nest egg,” Copeland said.
The 27-year-old Copeland realizes something that too few NFL players do: If you’re a professional athlete, you’re probably going to make more money in your 20s than you’ll make in any other decade of your life. You may need that money you make in your 20s to last half a century or more. The less you spend now, the more you’ll have later.