The Sad Story of Mike Tyson: A Spending Fool

White Bengal Tiger

During the 20-year span of his career, Mike Tyson’s income exceeded $400 million.

Yet, in 2004, before his 39th birthday, this amazing moneymaker was $38 million in debt….

The faster money came in, the faster it went out. Stories about his profligacy are already legendary. Tyson employed as many as 200 people, including bodyguards, chauffeurs, chefs, and gardeners.

SUGGESTED: How the World’s Richest Family Went Broke

Mike Tyson spent:

  • Nearly $4.5 million on cars and motorcycles
  • $3.4 million on clothes and jewelry
  • $7.8 million on “personal expenses”
  • $140,000 on two white Bengal tigers and $125,000 a year for their trainer

  • $2 million on a bathtub for his first wife, actress Robin Givens
  • $410,000 on a birthday party
  • $230,000 on cellphones and pagers during a three-year period from 1995 to 1997.

The purpose of this is not to shake a finger at Mike Tyson but to alert you to the dangerous temptation to spend more when you make more. As someone who grew up drinking powdered milk and wearing hand-me-downs, I understand the strength of that temptation.

[Ed. Note: The above was excerpted from Michael Masterson’s New York Times best-seller Automatic Wealth for Grads… and Anyone Else Just Starting Out.

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.