Study Finds the Typical NBA Player Spends $42,500 per Month

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder arrives prior to Game Six of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2016 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It's no secret that some professional athletes choose to live extravagant lifestyles, featuring fancy mansions, luxurious cars and more.

After all, when you're pulling in seven or eight figures per year, you can afford to live better than the average fan—as long as you are managing your money correctly, that is. Thanks to a recent study, we get a look at just how much money one league's athletes spend regularly.

According to Kathleen Pender of the San Francisco Chroniclewealth management company Personal Capital has compiled data on how much the average NBA player spends per month. Per Pender, "more than 50" players used the financial management tool, with the subjects ranging from rookies to veterans.

The findings? A typical NBA player spends about $42,500 per month (or $510,000 a year).


Now, there are a variety of things an athlete can drop a wad of cash on: food, entertainment, cars, housing, charities, personal reasons, etc. When you see a grand total of nearly $50,000 a month, you might be curious as to what the money is spent on. Fortunately, the data (via the San Francisco Chronicle) breaks it down. Here's a brief summary:

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  • Clothing/shoes: 11 percent
  • Automotive: 9 percent
  • Travel: 8 percent
  • Restaurants: 7 percent
  • Charitable giving: 7 percent
  • Entertainment: 6 percent

Based on percentages, those expenses seem fairly reasonable. Of course, a hoopster's 6 percent on entertainment is different than a fan's 6 percent.

It is important to understand this study may not be representative of the league as a whole. The sample size isn't huge, but it is a decent size. Also, this data comes from only a four-month sample.

Some athletes are better at managing their finances than others, as it's not unheard of for an athlete to go from having millions to being bankrupt. But as long as the individual can keep tabs on their bank account, who are we to tell them how to spend their money?