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Williams is now a successful investor

Williams might not have given money much thought in the early days of her career, but she’s since sharpened her business acumen through her successful sponsorships and investments.

After her retirement, she began dedicating more time toward her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, and supporting early-stage business founders who are women and people of color.

“I learned early on that your paycheck from tennis — maybe that’s why I forgot them — should be your smallest earning,” she said in another interview on Bloomberg’s “The Deal” podcast April 30.

Even if you’re not a pro athlete raking in millions of dollars, there are some crucial steps to keep in mind as you get paid.

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1. Review your income and expenses

No matter how much money you make, it can be helpful to sit down regularly to review your income and expenses. You can record how much cash is coming in — and how much is going out.

Consider creating a budget that includes your usual costs, like groceries and rent, while factoring in some space for entertainment or going out and leaving room to achieve for your financial goals.

This could include working to pay off any major debts, including student loans or credit card debt, or saving for a big future expense, such as homeownership or a vehicle.

2. Save for emergencies

It never hurts to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, so when you receive your next paycheck, try to set aside some funds in a savings account.

Experts typically recommend having at least six months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. If you’ve already reviewed your monthly expenses, you probably have a good idea of how much you’ll need to build up your cushion.

This can help protect you from any potential financial headwinds, such as a loss in income or an unexpected and costly medical emergency.

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3. Invest for your future

Consider how to set yourself up for the future at a time when you might be fully retired or are working part-time.

You can start stashing funds in an investment vehicle designed to maximize your savings, whether that’s a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA or a 401(k)](https://moneywise.com/retirement/401k) plan. The earlier you start investing, the more you can benefit from compound interest and boost your earnings, so you’re not solely relying on your employment income for your savings.

It might also be helpful to chat with a financial adviser who can assess your income and expenses and help you meet your financial goals.

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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.