Suze Orman Says Building Wealth Is 'Addictive.' Here's Why That's a Good Thing

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  • Many Americans today aren't equipped to handle a surprise $400 expense.
  • The sooner you get into the habit of saving money, the more likely you are to keep doing it.

It's good to be addicted to positive habits.

Workers today are deep in the throes of a personal savings crisis. And it has financial expert Suze Orman very worried.

A recent survey by SecureSave (a company Orman co-founded) found that 67% of Americans don't have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense. And so it's easy to see why Orman thinks consumers need to focus on boosting their savings.

Now, getting over that initial hurdle and actually starting to save money may be challenging. But once you get into the flow of saving money consistently, you may find that habit is a hard one to break. And that's actually a really good thing.

It pays to get addicted to saving money

There are certain things in life that may seem daunting until you actually go out and do them. Take driving, for example.

Some people are terrified at the thought of having to operate a vehicle on a busy road. Then they start taking lessons, get a little practice, and realize how convenient it is to be able to travel by car.

The same holds true when it comes to saving money. You might think the idea of freeing up cash for your savings is overwhelming. But once you save your first $100, you may be even more motivated to save your next $100, and another $100 after that. Before you know it, you could be well on your way to building up a solid emergency fund. That, in turn, could make it less likely you'll need to rack up credit card debt the next time an unplanned bill lands in your lap.

As Orman herself puts it, "People get addicted to watching their money grow." So really, if you want to build savings and wealth, the key is to just plain start.

You don't even have to start with a lot of money. If you can only afford to save $15 this month, do it. And then, if it's possible, push yourself to save $20 the next month, and $25 the month after that. Any amount of savings you have is better than nothing, and once you get into the habit of socking money away, you're likely to uphold it.

Automation could be the key to success

If you tell yourself that you'll do your best to save some money by the end of the month, what might inevitably happen is that you run out of funds and fall short of that goal. So if you're serious about starting to build savings, make the process automatic.

Arrange for a small amount of money to leave your checking account and land in your savings at the start of each month so it disappears before you get a chance to spend it. If you're able to increase that sum over time, even better.

Automating your savings could make it easier to actually stick to your goals. And once you start seeing results, like a growing bank account balance, you may be even more motivated to keep setting money aside for your own financial protection.

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