One New England Patriots rookie appears to be closely following recently retired tight end Rob Gronkowski’s philosophy when it comes to money.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Patriots player Joejuan Williams said he’s saving close to 90 percent of his paychecks. Instead of splurging now, the 21-year-old from Tennessee explained he wants to invest for the long-run.
“I’m going to sacrifice now for me to be happy later,” Williams told the outlet. “I can go buy me a really nice car, I can go buy me a really nice house if I wanted to, I can go buy me a really nice chain — multiple chains — if I wanted to. But that’s not going to suffice me for when I’m 40, 50, or 60 (years old). Who knows when I’m going to need that bread.”
Related Video: These Are the Top 5 Richest Female Athletes in the World
According to Globe reporter Ben Volin, Williams signed a four-year deal worth $6.6 million with New England. Two years and $4.1 million of his deal are guaranteed.
“In the history of this league, there’s a higher chance that you’ll never see a second contract,” Williams said.
“If you’re spending so much money, like, ‘Oh, I’m going to make it back next year. I’m going to make it back the year after that.’ If it doesn’t happen, then you’re back at square zero,” he added.
Williams’ approach is similar to Gronkowski, who revealed in 2015 that he hadn’t “touched one dime” of his massive NFL salary, instead only spending the money that came from his endorsement deals.
“To this day, I still haven’t touched one dime of my signing bonus or NFL contract money,” Gronkowski wrote in his book, It’s Good to Be Gronk. “I live off my marketing money and haven’t blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewelry or tattoos and still wear my favorite pair of jeans from high school.”
Williams told the Globe that he wants to help others learn how to be financially responsible, and plans to set up programs for lower-income families.
“They have a head start in this race,” he said. “For a lot of public schools in inner cities, it’s not required to take any personal finance classes to graduate or even learn about money in that sense. That’s not the real world. The real world revolves around money. It really puts a lot of inner-city kids who don’t have much at a disadvantage.”
Williams has splurged a bit, but not on himself — he recently paid off his mother’s student loan debts and bought her a car.
“I want to be set in the future when I’m not working,“ he said. “Grind now, sacrifice now, be happy later. I’d rather live like a prince for the rest of my life than live like a king for my NFL career and then go back to square zero.”