If we were to tell you that a major celebrity openly admitted that they wear fake jewelry, would you believe it? What if that celebrity said it themselves? Would you still be in disbelief then?
There was a time when former NFL star wide receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson had a net worth of close to $50 million. However, that number may have changed to $15 million, according to a conversation he held with the hosts of the Full Send Podcast. Still, that is a highly respectable and impressive amount to have in one’s bank! Johnson has long expressed his love for being frugal, whether the world teases him about it or not. Ocho Cinco is unapologetic about saving his money, or “being cheap,” as some may call it.
Let the 44-year-old former footballer (who played for the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and [very briefly] the Miami Dolphins) tell it, he’s “been broke” since the year he was born. In an interview with In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Chad Johnson explained his mindset, stating that although he may consider himself “well off,” he’s “not rich.”
“I’m cheap,” admitted Chad Johnson. He then confessed to shopping for jewelry at Claire’s rather than more expensive outlets, which could also be seen on an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks. According to Johnson, all of the jewelry fans have seen him in, from the “Rolexes” to the “diamonds,” were all counterfeit.
To the naked eye, the jewelry that Chad Johnson has worn “shines the same.” Many would often surmise that when one acquires riches, the need to spend frivolously on name brands increases. But Johnson teaches the opposite, stating that having money does not mean that one should “buy anything real.” (To be fair, however, he’s had his share of exotic cars and other “real” things.”)
“There’s a perception, and there’s reality,” explained Chad Johnson. However, the former Dancing With The Stars contestant started to break that perception when Twitter came along. Thus, he could openly share just how simple his life really was. Check out a few examples of his tweets below.
It looks just like the real thing, why pay 30k when I can pay $7.99 for the same results. RT @anthonyhoubba03: why do u prefer fake jewelry— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) June 28, 2014
Chad Johnson’s openness about his frugal ways continues to this day on social media. Johnson uploaded an adorable clip to his Instagram page, showing him next to his newborn daughter, Serenity Paula Johnson. In it, he states that he won’t be buying her designer clothing. Instead, he chooses to keep her “flamed up” in the latest designs that Osh’ Kosh and Target have to offer.
Does this reflect the behavior of somebody who made claims that they once roughly brought in $560k every week? According to Chad Johnson’s account on the Full Send Podcast, this was once the case. However, while many of his counterparts would participate in acts of frivolous spending, Chad Johnson did the opposite. In fact, he unabashedly labels himself the “cheapest [MF] in the world, literally.”
Interestingly enough, Chad Johnson was highly willing to share what was currently sitting in his bank account. Not to brag or boast, but rather to both disprove Google’s account that he had a net worth of “$5 million” and share how he can remain financially stable.
One thing that has possibly kept his finances intact, especially in these perilous times where gas prices are astronomical, could be his choice of what he’s driving. Despite being a millionaire, Chad Johnson is driving a Smart Car. According to a 2015 report by TMZ Sports, the former athlete dropped $25K on the car after making some adjustments.
Another recent post on Chad Johnson’s Instagram page proves that his Smart Car is still holding up. And it looks like his choice of purchasing the vehicle was a wise one. With a hint of shade, the former athlete wrote that he had filled the tank of his Smart Car with $16. But according to Johnson, this will “last me 2 weeks,” he wrote with a shrug emoji.
While Chad Johnson may bask in his cheap ways, he’s also quick to educate his followers on financial stability. Johnson shared that one of the biggest lessons he’s learned about money is to “just save it. It looks better coming in than going out,” he said on In Depth with Graham Bensinger.