Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s best money advice: ‘If you make $10, save $6’

PUBLISHED: Sun, 11 Jul 2021 08:58:43 GMT
Jade Scipioni
CNBC
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Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 100 metres final during day two of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Beijing, China.VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is still known as the fastest man alive and one of the richest athletes.

In 2018, Bolt was ranked at No. 45 on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 100 richest athletes in the world. He earned $31 million in 2017, when he officially retired.

But Bolt, 34, admits he wasn’t always good with his money.

“When I started coming up, I spent a little bit more than I wanted to,” Bolt tells CNBC Make It.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist says that after his first Olympic debut in 2004, when he was just 18, he got into “spending” because that’s when he started making money.

Luckily, Bolt says his teammates sat him down and explained finances to him.

“I have to give credit to my team,” Bolt says. “They’ve really helped me to understand how to save.”

The biggest lesson Bolt says he learned is to save more than half of your earnings.

“Then you can spend the rest and pay bills,” he says. ” I tell people if you make $10, save $6, and then you can figure out what to do with the rest.”

Bolt still holds the official world record for both the men’s 100-meterand 200-meter sprints, which he achieved at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. He ran the 100-meter in 9.58 seconds and the 200-meter in 19.19 seconds. And he was part of the 4×100-meter world-record-holding relay team at the London 2012 summer Olympics.

In 2017, Bolt was forced to return his 2008 Olympic gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay by The International Olympic Committee when his Jamaican relay mate failed a drug test.

Though now a retired athlete, some of Bolt’s sponsorships haven’t slowed. He has a lifetime partnership with Puma and just signed as a spokesperson for CarMax. He’s also a real estate investor and co-founder of the electric scooter company Bolt Mobility.

Still, Bolt would advise his younger self to “save as much as possible.”

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“There are a lot of athletes out there who got injured,” Bolt says, “And that’s something that I learned and I saw with my own eyes.”

As for career advice, Bolt says the best advice he ever received was from his dad.

“He said to me, ‘Son, anything you want, just work hard and be dedicated and you will be fine.’ And for me I’ve always lived by that,” Bolt says.