This Weird Tip From Suze Orman Can Help You Avoid Raiding Your Emergency Savings

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KEY POINTS

  • Having an emergency fund is important to be prepared for unexpected expenses, and ideally, you don't want to access money from your emergency fund unless you really need it.
  • Suze Orman has a tip to make sure you don't raid your account for unnecessary spending.
  • Try renaming your emergency fund to remind yourself what it's there for.


It's surprising, but it may actually work. 

Having emergency savings is important so you can avoid reaching for the credit cards or otherwise ending up in debt when any type of surprise costs come up. An emergency fund can also save you from major disasters, such as foreclosure or repossession of your vehicle, by ensuring you have funds to cover the bills if you can't work due to a job loss or medical or family issue.

Finance expert Suze Orman recommends having money saved for emergencies. Specifically, she suggests you should have enough set aside to cover eight months’ worth of living expenses. And she has a unique tip that can help prevent you from accessing this money when you don't really need it. Here's what she suggests.

Could this Suze Orman tip convince you to only use your emergency fund in a true emergency?

While it may be tempting to spend from your emergency fund when you want something you can't pay for, even if it's not a true emergency expense, Orman suggests doing a simple thing to prevent yourself from making this mistake. 

"If you have online access to your account, chances are you can name your different accounts," Orman said. "Be sure to give your savings account a very specific name: My Emergency Fund. Or: My Safety Net." 

Naming your account may not seem like it would do much, but Orman believes it can actually have a big impact. 

"Trust me, every time you log on and see the account name it will serve two purposes: it should make you feel so great to know you are building security, and by reminding yourself of your goal you will be less likely to raid the account for a non-essential expense," Orman said. 

Should you follow Orman's advice? 

If your bank allows this feature, naming your account takes just a few seconds -- and it shouldn't cost any money to do this step. There's no real downside to actually giving your account a name like "Emergency Savings," and there's a definite upside.

Managing money isn't just about looking at the numbers -- it's about setting your mindset so you're willing to make smart decisions today that will benefit you tomorrow. So while it might be tempting to tap into the funds in your emergency account if there's something you want to buy, seeing the name of this account and reminding yourself that the funds are there to protect you from a rainy day could just be enough to change your behavior. 

There are also other ways you can make it less likely you'll spend the money in emergency savings. You can separate the account from your bank account entirely so you don't see the balance in your emergency savings every day. And you can specifically choose a savings account that makes it a little inconvenient to get your money out so you really have to think through whether a withdrawal is worth it.

By setting up psychological barriers to deter you from raiding your emergency fund -- including giving the account a special name -- you may convince yourself to make the smart decision and leave the funds alone until they're really needed. 

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