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Apple TV's Lloyd Sam talks money — from a $50 dare to when he won’t pay extra

Part of: Money Clips featuring Charlotte FC

Welcome to “Money Clips with Ally,” where we chat with interesting people about all things money -- from their guilty pleasure spend and what they’d do with $50, to financial lessons learned throughout their lives.

Kicking off the series is Apple TV’s Lloyd Sam. As an MLS commentator, Sam is well known by Charlotte FC fans for his charisma and expert analysis when it comes to breaking down the nuances of the game. Sam dazzled at the professional level in England and the United States for almost two decades before moving into the broadcaster’s booth, where he’s covered MLS, United Soccer League and World Cup matches. 

Join us as Sam shares his unique perspective on his financial and personal journey.

What was your first kit?

My parents would have gotten me my first Arsenal kit. I remember my brother got legend Ian Wright on his back, but I went for my own name, funny enough, I went for Sam. I think already in my mind I was like “I’m going to make it. I’m going to be my own guy.”

Sam and his brother as young children in their first kits

Sam and his brother as young children in their first kits

But I think I’m going to purchase the David Beckham AC Milan jersey. He was there for such a short time I feel like that’d be a good one to get.

What’s the first thing you remember saving for?

I would say a house. In London I bought a few houses while I was there. But I didn’t know I was saving for a house initially, I’ll be honest. For the longest time I wasn’t saving for anything in particular, I just liked the numbers I was getting to.

But then I carried on buying houses after that. I would move to another team, buy another house, move again. So I accidentally on purpose got into real estate development, but I like that I did it that way.

What’s the next thing you’re saving for?

I kind of went away from cars for a little bit. I used to like cars a lot when I was in England. I like the Range Rover Velar, the charcoal one with the black wheels. I see myself getting that.

If you found $50 bucks on the sidewalk, what would you do with it?

Fifty can’t get you what it used to, but in saying that, when I was at New York Red Bulls, they [my teammates] dared me to lick a pole on the subway for $50…

And I did it.

And I got the $50 and I don’t remember what I ever did with it. Honestly, once I got the $50 I just put it in with the rest and it gets carried away after that.

Sam celebrating during his playing days with the New York Red Bulls

Sam celebrating during his playing days with the New York Red Bulls

Big or small, what’s something you’ll always pay extra for?

I’m thinking about something I’ll never pay extra for, funny enough. I’ll never pay extra for first class. Let’s say first is $1800 and the regular is $600, I’m paying $600 and blowing the rest when I get there. That’s one of those things where it’s a luxury, but I’ll use it in another way.

How were you taught about money growing up?

My parents taught me all about value. I was taught to never go too far over your means and keep value in mind. My dad was an accountant, and he was in the military back in the day, and I think I absorbed a lot of my mom’s and dad’s habits. They would ultimately splurge, but now I’m teaching them a bit about luxury. It’s about finding balance. But to be clear – you have to have the money first!

Sam and three family members seated at a restaurant table for dinner

Sam and three family members seated at a restaurant table for dinner

What advice would you give your younger self?

Work hard, play hard – but work hard first. Looking back, I like how I’ve done it. I started with the value mindset from my parents, and that allowed me to save a lot even without saving for anything in particular. I would do it the same way again. Take the value aspect first because once that’s in you, it’s in you, then bring the “luxury” attitude later on.

What’s something in your wallet that’s not money?

I wish I had a fun answer for you, but business cards and my ID. I keep a card holder now; the old-school wallets are too big in the back pocket in my opinion.

What’s your guilty pleasure spend?

It’s got to be clothes. There’s certain things I’ve decided now that are non-negotiable when weighing money and value, clothes is one of those things. Once upon a time when I was in Miami, my answer would have also been food.

Also, anything my mom wants. We’ll splurge on that.

What’s your tip for financial success?

It starts with working hard for what you want. Go after your passions and make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. Honestly, I’m blessed, and I encourage people to chase passions.

Sam on BoA field taking in the view of the stadium on a sunny day

Sam taking in the view of the pitch

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