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Even NFL players need to manage their money to avoid bankruptcy

Many residents in Arizona and throughout the country may believe they have nothing in common financially with professional athletes. In fact, with an expected base salary of $390,000 in 2012 for NFL rookies, many players themselves believe they are set financially. However, ESPN's documentary Broke and shows like it paint a different picture. Money comes and goes easily in sports, and some athletes may even end up in bankruptcy court.

Just as with any career, NFL careers do not last forever. Actually, even though players typically earn a lot of money, their careers may be even shorter than that of the average person in Arizona and elsewhere. Therefore, with pressures such as the cost of living and supporting family, both the average person and the professional athlete may have the same financial concerns.

In addition, a few inadvisable decisions may even lead each to struggle with debt. Although declaring bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, is a debt solution, both the average wage earner and the professional athlete can benefit by properly managing their finances. Here are a few tips they should keep in mind.

When moving to a new place, it is possible that individuals do not take into account the new cost of living, which may be higher. Creating an accurate budget reflecting the cost of living may go a long way in cutting down on overspending.

Providing for family members may be a duty many individuals do, whether they are well off or struggling financially. However, they should try not to do it at the expense of their own finances.

Living within one's means and planning for the long-term rather than the short-term is also an important financial lesson. Therefore, the average person and the professional athlete should not buy more cars or houses than necessary. The cost of maintaining them may add to the bills.

Not many colleges offer courses on smart investing or managing credit. Also, residents in Arizona and elsewhere may not have created a sound financial plan. Unfortunately, even when they do, unexpected expenses such as a sudden illness or losing a job may devastate them financially. Their primary concern should then be on beginning their financial life anew, and filing for personal bankruptcy may be the solution, whether they are professional athletes or average citizens.

Source: Bleacher Report, "Going Broke: The Mistakes NFL Players Make and How to Avoid Them," Marc Lillibridge, Oct. 10, 2012