The secret to saving, by Suze Orman

May 21, 2021

By Suze Orman

The secret to saving, by Suze Orman

As we approach warmer weather, and after the year we just had, we all deserve a whole lot of happiness and fun.

But please don’t lose sight of what else you deserve:

  • You deserve less financial worry.
  • You deserve more confidence when it comes to your money.
  • And you deserve financial peace of mind which comes from creating a solid financial foundation – which starts with building your 12-month savings fund to be used for emergencies.

But you may be thinking how do I do that? Well, let me tell you it’s actually easier than you may think.

All you have to do is understand these three secrets to savings.  

1. Live below your means, but within your needs.

2.  Purchase only needs versus wants.

3. Get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending.

So to activate the secret to saving I encourage you to participate in my 21-day saver's challenge.

It’s simple, here’s all you have to do. For the next 21 days, before you buy anything do this:  

Stop + Ask Yourself: Is this a NEED, or is this a want?

Obviously, if it is really a need (like groceries, medicine or gasoline to get to work) you have to buy it.

However, if it is a want (like taking a friend out to dinner), you are to just simply STOP and not do it.

Next, keep track of how much you were going to spend but chose not to. You will see after 21 days by not spending on WANTS you actually saved hundreds of dollars or more.

Why 21 days?

Because it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and replace it with a good one.

Hopefully, after 21 days you will find that asking yourself “Is it a need or a want?” becomes part of your everyday life. And that is when you truly will get more pleasure out of saving than spending.

In my own life, I still do this.

Recently I thought it was time after ten years to get a new car. So I went and picked out the car I wanted. So pretty, so new, so perfect, and I obviously could easily afford it. However, as I stood and looked at the new car I asked myself, “Is this a need or a want?”. Yes, I still do this every time I go to buy something.

When I thought about it, the truth is, I love my car. It only has 42,000 miles on it and runs perfectly. So a new car was obviously for me a want. And given that I still get more pleasure out of saving than I do spending, this time I got in my car and drove happily home.

If you do this 21-day challenge, I promise you it will be far easier than you think. And it will hopefully start you on the path to building a secure financial future.

Remember the goal of money is to be SECURE.

And now you know my secret to saving.


Looking for more tips on how to curb spending this month? Check out these other blog posts:


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Suze Orman is the author of 10 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, a two-time Emmy award winner, and your go-to for honest answers on everything finance. She is the most recognized personal finance expert in America today and host of the Women & Money (and Everyone Smart Enough to Listen) podcast. Suze is excited to be a contributor for Money Mentor.

Suze and Alliant teamed up to help Alliant members make the most of their life by teaching them to make the most of their money. New Alliant members are also eligible for The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account.

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