Suze Orman was lots of fun to watch at the O magazine conference- O You! She has a lot of personality and is quite funny. Even though she was speaking on such a serious topic – money, she brings out a smile in you and reminds you most importantly of your real value.
Suze Orman Background
At 30 years old Suze was still making $400 a month at a cupcake bakery. She assumed she would be in the restaurant business because that is what she knew. It wasn’t until $50,000 of money from investors for her to start her own business was lost that she got into the financial business. She applied at a financial firm and was hired to fill the women’s quota, which she was happy with because it paid better and she wanted to repay her loans. That is when a feeling of “I love this, I love this” came over her. Now she is a world renowned money expert!
When will the economy turn around?
Suze believes 2015 is when things will start to turn around.
That is hard for a lot of us to hear, but I honestly believe there is a silver lining, and that silver lining is we all have a great opportunity here as a collective to learn from our mistakes with money and get back on track! We can help motivate each other to halt the spending on wants that are not needs. This is hard and much easier to do as a group. See if you can get together with your friends and give each other ideas of ways to cut down on spending. What I have learned from Suze is that we should NOT be afraid to talk about money. Our self worth isn’t in dollars and it is time we start really acknowledging that!
Living Your Best Life
Suze says that the key to living well is to live below your means.
“Live below your means but within your needs.” ~Suze Orman
How many of us actually live below our means these days? The thing about money is- the more your make, the more you spend! It seems in today’s world we are really lucky if we manage to live within our means. Below your means- that is a whole different ball game! Together we should all strive to help each other join in.
Suze says, “Stop trying to impress others with money you don’t have.”
This really got me thinking about how crazy it is that we spend money to try to impress one another. Let’s stop this!
“Stop saying yes out of fear about what others will think about you and say NO out of love for yourself!” ~Suze Orman
This really has me thinking about the upcoming holiday season. To me it is a classic example of a time we spend money to impress one another. A time we spend too much money on things we do not need- gifts, decor, holiday parties, holiday outfits! My husband and I are already thinking long and hard about what we want to do in terms of our holiday spending this year, and ways we can apply Suze’s advice to our own family.
Suze talked with the audience about the importance of saving. She urged us, “Do everything you can to save money.” Even though she can afford a new car if she wants, Suze keeps her car for a minimum of 10 years because cars are one of the biggest waste of money there is, and she encourages you to keep your car for that long too. I couldn’t help but think of how much better it is for the environment to kick this bad habit we as a society have of constantly upgrading.
Another important note Suze made- if your company has a 401k matching plan you should absolutely make sure you max out the contribution. You cannot afford to be missing out on ‘free’ money!
If you are managing to save properly for yourself first- minimum 8 month emergency fund & retirement, she also mentioned a 529 education savings plan for your children.
Remember “When you undervalue yourself, the world will under value you. You are passing the message of less.” ~Suze Orman
YOU are more important than stuff!!!
When Should You Buy a Home?
Suze’s answer to this is ONLY when you can afford to!
How do you know you can afford to?
• You can put at least 20% down
• You have a minimum of an 8 month emergency savings fund
• You can afford a 30 year or 15 year fixed rate mortgage
• You have a secure job
• The home must be a STEAL OF A DEAL!! <-Suze says this is so important! She gave us an example of condos in Florida that many people thought were a great deal at $150,000 that are now worth $5,000!
Suze does not believe the real estate market is going anywhere until 2023!
That means you should not be in a rush to buy, and only do so if you can afford to by meeting the above criteria.
So many of us have fallen out of touch with what it means to live well with regards to money. We are hurting ourselves, our families, and our society with over spending, and buying things we cannot afford. Most of us are not saving properly, and it’s time to help one another to change the way we live.
Let’s be a positive influence on each other with how we handle our money. Let’s start talking about money!