Shaquille O'Neal recommends you save money from every paycheck, no matter how much (2024)

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Shaquille O'Neal, more commonly known as "Shaq," is one of the greatest basketball players in history and won four NBA championships. Shaq earned an estimated $700 million during his NBA career, ranking tenth on Forbes' list of the highest-paid athletes of all time.

That's a lot of money to make during a basketball career, and he's been keeping busy since retirement. Shaq became an entrepreneur and built a business empire that includes being a brand ambassador and member of the board of directors at Papa John's, owning Auntie Anne's restaurants, creating a fashion line and much more.

CNBC Select spoke to Shaq via email to find out what he carries in his wallet, the financial advice he lives by and his tips on how business owners can succeed.

What Shaq carries in his wallet

Shaq keeps his wallet simple with his license, law enforcement badge (he's an auxiliary deputy at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Florida) and credit card. He also has a sentimental token: a picture of him and his mother.

The best financial advice Shaq's received

The money advice that resonated with Shaq is geared toward savings: "It's not about how much you make, it's about how much you keep," Shaq says. "Save 75% of your earnings and put it away. Use the other 25% as you please."

After all, more money doesn't necessarily equal more wealth. Someone with a six-figure salary can wind up with no savings if they spend 100% of their earnings. Whereas someone who earns $50,000 and saves 75% will be in a much better financial situation.

If saving 75% of your income is out-of-reach, consider the 50/30/20 rule, which provides more flexibility. This rule suggests you split up your after-tax income so 50% is spent on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings. As your earning change, you can make adjustments and increase savings.

Shaq's advice for managing money

"Save, save, save. Put away a piece of every paycheck," Shaq says. "Even if it is only $50 or $100, it will add up throughout the year."

That's smart money advice, especially if you put your money into a high-yield savings account that earns compound interest. Through an account like Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings, you can earn 4.50% interest on your initial deposit plus accumulated interest, which is essentially like earning interest on interest.

Putting $100 from each paycheck into Marcus, assuming you get paid biweekly, would allow you to earn $8 in interest after a year, and $198 after five years. The more money you save each paycheck, the more your savings will grow.

Shaq's advice for business owners

Business owners have a lot on their plate, and it can be overwhelming to start a new business venture and work on growing your business. Shaq recommends business owners do their due diligence so they can build a successful company.

"This means researching and surrounding yourself with the right people. You have to use your resources and ask for help when you need it," Shaq says. "You can achieve great things with the proper support system."

When Shaq is starting a new business venture, he tries to get advice from the best people who work in that field. After all, asking for advice can help you network and expand your business.

If you don't know where to start, consider free online resources. The upcoming American Express Business Class LIVE: Summit for Success is a free virtual event that aims to support small business owners through networking, resources and tools. In fact, Shaq is a keynote speaker at the event, lending his advice on being an entrepreneur.

In addition to asking for help and surrounding yourself with the right people, Shaq tells business owners to take action: "I'd also say to be a leader who focuses on voice and action. Being able to say something is great, but until you put the action behind it, nothing gets done."

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This story is part of CNBC Select's What's in Your Wallet series, which profiles celebrities and media personalities on the contents of their wallet and the best financial advice they've received. For interview recommendations, email

Don't miss CNBC Select's What's In Your Wallet with: Tessa Thompson, Arianna Huffington,Tony Hawk, Lindsey Vonn, Ariana Huffington, and Bobby Berk.

Information about Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the banks prior to publication. Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a Member FDIC.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

Shaquille O'Neal recommends you save money from every paycheck, no matter how much (2024)


Shaquille O'Neal recommends you save money from every paycheck, no matter how much? ›

Shaq's advice for managing money

How much money did Shaq waste in Walmart? ›

This time though, O'Neal is on the news for a completely bizarre reason; he spent a whopping $70,000 at Walmart in 2008. Even worse, when attempting to pay for this Walmart Trip, his credit card got declined as his bank thought that the card was stolen.

Is Shaq a generous person? ›

He's known to be incredibly generous with his money, but he's also careful. And just because he's amassed generational wealth doesn't mean his money will automatically wind up in the hands of his six children. "I'm not just gonna give you money for a party," Shaq told Insider, referring to his kids.

What did Shaq spend his first paycheck on? ›

Shaquille O'Neal bought cars for his parents

The rest of the money went toward paying off his mom's house and doing “what all the homeboys do — gotta buy rings and diamonds and earrings and this and that,” he told Business Insider in 2017.

What did Shaq buy at Walmart? ›


Nothing's in it." He then listed the items he went on to purchase on a midnight WalMart splurge. "Two or three in the morning, I gotta go get four or five TVs, I gotta go get printers, I gotta go get laptops. I gotta go get sheets, towels, underwear, t-shirts.

How much money did Shaq give his kids? ›

During his interview with Insider, the 15-time All-Star explained that, despite how much money he's earned throughout his career, he won't give it to his children for just anything. “I'm not just gonna give you money for a party,” he said.

Does Shaq take care of his parents? ›

His father also left him in charge of the entire family, making his son promise to care for his mother and siblings. Shaq has proudly upheld that vow, explaining that his father instilled in him that it was "a man's job to protect and provide.”

What shoe size does Shaq wear? ›

Shaquille O'Neal wears size 22 shoes due to the size of his feet. In a heartwarming gesture, Shaq reached out to Eric Kilburn Jr., a 14-year-old from Michigan with size 23 feet, who struggled to find shoes that fit.

How many Papa John's does Shaq own? ›

He also owns 17 Auntie Anne's Pretzels restaurants and nine Papa John's franchise units. In fact, O'Neal is a brand ambassador for Papa John's and has been on the pizza company's board of directors since 2019.

Who is the wealthiest NBA player of all time? ›

1. Michael Jordan, 60: US$3 billion.

Who are the four NBA billionaires? ›

Former NBA point guard Magic Johnson is now a billionaire, joining fellow NBA players Michael Jordan and LeBron James as well as golfer Tiger Woods as the only athletes to do so.

Did Shaq pay for the funeral? ›

Police say Shaniya Davis, 5, was sold into prostitution by her mother. (CNN) -- Professional basketball star Shaquille O'Neal paid for the funeral of a 5-year-old North Carolina girl whose body was found last week, O'Neal's team confirmed Thursday.

How much was Shaq's deal with Walmart? ›

Shaq Gave Up A $40 Million Reebok Sneaker Deal To Sell Shoes At Walmart After A Mother Approached Him Complaining About The High Price For Young Fans — Despite Criticism, He's Sold Over 400 Million Pairs.

How much does Shaq spend on food? ›

The big man with deep pockets would dent his checkbook for $1.3 million every month. Amongst many significant expenses, Shaq disclosed he was spending roughly $12,775 on food every month.

What's the most money ever spent at Walmart? ›

shaq | TikTok. I have the biggest purchase in Walmart history. Really? 70,000.

Where did Shaq make most of his money? ›

While Shaquille O'Neal made his fortune as a basketball player, most of Shaquille O'Neal's net worth today comes from his business ventures. Most of his assets are likely in franchises, including Papa John's, 24 Hour Fitness, Krispy Kreme, and car washes.

Who holds the record for the biggest Walmart purchase? ›

O'Neal said in an interview with HBO that he once spent $70,000 at Walmart in a single visit. When the Miami Heat traded Shaq to the Phoenix Suns, his apartment wasn't furnished, so he went to Walmart to buy all of his essentials.

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