So I tuned in to the Oprah show today as I was reading how there was a segment about financial management. Her guest speaker was Suze Orman who I think is a regular on that show. For the most part, it looked like it revolved around debt and how everyone in the audience had some form of bad debt. There were some crazy scenarios such as an accountant who was in tens of thousands dollars in debt. How does that happen huh?
One thing though, in the show they mentioned that you can get a copy of Suze Ormanâ€™s book â€œ2009 Acton Planâ€ for free at the Oprah site until January 15th at http://media.oprah.com/sterm/action_plan_english.pdf. Havenâ€™t read it myself, but figured others would be interested in it.
Some interesting things from the show was to see other peopleâ€™s strategies when it comes to how much they think you should have in the savings before you can spend it on wants. In Suze Ormanâ€™s case, she said everyone should have about 8 times the amount in their savings compared to what they intend to spend. When I think about it, I use the same concept except the figure is a little different. But basically, the mentality is $100 in savings doesnâ€™t mean you can say afford to buy that $100 item.
One point I heard in the show was how her â€œAction Planâ€ book was apparently titled that way as in her view 2009 is the make it or break it year when it comes to finances for people based on what happened in 2008. I was just thinking about that and in my opinion everyday should be a make it or break it day.
What I mean by that is everyday you should be doing something anyways when it comes to improving your financial situation. Whether it is finding ways to save or make more money, it should just be a part of your routine as oppose to waiting for a disaster to happen before doing something. Her plan was the following too for people to follow which made me think:
1) Donâ€™t Spend Money For A Day
-For myself, I donâ€™t restrict myself to not spending as I donâ€™t like to spend money in general if there isnâ€™t a good reason to do so.
2) Donâ€™t Use a Credit Card For A Day
-Again, Iâ€™m one of those people who encourage the use of a credit card as much as possible due to the way you can earn free points and money. I always found that it is a great way for you to review your expenses each month too. Of course, like the first point I donâ€™t simply buy things without a good reason. But if I had to buy say food everyday for some reason, then I would not hesitate to use the card if the option was available.
3) Donâ€™t Eat At Restaurants For A Month
-I usually donâ€™t dine at restaurants too much unless it is for a gathering or special occasion. Just from doings things like shopping and life experience from working at various jobs before, you develop this sense of â€œthe value of a dollarâ€. Like wanting the best deals at a retail store for various items, many times dining out at a restaurant simply for a meal seems like a rip-off money wise compared to what you can buy at the supermarket and learn to do yourself.
So what does this all mean to me? Basically, itâ€™s about knowing that you control your own finances and while your methods may be different from others, everyone shares a similar attitude Iâ€™d say which is the important point.