Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson – Being Flashy Is a Sign of Insecurity

Why do people show off once they get rich? What is this need that drives people to spend money on expensive things and lifestyles? Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson talks about saving and why he thinks spending your hard-earned money on a flashy lifestyle is unnecessary.

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver. CNBC has listed him as number one on its list of “Most Influential Athletes in Social Media. Johnson was a six-time NFL Pro Bowler, was named to four All-Pro teams and was voted the number one wide receiver on the Bengals 40th Anniversary team.


The former NFL star talks about how he saved 83% of his salary during his career by spending less on flashy things, including wearing fake jewelry and flying Spirit Airlines. He advocates for financial literacy amongst players and spending less even when earning millions.

‘Fly private? I ain’t flying private. Put me on Spirit Exit row. Window seat. That’s all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don’t need private.

Even though he earned over $48 million throughout his career, he says that his financial discipline kept him grounded, preventing him from spending money on unnecessary material things, as with most pro athletes.

‘I never bought real anything when I was playing. Never. What was the point? I went to Claire’s. For what? What am I doing it for? Why am I buying a $50,000 watch, $80,000 watch? I done saved 80 to 83 percent of my salary.’

Instead of spending money on flashy things and lifestyles, Chad advices pro athletes to focus on building their name because that is where true value comes from.


‘If you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can purchase, there’s your value. Everybody is caught up in image and looking a certain way and being rich. It’s me. It’s pointless.’


There are numerous cautionary tales of pro athletes who earned millions throughout their careers and ended up losing a lot, if not all, of their earnings on wrong financial moves and unsustainable lifestyles. For most of them, it is easy to assume that the good times will keep rolling while on that payroll.

You may know someone or a few people on social groups who live their lives for the world to see. While they may seem cool and financially rich on the surface, the need for expensive material things and gaining validation from the public may stem from insecurity.

While many reasons lead people to spend money on expensive things and lifestyles, insecurity is one of the strongest influences on these behavioral patterns. Being flashy may come from a deep-rooted need for approval and feeling important. They feel the need to remind their followers and the public that they are important.

Being flashy can also come from a deep need to be accepted. People feel that the only way others will see and accept their value is by showing off what they have.

Showing off is the mind’s attempt to improve the image you have of yourself. People only try to improve their image if they think something is wrong with them. People who truly understand their value do not need to prove it to others. Their uniqueness will shine through without the need to show off.

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