Personal Finance and Lance Armstrong: What You Can Learn from Lance’s Fall from Grace

Lance Armstrong A few months ago, mentioning the name ‘Lance Armstrong’ invoked the following thoughts: strong, courageous, survivor; role model.

These days? The name might as well be synonymous with liar and cheat.

When faced with such outrageous news of a national hero’s veritable fall from grace, it’s only natural to feel some sort of betrayal; especially if you are an endurance athlete or cancer survivor.

But rather than harp on Lance Armstrong’s apparent shortcomings, why not learn from his mistakes?

For a man who has amassed a fortune from multi-million-dollar endorsement deals and six-figure event/speech appearances, Lance’s current situation illustrates that he can actually offer the average person a wealth of personal finance tips and advice.

Understand Your Limits

There clearly is a time when enough is enough. Whether it’s overspending, not paying your bills or simply (temporarily) resolving yourself to a lifetime of financial apathy when faced with a money-related challenge, there comes a time when you need to cut your losses and get yourself on a better path.

Clearly, Lance’s lies have caught up with him. What he chooses to do in the coming months could be anyone’s best guess, but it’s a great reminder that you need to gain control of the situation you’re in before the situation completely ruins you and the people/things you love most.

Get Your Head Out of the Sand

Any time there is foul play or bad behavior involved, there’s also a hefty dose of denial involved. Don’t follow Lance’s lead–do yourself a favor and face those debt balances, track your spending and/or set yourself a budget (and adhere to it!). There’s no amount of ego that can save your credit score or overdrawn bank account from entering the throes of despair after you make terrible financial decisions time and time again.

Get Over Yourself

This is probably one of the hardest financial pills to swallow: If you’re in serious debt or are living beyond your means, you have nothing to prove to anyone; you’re not winning at anything other than setting yourself up for future failure. No matter if you’ll do anything to “win,” you’ll be stuck in a maelstrom of mess if you continue to make the same financial mistakes over and over.

What you need to do is eat a gigantic piece of humble pie and realize that keeping up with the Jones’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just as Lance Armstrong’s endorsement deals, a fat bank account can disappear in an instant if you’re not careful. Being full of yourself to the point of arrogance with decision making is a sure-fire way to destroy your chances at a stable, sufficient financial future.

Think Creatively

Despite the drama surrounding Lance, he’ll continue to live a comfortable lifestyle that most low and middle-class Americans can only dream of.


Because he’s savvy in his ability to parlay his life experiences into sources of capital. While we’ve already heard how J.J. Abrams snapped up the rights to a film about Lance Armstrong, it’s only a matter of time before Lance begins to rake in money for speaking appearances, book deals, etc.

So whether you’re looking to cut back on your expenses or find a way to bring in extra income, there’s one page from Lance’s story you can steal without guilt: Be creative. Pursue options that are unique, applicable and enjoyable for your situation.

After all, you never know when a current opportunity may turn out to be the key to your future success.


What else can we learn from Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace?


Photo credit:DonkeyHotey


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Freelancer; reformed spendaholic; risk taker; adventure seeker; world traveler; rose smeller; debt destroyer. My mission is to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time.


Personal Finance and Lance Armstrong: What You Can Learn from Lance’s Fall from Grace20

  1. I really think the media is over hyping this situation. He lied, cheated, ummm guess what every body knew.
    He just saw an opportunity to make more money. I love how he said he doesn't know how he's going to get income moving forward without his endorsements. He has businesses, isn't that income?

  2. While I agree with SVL, I also know that he's going to get sued by many, many people and organizations and will lose or settle. He'll probably have to declare bankruptcy to protect himself from many of them. It's going to be a financial nightmare.

    I had some clients that needed to hear this message. They were so, so into themselves that they didn't like what I had to say: they were going to have to change their lifestyle or they wouldn't make it. In fact, I was fired on a few occasions because they couldn't believe that they were wrong. Shoot the messenger takes care of the issue, right?
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  3. Ah, Lance Armstrong… It really does not bother me that he lied & cheated, I think most of us assumed it. The problem I have is the way he went about keeping it silent by suing people, trying to buy others off, etc. I would say that might be similar to allowing excuses to dictate your actions and not owning up to them.

  4. I do not see where Lance Armstrong made mistakes. He made lots of money while he continued to insist that he was clean. By waiting so long to come forward, he is now the most well known liar in the world, and as you say he will continue rake in money for this reason. Look at his previous team mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. They are not in the same position as Lance, because they could not keep the lie going for as long as he did.
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  5. The lesson I learn…don't follow the crowd. I'm sure Lance justified his drug use by saying "Everyone else is doing it. I've got to keep up." That mindset did help him win, but as we have seen in the end, brought him great public humiliation.

  6. Man he would have gone on living forever with his lies and his money if he hadn't been outed. I think the biggest lesson I see is that no amount of money is worth living lies and being a jerk by hurting other people along your climb to the top. I'd rather be middle class comfortable and well-liked and a good, honest person than an arrogant asshole who is rich. Also, his mess discredits an amazing organization like livestrong which is still going and has helped inspire so many people with cancer. It's a good thing the organization has disassociated themselves with him. I drank the kool-aid too. I rode in his Austin even Ride for the Roses.
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  7. Very good tips. I hadn't thought of things that way but you are so right.

    I am not actually that upset about the Lance thing. There are so many others like him. In fact I still respect him more than other rich people. He at least started a charity and put his money to good. Others just spend it on toys.
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