401k, Bills, Family, Financial Independence, Personal Growth, Relationships
September 15, 2019
Listen to Podcast Episode:
In this podcast, Suze talks about the “money mind.” What are the three simple steps you need to do in order to live within your means?
Hello there, Suze O. here, but then I guess you know that. This is the Suze Orman Women and Money podcast, and the men smart enough to listen. I have to tell you, I'm loving the part about the men smart enough to listen. I love that because that's how you all identify yourselves now, when you see me on the streets, hi Suze, I'm one of the men smart enough to listen. Anyway, a few days ago, I was being interviewed for an article that's going to come out in a magazine, and I was being asked the typical questions about money, as I've been asked now for 35 years. But the very first question that I was asked kind of set me off on a tirade. The question was, how do you budget? What are the things you need to know about a budget so that you can be successful? And I found myself saying the following: I hate budgets, budgets are like diets. You'll lose 20 pounds and you gain 30 pounds. You get out of $20,000 of credit card debt, and before you know it, you're in $30,000 of credit card debt. You cannot budget because a budget is something that's temporary. A budget is something that restricts you. When you are restricted, you always want to break out of it. You don't want restriction in your life, you want freedom in your life, you want to be able to do anything you want to do in your life. And then the reporter says, Well, if you don't like budgets, what do you like?And that's what I want to talk to you about today. I want to talk to you about what does it take for you to truly have a Money Mind. For you to have a mind that always makes the right choices when it comes to what you do with your money. You know about, I want to say maybe eight months ago now, I really realized the damage that eating sugar was doing to me, and I realized, why would I want to do that to myself? I got that on such a molecular structure, I can't even tell you, and I have not had any sugar at all for at least eight months. And, yes, everywhere I go, usually, it's like Suze here, we're going to give you dessert, it's free, it's on us. We're happy you're here or whatever it is, or when even I'm at dinner here at the house and KT is having people over because, as you know, KT's the one who cooks. I do the dishes, but she's the one who cooks, and she loves to bake and do certain things with desserts. And I'm not even tempted anymore, not even tempted. And it used to be that you put a plate of chocolate in front of me and it was gone. You put me with a carrot cake with caramel sauce on it and cream and all this stuff. It was gone, I loved it, I loved it so much. I actually loved Tootsie Roll Pops. Oh, my God. I used to go into the little store on the island here where I live, every day I would get five Tootsie Roll Pops, and I would just devour them.So, what happened? What happened in my mind that now a dessert can be served to everybody around me and I have no interest whatsoever? And the answer to that is I totally get how, at least for me and most likely for you as well, but I'll let you make that decision for yourself. Sugar is not good for me, and I don't want to do anything that isn't good for me. I don't want to, I don't need to, but more importantly, I don't want to. And that's what I want you to start to think about when it comes to your money. What is it going to take for you to be able to have a money mind so that you go, I don't want to go out to eat and waste all that money on food. I don't want to go into a store and buy all these things that I absolutely do not need. That I want to be financially healthy, I want to have money in savings, I want to get out of debt, I want to own this, I want to whatever it may be. And so, this is where you really have to go within to see why you are doing without because we have so many temptations today more than we have ever had. You're in your car, you pass a few stores and all of a sudden you get a notice on your phone. Oh, the such and such is having a sale. Want to come in as you’re passing it? They happen to know you're passing it and you're constantly being bombarded now. You go online and if you happen to search something and you were looking at something, all of a sudden, ads for what you were looking at or looking for are coming up on your pages. How did they even know that about you? And you passed it up once, but now they're tempting you again. Do you have what it takes to pass it up? One time, two times, three times, maybe? But the fourth, fifth and sixth, you're going to cave, you know you are. And so, what will it take that no matter what is put in front of you, no matter how many times something shows up on your computer or whatever it may be, you have made a final decision where you are going to put yourself first.Now, in all the years that I was doing the Suze Orman show, I always ended with people first, then money, then things, and that is the correct order. And when I used to say people first, you would take it as put other people first, be generous, give everything away. No, no, no. I always meant it that put yourself first, make sure that you're OK. Make sure that everything is as to how it's supposed to be for you. And then make sure you have money, you have money before you have things. And how many times have I said to you, most of you have more things in your closet than you have money in your bank account? Why do I know that's true? Go in your closets, open them up, total everything that's in there. Every single item, the number of shoes you have, the number of sweaters, pants, all of these things. I am guaranteeing you if you totaled up all the stuff in your household, the things that you have in your house, if you total that up, you probably have more there than you do money in a liquid eight-month emergency fund. Why don't you try it on for size?So, we go back to what is it going to take for you to really put yourself first? And what it's going to take is for you to truly understand the damage that you are doing when you don't put yourself first. Time and time again, I get emails and the emails say this to me, Suze, how do you expect me to put money away for retirement when I can't even afford to pay my bills today? And I always give them the exact same answer. If you can't afford to pay your bills today while you have a paycheck coming in, how are you going to pay those exact same bills 10, 20, or 30 years from now when you no longer have a paycheck coming in? And I always get a response of I don’t know, I don't know. You’ve got to know. You can't go through life not knowing.So again, the reporter said, well, Suze, what are the three things that could be done so that somebody learns how to do this? And again, you've heard me say this, but I'm going to repeat it. There are three simple steps, 1-2-3 simple steps. And those simple steps are as follows.You are to live below your means but within your needs. Why is it, and it's just so crazy, you're making $20,000, $25,000 a year and you're saying to yourself if only I could make $50,000 everything would be so great. And then you make $50,000 and you're saying, oh, if only I could make $100,000. And again, I've said this to you over and over again, you've heard me say this. I've recently just said it. And so, the more money you make, the more money you spend. So, living below your means, means that even if you have the money, it's currently there, don't spend it. Live below your means, but within your needs. Only buy things that you need. And then you say to me, well, Suze, how do I do that? And the answer is again simple. Before you make a purchase, just simply ask yourself this question: Is this a want or is this a need? If it's a want walk away. If it's a need buy it.The very next one is, you have to get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending.You make your clothes; your clothes don't make you. You have got to become a woman who is strong, smart, and secure enough to be in control of her money versus your money, controlling you, and it's just that simple. But the desire has to be there. So, I want you to vow, I want you to vow right here and right now that for the next 21 days, because Dr. Oz says, all you have to do is something for 21 days and it will become a habit. For the next 21 days, you are to buy only needs versus wants. You are to try to get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending, and all of that will allow you to live below your means, but within a year needs. Back to people first, then money, then things. So, I get this email from this woman because the goal again, remember, of this podcast is for you to be a woman who owns the power to control her destiny. Isn't that what you want for yourself? So, I get this email and I'm going to read it to you.Suze, first off, I want to thank you for being inspiring to so many people. I started to listen to your podcast when it first came out last year. I have slowly been gaining some self-confidence back after years and years of having none. I need some advice, and I respect you enough that I thought I would ask you what your take is. Long story short, I no longer have a lot of family in my life as sickness and death occurred over the last two years. But I do have four amazing boys that I could not love any more than I already do. I have been married to the father of my younger two boys for the last 14 years. He is paid in cash twice a month and I'm always afraid he won't give me his paychecks because it has happened numerous times. My fear keeps me waiting to pay bills, and then they are behind. I take responsibility for this as it's my job to pay them and I don't pay them. I pay the most important and then let other things laps because of the fear that more money isn't coming. We require both our paychecks to pay our bills. Instead, he will go out and buy a motorcycle or blow it at the casino. We have credit card debt that he tells me is all my fault because I do all the bills. I tried to discuss with him our monthly bills and he refuses. Some things are automated and come out regularly, so I make sure not to fall behind on those. He won't sit down and go over them with me either. We have a house that is falling apart. I mean, there are holes in my floor. He is a builder and a construction guy, so this is what he does all day, yet he won't fix this. Now, I understand, but it's difficult being married to a man like this. I make decent money, about $46,000 yearly. I have a 401k worth $13,000 right now, but nothing in savings and I feel like I'm drowning. Is it a good idea to claim bankruptcy and rebuild, or just keep getting further behind, or try to consolidate with a company, if possible? Again, thank you for even taking the time to read this. Truly appreciated, Amber. Amber, you give me three choices. You give me the choice of bankruptcy, just keep doing what you're doing, or consolidating. What about you? You said to me in this email that it is difficult for you to be in a relationship with a man like this. What is it that keeps you involved here? And the reason that I chose to read this as part of this Money Mind episode is that remember, money is just a physical manifestation of who you are. If something is going wrong with your money, it's because something is going wrong with your life. And I want to use you as an example to all the people listening today. All the women listening today, all the men smart enough to be listening today that if your money is in such a chaotic mess, you can't pay your bills, you don't have savings, you don't have this, you're not happy, your house is falling apart. All of these things, it's because you yourself are not happy.How could you possibly be happy? How do you possibly feel whole? How could you possibly feel like a strong, smart and secure woman when you are in a relationship with somebody who blames you, who doesn't want to talk to you, who doesn't want to sit down and go over things with you, they just want to be able to go to the casino and buy motorcycles and do all these things? And you have four kids, and this is what you want to show your kids? You are making a decent living, you make $46,000 a year. The real question is, when are you going to put yourself first? When are you going to matter to yourself? When are you going to have a mind that really understands what actions that you are taking that are damaging you, your family and your happiness? Now I sound sensitive right now because I am. Because women who are in financially abusive relationships, which girlfriend you are, that financial abuse eventually leads to other types of abuse. But I don't want it to lead to other types of abuse, I want it to stop right here and right now. See your choices are not about, do you claim bankruptcy? Do you do this? You find your voice and you get that voice to be heard. And if your husband does not want to hear you, does not want to respect you, does not want to pay attention to you, does not want to go to therapy with you, does not want to do something that absolutely changes the situation that you are both in, including fixing the holes in your floor that he is capable of doing. Then you, as a strong, smart, and secure woman, have got to make decisions that are good for you.Sugar is not good for me. I stopped it. Spending money one doesn't have is not good for them, they have to stop it. Being in a relationship where you are afraid that you can't pay bills, you can't talk to somebody about something, that person being your husband, that is not good for you. So there has to be a molecular change within you, within your mind, within your desire to be happy, to be whole, because you deserve that. You absolutely deserve that, for you to then come up with the correct solution to this problem, and it has nothing to do with money. In providing answers neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman is acting as a Certified Financial Planner, advisor, a Certified Financial Analyst, an economist, CPA, accountant, or lawyer. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman makes any recommendations as to any specific securities or investments. 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Credit & Debt, Saving, Investing, Retirement