Adam Rippon: Beautiful On The Outside, Fabulously Frugal On The Inside

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 3
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If you watched any of the 2018 Winter Olympics, you probably saw coverage of the hilarious Adam Rippon. Since then, you may have seen him on NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace” or reporting for ABC’s “Nightline” or “Good Morning America.” What you may not have known is that he has now added author to his resume with his memoir: “Beautiful on the Outside.” 



With a “Dancing With the Stars” win and an Olympic medal under his belt, you know Adam Rippon is fabulous. Yes, he is also beautiful on the outside, especially when he is showing off his spray tan and post-Crest-white-strips teeth during a skating routine. What you may not know, if you aren’t a fabulous financial planner like myself, is that Adam is Fabulously Frugal on the Inside. Ok, maybe he was just broke and forced to stretch every penny he could find. 

He is smart. He loves Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is available at Target and comes with a twist top. He drank it with his In-N-Out burgers while consoling himself during the 2014 Winter Olympics, back when he did not qualify to participate. 

Skating is expensive, even the richest among us would find the rigors of skating breaking our budgets. Rhinestones don’t magically appear on outfits. Skate time isn’t free. Coaches, choreographers, physical therapy, oh my. Not to mention the travel, at the top levels of figure skating, you are competing around the world. 

In his memoir, Rippon shares a story about becoming a financial grownup. His coach made Adam start paying for his own coaching, which also translated into paying for his own living expenses. Until that point, his mother had managed to cover most, if not all, of his skating expenses. To not starve, Adam resorted to working out a lot at a gym that gave away free apples. That was about all he ate. I know an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, but only eating apples is not great for top performance as an elite athlete. 

You may be wondering what is so fabulous about being frugal? If Adam Rippon had not gotten his act together financially, he probably would have gone broke (errrr) well before he was able to make it to the Olympics. Then he wouldn’t have been the first openly gay male to qualify for the Winter Olympics. He wouldn’t have been on “Dancing With the Stars,” and well, I wouldn’t have read his book. More likely, he wouldn’t have even written a book, so you could say Adam Rippon is even more fabulous because he was frugal. 




Side Note, Gus Kenworthy later qualified as another out athlete to represent the US. He competed and won Gold in 2014, but was not yet out. 

Rippon scrimped, saved, and worked his butt off to get to the Olympics at the ripe old age of 137 in skater years, 28 if you look at a calendar. However, he didn’t go into how much debt he may have rung up while following his dreams. In his defense, many other 28-year-olds are drowning under copious amounts of credit card debt and student loans, and well, they didn’t even get an Olympic medal.


 I don’t think I mentioned it before, but Adam Rippon could be the most famous bronze medalist from the Winter Olympics, ever. Can you name who won the gold for men’s figure skating? I couldn’t either, so I googled it, and the same guy won in 2014 and 2018. I still don’t know his name, but I can tell you that he hasn’t written a book for sale on Amazon. However, there is a Yuzuru Hanyu desk calendar that you can buy. Oh yeah, that guy won back-to-back gold medals, and all he got was a desk calendar. 

Adam Rippon donated his Olympic costume to the Smithsonian; I wonder if he got a nice tax deduction for that one. He hopefully has to worry about taxes now that he has moved on from traveling by Greyhound bus. I’m saying, I hope he is no longer fabulously broke and just living fabulously. I am a financial planner, so of course, I hope he is making smart financial choices along the way. 

If you want to learn how to stretch some pennies and become a champion figure skater, give “Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir” by Adam Rippon a read. It’s a fun read and one I couldn’t put down. 

Hopefully, Adam Rippon will have a little more money to play with now that he is retired from competitive figure skating. On a related note, I recently saw Tara Lipinski, a female Olympic gold medalist figure skater at the Four Seasons Resort in Bali. Weirdly, I can name more female than male figure skaters, and I’m not just talking about Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. 

Adam Rippon was definitely “America’s Sweetheart” at the 2018 Olympics, in my opinion. He is the ultimate example of investing in yourself, even if you have little-to-no money to invest. 


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If you watched any of the 2018 Winter Olympics, you probably saw coverage of the hilarious Adam Rippon. Since then, you may have seen him on NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace” or reporting for ABC’s “Nightline” or “Good Morning America.” What you may not have known is that he has now added author to his resume with his memoir: “Beautiful on the Outside.” 



With a “Dancing With the Stars” win and an Olympic medal under his belt, you know Adam Rippon is fabulous. Yes, he is also beautiful on the outside, especially when he is showing off his spray tan and post-Crest-white-strips teeth during a skating routine. What you may not know, if you aren’t a fabulous financial planner like myself, is that Adam is Fabulously Frugal on the Inside. Ok, maybe he was just broke and forced to stretch every penny he could find. 

He is smart. He loves Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is available at Target and comes with a twist top. He drank it with his In-N-Out burgers while consoling himself during the 2014 Winter Olympics, back when he did not qualify to participate. 

Skating is expensive, even the richest among us would find the rigors of skating breaking our budgets. Rhinestones don’t magically appear on outfits. Skate time isn’t free. Coaches, choreographers, physical therapy, oh my. Not to mention the travel, at the top levels of figure skating, you are competing around the world. 

In his memoir, Rippon shares a story about becoming a financial grownup. His coach made Adam start paying for his own coaching, which also translated into paying for his own living expenses. Until that point, his mother had managed to cover most, if not all, of his skating expenses. To not starve, Adam resorted to working out a lot at a gym that gave away free apples. That was about all he ate. I know an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, but only eating apples is not great for top performance as an elite athlete. 

You may be wondering what is so fabulous about being frugal? If Adam Rippon had not gotten his act together financially, he probably would have gone broke (errrr) well before he was able to make it to the Olympics. Then he wouldn’t have been the first openly gay male to qualify for the Winter Olympics. He wouldn’t have been on “Dancing With the Stars,” and well, I wouldn’t have read his book. More likely, he wouldn’t have even written a book, so you could say Adam Rippon is even more fabulous because he was frugal. 




Side Note, Gus Kenworthy later qualified as another out athlete to represent the US. He competed and won Gold in 2014, but was not yet out. 

Rippon scrimped, saved, and worked his butt off to get to the Olympics at the ripe old age of 137 in skater years, 28 if you look at a calendar. However, he didn’t go into how much debt he may have rung up while following his dreams. In his defense, many other 28-year-olds are drowning under copious amounts of credit card debt and student loans, and well, they didn’t even get an Olympic medal.


 I don’t think I mentioned it before, but Adam Rippon could be the most famous bronze medalist from the Winter Olympics, ever. Can you name who won the gold for men’s figure skating? I couldn’t either, so I googled it, and the same guy won in 2014 and 2018. I still don’t know his name, but I can tell you that he hasn’t written a book for sale on Amazon. However, there is a Yuzuru Hanyu desk calendar that you can buy. Oh yeah, that guy won back-to-back gold medals, and all he got was a desk calendar. 

Adam Rippon donated his Olympic costume to the Smithsonian; I wonder if he got a nice tax deduction for that one. He hopefully has to worry about taxes now that he has moved on from traveling by Greyhound bus. I’m saying, I hope he is no longer fabulously broke and just living fabulously. I am a financial planner, so of course, I hope he is making smart financial choices along the way. 

If you want to learn how to stretch some pennies and become a champion figure skater, give “Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir” by Adam Rippon a read. It’s a fun read and one I couldn’t put down. 

Hopefully, Adam Rippon will have a little more money to play with now that he is retired from competitive figure skating. On a related note, I recently saw Tara Lipinski, a female Olympic gold medalist figure skater at the Four Seasons Resort in Bali. Weirdly, I can name more female than male figure skaters, and I’m not just talking about Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. 

Adam Rippon was definitely “America’s Sweetheart” at the 2018 Olympics, in my opinion. He is the ultimate example of investing in yourself, even if you have little-to-no money to invest. 


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David Rae a Certified Financial Planner™ and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® helping people make smarter financial decisions since 2003. Investopedia has named David

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