Five personal finance lessons from cricketer Chris Cairns - Kalkine Media

February 20, 2022 12:07 AM AEDT | By Daniel Paul Johns
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Highlights

  • Cairns is one the most talented all-rounders to have ever played cricket. He represented New Zealand in 62 Tests and 215 ODIs.
  • The biggest habit that will help you achieve long-term financial success is financial planning.
  • If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught many people, it’s how important it is to have money stashed away should things suddenly go belly up.

Six months after undergoing emergency surgery for aortic dissection, which culminated in a spinal stroke, Cairns received the terrible news that he’d been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Cairns is one of the most talented all-rounders to have ever played cricket. He represented New Zealand in 62 Tests and 215 ODIs. He scored 3,320 runs, took 218 wickets, and batted at an average of 33.53 in Test matches. In ODIs, he scored 4,950 runs and took 201 wickets.

His life since retirement in 2006 has been a series of highs and devastating lows. In 2012, Cairns successfully sued former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi for libel after Modi insinuated that Cairns had been involved in match-fixing. Cairns was awarded GBP1.4 million.

Following that case, Cairns was once again back in the headlines after former teammate, Brendan McCallum, told the ICC that Cairns had enticed him to spot-fixing. Spot-fixing is where players manipulate small aspects of a game but not necessarily the outcome. For example, a player might be paid by a bookmaker to bowl a no-ball at a particular time. The practice is illegal and considered a very serious transgression.

After being acquitted in that case, Cairns hit troubled times and had to do everything he could just to support his family. In 2015, it was reported that the New Zealand legend was cleaning bus shelters and driving trucks for just AU$17 per hour.

In 2019, Cairns bounced back after he was appointed chief executive of a virtual sports company called SmartSportz. The company works to create a realistic virtual crowd, using CGI technology, to build a sporting world similar to that is used in games such as Fortnite.

It’s indeed been a tough road for Cairns who is now fighting the biggest battle of his life.

What financial lessons can we take away from Cairns’ own struggles?

Plan Ahead

The biggest habit that will help you achieve long-term financial success is financial planning. Set out your income, liabilities and goals and figure out a plan where you can be financially comfortable in your retirement.

Even when you acquire a sudden windfall of cash, the temptation is to go out and buy that fast car or flashy watch. But be aware that money could potentially be the difference between a happy and not-so-happy retirement.

Save For a Rainy Day 

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught many people, it’s how important it is to have money stashed away should things suddenly go belly up. Life is unpredictable and what feels like a secure lifestyle can suddenly be turned on its head and you may need money to support you while you can’t work.

The recommended formula isn’t too extreme either. The recommendation is that you put 10% of your income away. As the financial experts say, “pay yourself first”.

Invest, invest, invest 

After you’ve put 10% of your earnings away in your piggy bank, you’ll want to take another 10% of your income and invest it.

Obviously, there are several options here. Safer options are safe but less lucrative. That being said, a good option might be to organise with your employer to allocate extra income towards your superannuation. Over a number of years, decades even, this can make a huge difference in your retirement nest egg.

Bottom Line

Financial responsibility isn’t the easiest thing to learn, which is why a majority of people don’t do it. However, learning to manage money can be the difference between a life of misery and a life of freedom. Where to start? Take these three lessons and get started on your path to financial happiness.


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