He Earned An Estimated $80M Fortune, Then Terrell Owens Lost It All — But Here Are The Lessons He Learned
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He Earned An Estimated $80M Fortune, Then Terrell Owens Lost It All — But Here Are The Lessons He Learned

At the height of his career, NFL star Terrell Owens was worth $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. 

The outlet estimates Owens “earned a bit under $67 million in salary alone” and “approximately $13 million on top of that from endorsements” when he was playing with teams like the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys alone, in fact, signed him to a blockbuster three-year, $25 million deal in March 2006, and quickly became known for being the “bad boy” of the field, flagrantly ignoring the advice of coaches and doctors alike in his pursuit of success.

Things once got so bad for the NFL star that he was even fined more than $100,000 for “excessive celebrations” of his various wins.

However, thanks to a series of bad financial decisions — and even a suicide attempt — Terrell Owens was completely broke by 2011. Today, Celebrity Net Worth estimates he’s worth about $500,000.

Recently, however, he sat down with Insider to give financial advice about the things he learned after looking back on his career missteps. Here are the five bits of advice he has for his fans.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources. If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

Live Within Your Means

When you come from nothing, and suddenly get everything, it can be tempting to spend your money to “keep up with the Joneses.” But Terrell Owens says that you shouldn’t go broke trying to look rich.

“At that time I got sucked into wanting to be like everybody else, the guys with the Mercedes and all the flashy cars and the jewelry,” he said. “I think those are some of the most idiotic purchases I think players can do, especially when they don’t have that money in the bank account to really pay for that stuff.”

Don't Trust Just Anybody With Your Money

From Dennis Rodman to Tim Duncan, there is no shortage of celebrities who found out the hard way that they can’t trust just anybody with their money, and Terrell Owens is no exception.

“I can’t blame them totally because I had some responsibility in that myself, because I should’ve been able to really manage my finances just as well as they were doing,” he said.

There's No Such Thing As A Stupid Question When It Comes To Your Money

Not everyone is a financial expert — but Terrell Owens said you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions of someone who is experienced in that arena, and that there’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to your money.

“Find somebody you feel that is experienced in that area to give you advice, ask them what do you think about this,” he said. “Don’t take anything for granted.”

Don't Buy Everything You See

When the money is flowing, it’s easy to buy everything that your heart desires. But Terrell Owens points out that you always have to move like you’re going to be broke the next day. So, avoid making impulse purchases and having buyer’s remorse.

“Sometimes at that moment you think [a purchase is] very well calculated … but in the long run, you’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I should’ve bought that,'” he said.

There Are Some Things Worth Spending Your Money On

Even though it’s important to be cautious with your money, Terrell Owens said that there are some things worth spending your money on.

“Just make sure you can afford it,” he said.