Serena Williams has never worried too much about money, not only because she is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world but because her parents taught her the value of saving, rather than spending.
“I’ve actually never played for money — I just thought you would go out there and hold a trophy,” Williams told sports business manager Maverick Carter on the personal finance video series “Kneading Dough.” “Not once did I think about a check.”
When she got her first paycheck for $1 million, she didn’t take a photo for a keepsake or immediately start to spend it but instead simply took it to the bank to deposit it and then move on.
“I never touched [the money] — just put it in the bank,” she recalled. “And I remember I went through the drive-thru to deposit my check, and then they were like, ‘I think you need to come in for this,’ and so I ended up going inside, so I was like … ‘Just put it in my account!’”
She said that her parents had instilled in her this sense of how to deal with money from a young age.
“I never ever ever felt broke,” she told Carter. “Looking back, I’m like, ‘Wow, we lived in a two-bedroom house with seven people’ … I don’t know how my parents were able to make me feel that way, but they did, and that was something really special. So I never felt when I came into money that I needed to go buy this [or that] because I never wanted anything, so it was a great way [to grow up].”