22-year-old Olympic skateboarder owns 3 homes but still pays $2,000 a month to rent an apartment—here’s why

Wealth

Jagger Eaton is already an Olympic bronze medal winner, two-time world champion and five-time X Games medalist, and the 22-year-old pro skateboarder is also on his way to building his own financial foundation.

Eaton tells CNBC Make It that his No. 1 savings goal at the moment is to buy more income property. “It’s not necessarily a hobby; it’s more like a business for me,” Eaton says. The Mesa, Arizona, native bought three properties in the area this year and hopes to own more in the future. “I buy homes, put about $5,000 or $6,000 into them, and then long-term rent them,” he says.

The young homeowner doesn’t live in any of the properties though; instead, he spends about $2,000 a month to rent an apartment in California. “So I basically have passive income from these other homes paying for my rent in Cali,” he says.

Eaton sees the move as a way to provide a better financial future for himself: “As an athlete, you gain a good amount of money at a young age, and you never really think about creating income somewhere else,” he says.

It’s an important lesson he’s learned over the years, growing up in a family that was “always struggling a little bit financially,” Eaton adds. “Once you’ve been broke, you don’t want to feel that again …. You want to create some sort of financial wealth, some sort of passive income that’s outside of your physical ability, like real estate. And I’m just stoked to be where I’m at now.”

Despite his high risk tolerance, Eaton says he learned early on to also save through more traditional means. He remembers receiving his first big paycheck for $15,000 through a deal with Monster Cable and putting it into his Charles Schwab retirement savings account.

That doesn’t mean he hasn’t made a few regrettable purchases in his years.

“I bought a Tesla for $75,000 and drove it for four months,” Eaton says. “After four months, I got sick of charging it and I got a truck, which is where I belong.”

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.

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Check out: How Nyjah Huston, one of the world’s highest-paid pro skateboarders, spends his money

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