I am a huge fan of Suze Orman. So much so that, every Saturday at 9 p.m. I can be found in the same spot: watching Ms. Orman’s show on CNBC. Since April is financial literacy month, I thought I would share some of what I think is Suze’s most valuable advice.
I was first introduced to Ms. Orman’s books as a recent college graduate, pondering the next phase of my life. A colleague suggested reading Suze’s book Women and Money. The next day, the book arrived on my desk and to my surprise, it was a page-turner. To be honest, I had given little thought, at the tender age of 22, to things such as life insurance, retirement, and long term care insurance. By the time I finished the book, not only did I learn more than I ever thought I would need to know about how to live a financially stable life, but I was hooked on Suze Orman.
Since watching her shows, I have learned even more. Some of the advice that I really have taken to heart and have applied in my own life is as follows:
1. Stand in your truth. Be honest with yourself as to your financial reality and what you can and cannot afford.
2. Have at least an eight-month emergency fund. I know it can seem daunting after paying your expenses, but trying to put a little money away at the end of each pay period or month is a great start to savings. You never know when you might need to access that money, and knowing that it is available affords you peace of mind.
3. Invest up to the point of your company’s match. If you are fortunate enough to have a job that will contribute money to your retirement based on your contributions, then contributing just makes sense. By ignoring this option, you are passing up free money!
4. Before you purchase anything, ask yourself: Is this a want or a need? This is something I actually find myself doing more and more. Buying items just for the sake of purchasing something has never really resonated with me, but there are occasions when I like to splurge. As I have gotten older, however, it has become easier to pass on things that I don’t really need or may never use.
5. Know your credit score and what’s on your credit report. Paying your bills on time is a great way to keep your credit score high, but knowing your number and what’s in your report is also important.
These are just a few of Suze’s tips. Tune in to CNBC each week to watch Suze dole out her epic “Suze smack-downs.”