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Suze says Aimee's financial troubles will end when she starts living within her means. "It's going to end when you change your mind about how you perceive what's happening," she says. "Because the truth of the matter is, your husband isn't making as much as he was, but he still has a paycheck coming in—it just doesn't meet your expenses. So you're going to have to get real here."

Although Aimee wants to blame the economy, Suze says the choices she made are what put her in a tough spot. "Aimee, the reason that you are in the situation that you're in right now is because once you start making more money, [it] doesn't mean that you spend it all," Suze says. "It means that you continue to live like you were living, possibly get a few of the things that you want, but then you put enough money away so that when something happens, you have an 8-month or a year emergency fund. You don't just go party and do all these things and not plan for when something goes wrong."

Aimee admits that her possessions have become too important to her. "Just recently I had a nice car, and I found myself actually saying, 'That car was me. That was an extension of me.' And then I had to check myself and I thought, 'That is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. A car is not an extension of you.'"

"Those [are] things that have defined you," Suze says. "The truth of the matter is, once you've given them up, you're going to really find who you are."
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FROM: Suze Orman with Emergency Financial Advice for America
Published on January 01, 2006

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