Financial expert Suze Orman
Photo: Marc Royce
Besides money, a wealthy woman has some qualities that serve as guideposts to make sure she's always walking toward wealth rather than away from it. This month's readers each had one or more of these traits out of alignment.

Here are the eight qualities and how they can translate into financial success:

Harmony and balance. Harmony is the agreement between what you think, say, and do. Balance is the state of stability in which you're able to make sound judgments that will enhance your financial security. When you use a loan for in vitro fertilization that will leave you so deeply in debt that it would be difficult to care for your new child, you forsake harmony. Aligning your thoughts, words, and actions will put you on a path to balance—and emotional and financial well-being.

Wisdom and courage. The ability to make (not just think about) sensible decisions that respect your needs takes wisdom, the voice of experience that's inside each woman. Courage, the catalyst that creates harmony by uniting our thoughts with our actions, is what lets us assert our opinions confidently. To tell your mother that you love her but can't ruin your financial life to save hers requires wisdom and courage.

Generosity and happiness. True generosity must benefit both parties. No woman can control her destiny if she doesn't give to herself as much as she gives of herself. That's why I so often caution you not to co-sign loans or deplete your emergency cash savings to bail out someone. While those acts seem helpful, they leave you financially at risk. Happiness manifests itself through generosity—when, for example, a woman makes donations that help others yet don't deplete her.

Cleanliness and beauty. Removing clutter and chaos from our lives brings clarity, which makes it easier to achieve what we want. From emptying closets of unused stuff to streamlining your wallet, cleanliness is a sign that you're in control. And by bringing the first seven qualities into your life, you feel beautiful.

When you commit to finding harmony and balance, you have the courage to make wise decisions that are as generous to you as they are to others. This leads to deep, unwavering happiness and brings beauty into your life. I wish this for the women who wrote to me this month, and I wish it for you.

Adapted from Suze Orman's book, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny (Spiegel & Grau).