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An NFL player and the Bill Parcells' Money Challenge

Medium_parcellscantyIRVING, Texas - Former Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells loved money, and knew how to save it. Saving money was one of the life lessons he tried to pass along to his players.

This story involving former Cowboys safety Abe Elam is a favorite. Bill was known to advise rookies to create two different bank accounts; the first account the player was to take his first game check, and live on that for the season. The remaining 16 weeks of game checks were to be deposited into a seperate account, and not spent.

In a city such as Green Bay, where the cost of living is lower, this is possible. It's not easy, but it is possible.

With more players and more teams spreading out the salaries out over 52 weeks that were previously paid in a 17-week period - which should always have been the case - such a proposal is less applicable. But some players, and some teams prefer the 17-week payment method.

I asked Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar if he thought he could do The Parcells' Money Challenge. 

"Well, the best advice I got since coming into the league was from my financial advisor," Dunbar said.

One way to know Dunbar's financial guy was good? He told Dunbar don't spend any money.

Lance_dunbar_4"Basically, that's what he said," Dunbar said. "I'm really frugal. I don't like to do too much. I go home. I don't like to spend money. I try to do as much as I can inside so I don't spend money. I'm pretty much (at the practice facility) all the time. I can eat here. I look at it as I have not made it."

Dunbar is scheduled to make $570,000 this season, according to

"My (game checks last season) were like, $18,000," Dunbar said.

The following is a very rough estimate for an NFL player at Dunbar's salary, after the following deductions:

* Taxes would take out roughly $177,000 of his base salary: $393,000
* Three percent fees for agent: $376,000
* Union dues, etc.: $350,000

Dunbar's weekly checks will approximately be $20,588. Could he live on that one check beginning Sept. 7 to Dec. 28, and pocket the rest? 
The answer, if he rented an inexpensive condo near Valley Ranch in Irving and eliminated most peripheral expenses, is very likely yes.

The Parcells' Money Challange is not exactly living the fun pro jock lifestyle, but it does save an awful lot of money.

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