Friday, June 7, 2013

Why this NFL star decided to become a Prius owner

What kinds of cars do celebrities and athletes drive? With the spending power they have, you'd think it would be something bright, flashy, and fast, like a Ferrari or Lamborghini. But in order to get (and stay) rich, one needs to save money, and that's why NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie has become an advocate for the Toyota Prius.

Antonio Cromartie,Toyota Prius,Celebrity Prius,New York Jets

Cromartie, who plays for the New York Jets, admits that he had a spending problem. He blew through a lot of money (upwards of five million dollars, the total value of his rookie contract!) after first being signed in 2011. In an interview with Newsday, he confessed to an addiction of owning lots of cars: "I had two Dodge Chargers, probably spent $100,000 just fixing them up," he said. "I had a '65 Caprice, which I spent $100,000 on. I had two BMWs, two Escalades."

Once he came to the realization that he was draining his money on personal items as well as friends and distant relatives looking for handouts, Cromartie knew he didn't want to become another bankrupt celebrity. He got coaching from a well known accountant in Los Angeles named Jonathan Schwartz, who now helps him manage his savings. Antonio stopped all his ridiculous spending habits and even spent a few weeks living with Schwartz's family to see what normal household life should be like. There, he became interested in the Toyota Prius after getting a chance to drive around in theirs. Later that year, Cromartie's wife ended up getting him a Prius as a Christmas gift. The 50 MPG hybrid has since become his favorite car. "I'll fill it up every 2 1/2 weeks or so, and I'm only spending 33 bucks, while everybody else is spending 80 or 90 bucks a tank", he said.

It's interesting to see stories of those who come into large sums of money, whether they're athletes or lottery winners. Many find themselves with the problem of spending too much money and then getting into trouble. I'm happy that Cromartie got help, and I hope that everyone can learn from his story that being practical is an important part of growing up.

For what it's worth, he DOES plan on buying some rims for his Prius to give it some added flair. Wonder if he'll go for the aerokit as well!

What do you think about Antonio Cromartie's story?

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