How does Maria Sharapova earn and spend her money?

Before earning millions of dollars from tennis, she and her family had virtually nothing.

At the age of 6, Maria Sharapova moved from Russia to the United States with her father, with only $700, to pursue a tennis career. While Sharapova trained daily at an academy in Florida, her father worked various low-income jobs to cover rent, necessities, and education. They slept on a sofa in a small apartment belonging to a middle-aged Russian woman.

Vận động viên tennis Nga - Maria Sharapova. Ảnh: CNBC

In her book “Unstoppable,” Sharapova reveals, “We paid $250 a month for the use of a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and television. The TV was crucial. It helped me learn English.”

These sacrifices paid off. Ten years after moving to the United States, at the age of 17, Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004, earning £560,500 in prize money. To date, the 32-year-old athlete has earned over $38 million in prize money throughout her career and has been the world’s highest-earning female athlete for 11 consecutive years.

In an interview with CNBC, she mentioned that her upbringing in financial hardship significantly influenced her spending habits later on. Despite success on the court, she plans as though her tennis career could end tomorrow. This mindset partly led her to launch the candy brand Sugarpova in 2012. “When you’re young and successful, everything seems rosy and on track, and you can think it’s going to last for years,” Sharapova said. “But be realistic about what can happen, like injury, people leaving companies, or new competitors emerging.”

She also realized that “money doesn’t bring happiness as people on the outside think it does. Sure, it can help you buy more material things. But they’re just temporary.”

On CNBC, Sharapova shared insights into her money-making and spending:

  • What was her first memory related to money?

When my mother gave me a stuffed bunny for New Year’s and told me not to let Dad know because it cost a lot more money than my dad wanted to spend on gifts.

  • Who taught her about money?

Probably my parents. They had a huge influence on all my decisions from a very young age. I think that’s a really great thing.

  • How much was her first allowance?

Probably no more than $5 or $6 a week.

  • What was her first job?

A tennis player.

  • What kind of car was her first, and how much did it cost?

I didn’t have a car until I had my first car sponsorship deal. But my family’s first car was a fairly old Honda. I still remember the feeling of pressing the button to control the car window, like “Wow. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

  • What would she never spend money on?

I don’t like yachts. Many people, when they have money, want to spend it on yachts in the summer. I’d rather stay on the ground.

  • What’s the cheapest thing that makes her happy?

Laughter, hugs. They’re all free.

  • What is money?

Just something temporary.

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