Save and Invest

Gold medalist Simone Biles hates spending money because she has 'a fear of going broke'

Gold medalist Simone Biles
Alex Livesey | Getty Images

Olympian Simone Biles started earning prize money at a young age. The gymnast took home her first big check when she was around 12 years old, she recalls on a recent episode of "Kneading Dough" with Maverick Carter.

But the accomplished 22-year-old doesn't take her success, or the money she's earned from it, for granted. Biles, who was named the most dominant athlete of 2018, nonetheless says, "I have a fear of going broke."

It keeps her frugal. She even challenges herself to go days without spending any money, she tells Carter: "And then, of course, my gas light come on so I have to go get gas." But besides the necessities, as well as the occasional trip to Subway, she says, "I never really swipe the [credit] card."

Though she has endorsement deals with major companies like Nike, Kellogg's and Hershey's, she says that there is one time when she'll spend big: "I will only splurge if I earned it." And she's certainly had plenty of moments to celebrate: She has five Olympic medals and recently became the first U.S. gymnast to medal at every event at a world championship.

Biles already has a reward in mind for her next major accomplishment: "A G-wagon. Matte black. Red interior," she tells Carter.

I will only splurge if I earned it.
Simone Biles
five-time Olympic medalist

Olympian Adam Rippon has a similar money philosophy. The figure skater, who used to be so broke he resorted to swiping apples from his gym to save money, tells CNBC Make It that he is frugal about most things, but he still believes in splurging once in a while.

"I think that it's important to spend money on yourself," says Rippon, who dropped $6,300 on a gold Cartier Love Bracelet as motivation to do well at the 2018 winter games. And, apparently, it helped: He brought home his first Olympic medal, a bronze in the team event.

For him, finances are about balancing responsibility with reward: "You should be saving money, you should be doing everything you can to plan for the future, but I think that it's important to celebrate what you have now."

"If you have the money saved up and you're not doing something crazy, then you should go out and you should do that," Rippon says. "That's what making money is for."

Don't miss: Before the Olympics, Adam Rippon was broke and living in his coach's basement

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

VIDEO2:1802:18
The 3 biohacks Tony Robbins uses to reach superhuman energy levels
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM