Pro athletes are known for making around seven figures a year and maintaining lifestyles that most can only dream of. While some athletes make the most of their paychecks, there are others who hold onto a more modest way of life. Let’s take a look at which athletes live like kings and which are content to live like commoners.
King – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As one of the most famous boxers, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has no hesitations about spending the money that his flying fists earned for him. Mayweather has an estimated net worth of $750 million, so there’s little to be concerned about as far as overspending.
The big contender has treated himself to numerous luxury cars and even owns a private jet. While he may have private access to the skies, when he’s not traveling, he rests his head in his Las Vegas mansion.
Commoner - Jordy Nelson
Jordy Nelson retired following the 2018 season, after spending 10 years in the NFL. And, while he did quite well financially with career earnings of around $57 million, he was not one to flaunt his financial gains.
Nelson made a habit of staying frugal, even while playing for the Green Bay Packers by flying into Milwaukee rather than Green Bay because the flights were cheaper. And, being a hard-working and grounded star, he routinely worked long hours on his family farm despite his more lucrative day job.
King - Tom Brady
Tom Brady is one of the most recognizable faces in the world of sports with earnings totaling over $212 million. His income, combined with that of his supermodel wife, Giselle Bundchen, means the doorway to a luxurious life is always open.
Brady is known to collect cars and owns Aston Martins, Cadillacs, Audis and Lexuses. The couple also own a handful of luxury homes in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, California, and New York City.
Commoner - Daniel Norris
The pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, made nearly $1.3 million in 2019 and received a $2 million signing bonus when he was first drafted in 2011. Despite his big earnings, the left-hander has put most of that money in the bank and makes a point of living on less than $1k a month as $800 is deposited into his account every month.
It is also rumored that, during the off-season, Norris lives in a Volkswagen camper that he has attached to a small apartment and works a 40-hour week job. That’s not your average pro athlete!
King - Tiger Woods
Another legendary face and name in the world of sports, Tiger Woods has made a lot of money in his lengthy career. Not only has he won more golf tournaments than almost anyone, but he also has held multiple, million-dollar endorsement deals, the most well-known being with Nike.
The star golfer owns a 155-foot yacht and currently lives in a 71 million dollar property in Florida that, not surprisingly, has a golf course. Woods has clearly enjoyed the lifestyle his earnings have provided, making him a king on our list.
Commoner - Ryan Kerrigan
Any NFL team knows their games are in jeopardy if they don’t have a defensive lineman who can sack the quarterback. And they are willing to pay up for the players who can tackle the best.
The Redskins gave pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan a $57.5 million deal in 2015 but the prized linebacker has focused on saving those earnings. Rather than own a luxury car for example, Kerrigan drives a used Chevy Tahoe and overall, seems more focused on spending time with family than spending money on material things.
King - Chad Johnson
Chad Ochocinco Johnson raked in $46.6 million during his professional career but today, his net worth is about $5 million. He is known to be a big spender and one of his most notable purchases was his "super-truck."
The massive vehicle, which looks like a commercial shipping truck, put the wide receiver back close to $100,000. However, Johnson also has a philanthropic side and gave a $1,000 tip at a restaurant. He most recently offered to give out stimulus checks during the pandemic!
Commoner - Kawhi Leonard
NBA champion Kawhi Leonard seems to have done the work to keep himself humble, even continuing to drive his 2007 Chevy Tahoe after signing a $94 million deal.
Leonard is certainly one of the more frugal athletes as he stays in a two-bedroom apartment and has even been known to use coupons at restaurants!
King - Gilbert Arenas
Some superstars start out with glistening careers that only seem to get better and better. This certainly appeared to be true of Gilbert Arenas who set the NBA on fire in the early 2000s with his incredible scoring. Sadly, his career ended after an altercation with a teammate involving a firearm.
But while he was in the NBA, Arenas definitely enjoyed the money he earned. His indulgences included over the top landscaping for his $3.5 million home, spending $700 a month just to wash his luxury cars and installing a shark tank in his house.
Commoner - Trey Burke
Trey Burke was the 9th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft for the Utah Jazz. The former Michigan Wolverine point guard became a millionaire overnight but still elected to only receive an allowance of around $5k each month.
This ended up serving Burke well when he was demoted to the D League while playing for the New York Knicks. But after some hard work and perseverance, he made it back into the league and he was most recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
King - Cristiano Ronaldo
A face known around most of the world, Cristiano Ronaldo is, perhaps, the best soccer player in the league. Ronaldo makes a huge salary in addition to his high-profile endorsements.
In 2019 alone, he made $109 million and is known to be a collector of luxury cars and lives in a $6.2 million dollar home. One of his most unusual splurges was a wax statue of himself which cost $30,000.
Commoner - Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski made a big name for himself as the best tight end in football. As of 2020, he was worth about $40 million yet he didn’t spend his money like so many other top athletes. Gronkowski was very responsible with his money and chose to live off of endorsement deals.
The tight end’s first noted splurge was a designer necklace, but he shared that he almost never spends money on clothes, wearing shoes, and jeans until they are worn out. As of March 2020, Gronkowski retired from the NFL but exited with a comfortable $54 million.
Commoner - Kirk Cousins
No NFL player has worked the system better than Minnesota Quarterback Kirk Cousins. While with the Redskins, he was franchised twice earning over $20 million each year. While with the Redskins, Cousins stayed in his parents' house during the off-season. Later, Cousins became a free agent and signed a $90 million, fully guaranteed deal with the Vikings but he still wouldn’t shake his conservative ways.
He didn’t purchase a luxury car for himself, and at one point even drove a dented van he purchased from his grandmother for $5,000! A truly down-to-earth athlete, Cousins has shared that he seeks fame and fortune as fragile, understanding that the careers of athletes can be short due to injuries. This is why he has focused so much on saving his salary for retirement.
King - Deuce McAllister
Deuce McAllister, running back for the New Orleans Saints, was both a part of the 2010 Super Bowl-winning team and was also inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2014. Despite both of those career milestones and their monetary gains, McAllister blew through his 70 million dollar earnings just years after retirement.
Afterwards he attempted to capitalize on his popularity by opening up both a restaurant in New Orleans as well as a car dealership but both were unsuccessful.
Commoner - Daniel Bryan
Wrestler Daniel Bryan has been a headliner ever since he joined the WWE in 2009. Before that, however, he had been on the independent circuit for many years. Bryan is worth about $8 Million and earns about $2 Million per year but he maintains a relatively average lifestyle and is so frugal that he even reuses Christmas wrapping paper!
Interestingly, though he looks like a man who would enjoy a steak or two, Bryan is actually vegan, a decision he made for health reasons.
King - DeShawn Stevenson
DeShawn Stevenson may have never become a superstar in the NBA, but he did play for many teams including the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets and the Atlanta Hawks. His shooting and defense skills were valued by a number of different teams and, with playing for so many of them, Stevenson is now worth about $10 million.
Stevenson made close to $35 million over the course of his career and spent that money on a number of different things, the strangest of all being an atm for his house! Sadly, because of a lawsuit with American Express and spending his cash on parties, vacations and a lot of material items, Stevenson is nearly broke in retirement.
Commoner - Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris was only a 6th round pick in the NFL Draft, but he quickly established himself in the NFL rushing for over 1,600 yards in his early season. Despite the success, Morris never forgot his roots and maintains a close connection to his family.
Not known to be a big spender, when entering his 7th season in the league the Washington Redskin/Dallas Cowboys, Morris was either taking his bike to practice or driving a Mazda Sedan that he claims he purchased for $2!
King & Commoner - LeBron James
LeBron James straddles the king and commoner label because, though he has luxury cars and homes, he has also made an effort to save and invest his money. James is one of the highest-paid players and, with multiple endorsements and having been in the NBA for a long time, he is worth about $450 million. But James certainly doesn't spend like a megastar and is wise with his money.
The superstar has been known to be quite comfortable flying business class rather than coach. He also has a strong entrepreneurial streak and has invested in a soccer team, a pizza chain and a clothing retailer.
King - Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson may have retired from boxing years ago, but legacy and his bankable personality have kept his retirement income steady. Tyson spent his dollars on all things exotic and glamorous, including sports cars and even purchasing three tigers at one point.
Tyson has thrown his millions at some of the most unusual ventures and material items over the years. He even purchased his first wife a bathtub that cost $2 million.
Commoner - Giovani Bernard
When it comes to positions in the NFL, the quarterback usually gets the glory and few positions are as short-lived as that of a running back. Bengals halfback, Giovani Bernard, has been in the league for 7 years and is worth about $3 million, but he hasn’t let the financial advantages of playing professional football change his frugal habits.
The Cincinnati Bengal lives in a small apartment and was driving a minivan until he gave it away to an injured veteran. A big bank account and an even bigger heart!
King - Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has been the king of international soccer for nearly 10 years and is the third highest-paid athlete in the world. And with soccer being the most popular sport on the planet, the Argentinian has made himself a handsome sum.
Messi has a luxury mountain home in Barcelona but also kept his childhood home for sentimental reasons, though no one currently lives there. He also enjoys the occasional, opulent vacation, drives a Maserati and a Ferrari and enjoys flying private.
Commoner - A.J. Francis
The former defensive tackle of the Seattle Seahawks wasn't in the spotlight, in fact many did not know him at all. Francis was passed from team to team but continued to live an average lifestyle, and even supplemented his income as an Uber driver!
While other teammates purchased high-end sports cars, Francis would often walk to work and continued to live in a duplex. Most recently, Francis departed from the NFL and has signed with the WWE.
Commoner - Ryan Broyles
The former University of Oklahoma star and NFL wide receiver, Ryan Broyles isn't interested in living the extravagant life. Though Broyles is worth millions, he maintained a $60,000 a year salary. He claims to not have cable and avoids eating out a lot.
Broyles chose to be more financially conscientious and has stated that he makes sure to pay off his credit card bills on time and invests in his retirement plan.
Commoner - John Urschel
Former Baltimore Raven, John Urschel stayed true to his frugal ways throughout his short NFL career. Urschel drove a Nissan Versa and lived on $25,000 a year. He also stayed true to himself and most recently left the NFL to study mathematics at MIT.
It’s refreshing to see that even fame and fortune cannot keep someone from what they really want to pursue. And, being so good at math, Urschel will certainly know how to save his NFL retirement money!
Commoner - Andrew Chafin
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, Andrew Chafin willingly chooses to live below his means. Chafin is comfortable with his modest way of living and prefers the simple life and actually lives in an RV.
During spring training, he would rent space in local parks and live there in his RV, enjoying time to himself. Chafin says he enjoys the RV life and being close to nature. However, inside the mobile home is a big screen TV, king-size bed, and a full kitchen.
King - Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons caught public attention for his point guard skills with the Philly 76ers and also for having been previously connected to reality show rockstar, Kendall Jenner. Simmons has settled into his advantageous life, with a mansion, multiple designer watches, and luxury cars.
His most unusual purchase, however, was two exotic cats which cost him $10,000. The trademark of a kingly spender is throwing your money at the uncommon!
Commoner - Glover Quin
Glover Quin, a former Detroit Lions safety, earned about $6.5 million a year. And though that’s more than a great majority of Americans will ever see in a lifetime, Quin lived on $6,000 a month in the early years of his career and has saved seventy percent of his salary since he was drafted in 2009.
The plan has always been to "save as much money as I can and spend as little as I can in the time that I have in the league," Quin told CNBC, "so that I can maximize my future." King or commoner, that sounds like a great plan.
Commoner - Matt Bonner
When Matt Bonner was in the NBA, he wasn’t put on the court too often, but his net worth is still about $12 million. Bonner is a saver at heart, having often used public transportation and chosen to wear New Balance sneakers over Nike's, just because they're cheaper.
Since leaving the NBA, Bonner has also made an effort to pass on his financial habits to the next generation and is teaching his daughter on investing in the stock market.
Commoner - Andrew Luck
Former star quarterback for the Indiana Colts, Andrew Luck, is another athlete who maintains modest spending habits. When asked what his financial splurge was, he said he bought a ping-pong table! Luck seems to keep his feet on the ground financially and, in the past, has been labeled the “anti-celebrity”. He comes from a tight-knit family, is an avid reader, and even has his own book club.
In 2019, Luck shocked the entire sports world when he decided to retire at the start of the season. The decision came after battling cyclical injuries, which caused Luck to focus on his life and career after football.
King & Commoner - Carmelo Anthony
NBA star forward, Carmelo Anthony has had some rough patches in his career in recent years. No team would add him to their roster until the Portland Trailblazers decided to in 2019. During his more difficult times in his career, he actually used coupons when shopping. "I go to the supermarket, make sure I get the newspaper and tear the coupons out...save a dollar or two,"
Carmelo has demonstrated frugal practices but he is also worth $160 million, owns multiple homes, luxury cars and even a yacht, which is why he straddles the line between king and commoner.
Commoner - Joe Flacco
At one time, Joe Flacco was the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. But the Super Bowl-winning quarterback isn't keen on flaunting his money. After signing a record-breaking contract worth $120.6 million, instead of going out to celebrate at a fancy restaurant, he chose to head over to McDonald's for a McNugget meal.
He has no exotic cars, yachts or designer clothing but instead likes to maintain a simple, uncluttered lifestyle.
Commoner - Jeff Teague
Because athletes are known for their huge salaries, the public expectation is that they would capitalize on their financial status. While playing with the Indiana Pacers, point guard Jeff Teague, who is of course a millionaire, decided to choose family over flaunting his mega salary.
Since his family lives in Indiana, he made the frugal choice to live in his parent’s basement! Teague could have chosen to stay in a luxury home or penthouse but instead decided to stay with mom and dad. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a pro athlete stay close to their roots!
Commoner - Kyle Larson
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson is worth about $12 million but is determined to keep a close watch on his money. Larson chooses to fly coach over first-class and has said "I'm cheap with my money when it comes to flying...I like to rack up the miles so I can maybe get some free trips."
Not something you’d expect a millionaire to admit!
Commoner - Madison Bumgarner
For World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, hard work on and off the field includes manual labor. He still chops wood and does farm work during the off-season and chooses to live in a ranch as opposed to a mansion. Bumgarner kept close to his roots, settling in the North Carolina Appalachian foothills where he grew up.
A simple nature lover, Bumgarner has said that he would gladly get rid of fancy cars and lavish homes so that he could live an outdoorsy lifestyle.
Commoner And King - Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch was one of the most dynamic running backs the NFL has ever had and was given the nickname Beast Mode for his prowess on the field. And if you’re wondering about his lifestyle, Lynch sends the money he makes straight to his savings. Though he does have at least one exotic car, he has said his favorite ride is a 1986 Honda Civic.
A balanced star athlete, he would only spend his money from endorsements and isn't afraid of taking public transportation. But he's also the same guy who puts a velvet rope around his Lambo when it's parked outside, making him another on our list who is both a king and a commoner.
King - Dwyane Wade
One of the most popular NBA stars, Dwyane Wade hasn’t let his money stay in his wallet for too long. Wade has enjoyed a long career and has played for the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. With flashy outfits, multiple cars and homes, and at least one yacht.
Wade enjoys the good life. Since 2020, Wade has capitalized on the perks of being a retired NBA player and recently purchased a new, 20 million dollar home.
King - Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. has become a household name with his talent on the football field and for his larger-than-life personality. Not one for the ordinary, Beckham reportedly has champagne with his breakfast cereal and is never caught without anything designer.
It was reported that he even wore a 2 million dollar watch during a game!
Commoner - Tim Duncan
Not many players in NBA history are better than Tim Duncan. The soft-spoken, former star who's now a coach for the San Antonio Spurs, is known for his low-key style and has appeared off the court in basic jeans and shirts. But he isn’t known only for his average style. While he could afford to hire help from anyone for anything, Duncan insists on carrying his own bags through the airport, just like everyone else.
When he was playing as a power forward, Duncan’s work ethic was also said to be like that of any other hard-working employee. He would put in his time but expected no gratification, rewards or even a raise. Now that’s a humble star.
King - Russell Westbrook
The self-proclaimed fashion king of the NBA, point guard Russell Westbrook isn't one for the simple life. Westbrook has a taste for all things flashy and has enjoyed standing out from the crowd ever since he entered the league.
He has had multiple mansions and enjoys driving a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce. A little bit of an entrepreneur, he also has his own clothing line, which he enjoys showing off.
King - Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is a budding, racing star that will continue to grow. But the Formula One champ isn't one to live life like a commoner, as he's been linked to big names like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and even Rihanna. He has a personal stylist and loves jetting off to cities around the world during his free time.
Now you might ask what types of cars a race car driver would choose for himself? Hamilton has plenty of options from driving his McLaren, multiple Ferraris, and various special edition Mercedes just to name a few.
King - Julio Jones
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, is yet another NFL player who enjoys the finer things in life. Jones owns multiple homes in Atlanta and has a customized Ferrari.
Though he likes the finer things for himself, Julio also has a philanthropic side and an entrepreneurial streak. He has donated time and money to more than one charity and owns two car dealerships in Alabama.
Commoner - Roman Reigns
WWE star Roman Reigns comes from a family of wrestlers and has a net worth of $12 million. Outside of wrestling, Reigns has also made appearances in films like Hobbs and Shaw and Countdown.
He has done well at keeping his privacy and, though he has a nice home and a few cars, Reigns doesn’t appear to lead a life based on material things. He is a big family man and even took time out of his career to support his wife for the birth of their children.
King - Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry (otherwise known as “Steph” Curry) has become a household name for his incredible talent and relatability with fans. One area he may not be able to relate to, however, is with his net worth of $130 million!
Curry has made good use of his bank account to create a diverse car collection including both common cars and exotic sports cars. He also has a collection of luxury watches and mansions peppered throughout California.
Commoner - Ryan Braun
After surviving a devastating doping scandal, Ryan Braun has managed to rebuild his MLB career as a left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Worth about $8 million, Braun has a handful of homes but doesn’t appear to spend his money frivolously and has made no extravagant purchases.
And since his scandal in 2013, which almost destroyed his career and personal relationships, he has done even more not to draw attention to himself.
King - Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper, the right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, is worth about $70 million. He signed a 330 million dollar contract with the Phillies, which was the second-largest in the history of baseball.
Harper has a love for classic cars and owns a James Bond-like Jaguar F-Type as well as a couple of custom-made vehicles. He recently snatched up a 2 million dollar home in Las Vegas, with scenic views, and an indoor waterfall. Sounds like a house fit for a king.
Commoner - Albert Pujols
With a net worth of $170 million, Albert Pujols could certainly live like a king. But what the pro is really known for is his heart for others. Pujols founded the Pujols Family Foundation and, under the umbrella of this charity, he works to provide down syndrome awareness, supports individuals with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses, and provides medical support to his birthplace of the Dominican Republic.
Pujols has said that he wants to be “remembered as serving others” and because of his legacy of philanthropy, he is on the list as a commoner with the heart of a king.
King - Roger Federer
As of 2020, Roger Federer is officially the highest-paid athlete on the globe over both Christiano Rinaldo and Lionel Messi! He made his way to the highest-paid spot from his remarkable talent on the tennis court and the slew of endorsement deals that followed.
Being worth $450 million, it would be unthinkable that Federer would save all or even most of it. And of course, he doesn’t. He owns multiple Rolex watches and several properties, including a penthouse in Dubai. However, his most stunning home is his 8 million dollar mansion overlooking Lake Zurich in Switzerland.
King - Russell Wilson
The star quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks has an affable, humble persona but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy spending his millions.
Wilson has a collection of cars, a home in Seattle and at least two homes in California, one of which has a football field. But Wilson also uses his money to dote on his loved ones and even bought his mom a new home!
King - Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packer MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is worth about $120 million. Now Rodgers isn’t a flashy athlete but he still has made use of his cash, with a fleet of cars and a California mansion complete with a sauna, basketball court and, of course, a football field.
And with his recent purchase of a 28 million dollar home in Malibu, this quarterback certainly knows how to live like a king!
Commoner - Patrick Mahomes
At only 24 years old, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the highest-paid quarterback in 2020. With a 45 million dollar contract, the young gun won’t have a financial care in the world. Mahomes is still an up-and-coming star, but he did purchase a million-dollar home for himself.
Mahomes seems to be well-grounded though, close to his family and very charitable. He bought his dad a new car, was in the news for building homes for veterans, and has his own foundation dedicated to improving the lives of kids. Because Mahomes doesn’t live as extravagantly as his peers, he is still on the list as a commoner.