Nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. 34% have no savings at all.
"The Money Wizard," who goes by the pen name Sean and asks to remain anonymous, is not the average American: the Minneapolis-based 26-year-old already has $150,000 in the bank.
Thanks in part to the fact that he doesn't have student loans to pay, he's able to set aside more than 60% of his $70,000 salary. With this savings rate, he expects to have at least $750,000 in the bank by 37, at which point he'll be able to retire comfortably.
CNBC asked Sean, who lives on less than $25,000 a year, for his top money saving tip. His answer? "Question the things you're spending your money on."
"Question whether or not they're going to actually bring you happiness," he says. "Is a car that costs $30,000 really going to make you that much happier than a car that costs $20,000? Or would you be happier saving that money so you can one day be financially free?"
Thinking through your purchases will keep your spending in check and help you refrain from shelling out more than you should to "keep up with the Joneses," or over-paying for high-status items because your friends do.
"What makes you happy is not decided by your friends, your neighbors, or the commercials on TV," Sean writes on his blog.
"Just because your friends enjoy spending lavishly on clothes, doesn't mean that's for you. ... Don't waste money on things that aren't important to you."