Sterling is currently in career best form ahead of today's derby at Manchester United.
The England international admits joining Liverpool from QPR and the club's culture taught him to be humble.
"I realised that is the society we are in. People judge you straight away.
"Going to Liverpool helped a lot. Certain things like white cars when you're 17 is not a good look. I made sure I didn't get a white car as well. I'm not the sort of person that wants to be in someone's face.
"I literally just tried to play football. I'm not trying to be blingy. It was never about having the nice car to drive. My first objective when I became a professional was to buy myself a house, my mum a house and a house in Jamaica [where he was born]."
Sterling once refused the chance of being driven to a Liverpool Under-18s game because he wanted to travel by bus, having failed to score in his previous game. He wanted to rediscover that feeling of suffering he had had as an even younger player at QPR, when it took a journey by bus and train to make it to the matches.
"That was part of my mentality. If you don't score, what happens? You sulk on the bus the whole way back," he says. "I knew if I didn't score, I would have that hour-and-a-half trip back to feel moody, but if you get a goal, you're going to be happy."