- Enjoy saving. "Get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending," said Orman. See saving as a challenge, and take joy out of scoring the better deal or shaving dollars off your bills.
- Rely on yourself. It doesn't matter what stock market or presidential administration is going to do; the "only thing that matters is what you are going to do to save yourself," said the personal finance expert. Don't blame your misfortune on others; your financial future lies in your hands.
- Live below your means. We've all heard the argument of living below your means, but Orman emphasized living within your needs as well. Before you purchase anything, ask yourself if it's a want or a need. Get it if it's a need, and if it's a want, then, as Orman suggests, "say no out of love for yourself."
I was watching The Suze Orman Show when she divulged a pet peeve she's never revealed before: people raising pets who can't afford them. She then went on to advise those who are struggling with debt to give away their pets to homes who can afford to raise and take care of the animals.
Having animals is a big expense. Not only do you have to deal with the day-to-day costs such as food, but you also have to take care of medical bills if your pet ever gets sick. And those vet bills can get quite pricey.
If you were struggling financially, would you consider giving away your pet?
By now, you've probably heard of The Approved Card from Suze Orman, a prepaid debit MasterCard endorsed by the personal finance guru. I guess it makes more sense for Orman to promote a financial product versus the Kardashians, but you would expect a no-fee miracle debit card that's beneficial to consumers. The population that's being targeted are people with little or really bad credit history, because it's harder for them to get approved at banks. However, if possible, you should always opt for free checking accounts at banks or credit unions. You'll be able to find debit cards with none of the same fees you face when using prepaid cards.
Orman's card users will be charged a $3 monthly fee with the first month waived, $2 per withdrawal from ATM, $1 to check a balance, and $1 penalty if the card is declined. However, these fees can be avoided with a monthly deposit of at least $20. Loading money on the card will cost you about $3.50 to $4.95. Further, if you need customer assistance, you'll only be granted one free phone call and subsequent calls will cost you $2 each.
What do you think of the Suze Orman prepaid card — is it brilliant or baffling?
You can be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, but money can't buy you health. Your physical and mental well-being is the most important thing in life, according to Suze Orman. The money expert says:
"In most cases, your health goes down the drain when you have wealth problems. You don't go to a doctor because you don't have the money. You don't eat the right food because you don't have money. You worry all the time because you don't have money. Your blood pressure is high because you don't have money, and on and on. This is why your health must be your priority. You can have all the money in the world. You can be a multi-billionaire, but if you do not have your health it means nothing. Your health is the No. 1 important thing in your life."
Bad health in turn leads to more money problems because of expensive medical bills, which can be avoided if you do your homework on insurance and pick the right one for your needs. And for those struggling to pay for health care for their children, there are "state programs that will allow you to insure your children for pennies on the dollar."
Before the recession, we were living in a happy bubble, in which real estate prices kept on rising (or so we thought), and Wall Streeters lived like fat cats. Then everything came crashing down — the economic bubble burst, the housing market collapsed, and the big bankers landed on their feet. The truth is, America isn't the same anymore. We have a national debt of over $14 trillion and what once were solid pillars of our nation, like education and social security, are being sacrificed for budget cuts. Yes, we are slowly recovering, but we're living in a different time now. Suze Orman addresses these changes in an interview with Time magazine.
No More American Dream. According to Suze, the American dream was the idea of "bigger, better, newer," and a mentality of "how do you buy stuff without any money?" Credit cards were as easily accessible as candy, and consumer debt kept piling up. But now, Suze says "the old American dream really is dead," because it's incredibly hard to get a loan, mortgage, credit, and jobs. Reality isn't pretty, but it's something everyone faces.
Money Dictates Your Education. You can't go to the best school you get into and worry about paying it off later, says Suze. That's because you don't have the stability of a job offer anymore so if you don't get a paying job after college, you can't afford to pay off your loan. The personal finance expert advises to pick a school based on a loan that you know you can afford to pay off. And yes, this might mean no four year college for you.
Nix Loans to Family. A loan to your family is "either a gift, or it's not," says Suze. That's because your loan will be your family member's lowest priority among other financial obligations like credit card debt, student loans, 401k payments, and more.
I was watching Suze Orman on TV the other day, and a girl called in to ask if her long-distance relationship is worth the cost as she's a struggling senior in college living with her parents. Suze told her that she did not approve of it as the girl admitted that she didn't know if she were going to marry the guy.
I'm a big advocate of long-distance relationships, because sometimes the right fit for you doesn't always live in your city. I admit, the travel fees do add up, and the distance strain on the relationship can be tough, but if you have an end goal to end up in the same place, it might just be worth it. It's hard to put a price on love, so I would like hear from you, is a LDR worth your bucks?
Imagine how much money it takes to care for 14 kids. Yup, I can't really fathom that either. Octomom, Nadya Suleman, had become a hated public figure after it was revealed that she had been unemployed and unable to care for her first six kids financially when she decided to have another eight kids. Nadya admitted on the show that she was "self-medicating through children."
Something that rang really true was Oprah's response to Nadya's confession. Oprah said, "People do it with their things all the time. How many people have things that they can't afford and then they go get something else they can't afford, living in houses they can't afford?"
Nadya, who had $300 to her name before Suze Orman stepped in, fixed her finances by listening to the personal finance expert's advice. She got rid of her three nannies, had a garage sale to sell things she didn't need, got an agent (which she was unwilling to get because she didn't want to sell out her children), and went to church to pray.
One big lesson I took away from this episode is the importance of accepting reality. Nadya said she didn't want to take public assistance because she was afraid of what people thought, to which Suze said, "What do you care? Everybody already hates you." Reality might not be as harsh as Suze's words to Nadya, but everyone needs to face the truth about their finances and learn to really live within their means.
I'm beginning to think Kristin Wiig could imitate anyone. Here, she is impersonating Suze Orman, the financial advisor with an unmistakable voice, an iconic wedge haircut, Cougar-ific fashion sense, and a way with words. (Does The Courage to Be Rich ring a bell? That always baffled me, that title.) She's so spot on Suze herself thinks she's imitating Kristin imitating her when she speaks now!
In an extensive interview with WWD, Suze Orman spreads her usual antidebt message. But she also gets political, taking on George W. Bush. She says:
Commander in chief? You blew up every single financial vessel we had and if you think you aren't personally responsible, well, the blame starts at the top. There is no higher top than you, SIR! If I were you, I would feel so absolutely horrific that I would take every penny I had and distribute it to anybody and everybody to help them in whatever way I could. You owe the American people every penny of your fortune and your family's fortune.
Instead, Bush will be making a reported $7 million to write about his decision-making process, which Suze's obviously not a fan of.
Do you agree that the buck stops with Bush? Would you take his money?
Suze Orman Gets Political: Bush Should Distribute His Fortune In an extensive interview with WWD, Suze Orman spreads her usual antidebt message. But she also gets political, taking on George W. Bush.