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Oprah: Welcome to night number four of our Best Life Week webcast. We're just thrilled that hundreds of thousands of you have pulled up a chair in our worldwide Web classroom. It's money night, and the smart-as-a-whip Suze Orman is here to answer your questions live. 2009 is the year for change. There's never been a more critical time to change the way we manage our money. So Suze is so serious about helping people in these tough economic times, that last week, this is what she did. She offered her new mega best-seller, Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan, for free. Yes. The "free" word.
Suze: We did.
Oprah: On Oprah.com. And over 1.4 million of you downloaded that book.
Suze: I love that.
Oprah: Don't you? Thank you.
Suze: I love that. I was disappointed that 2 million people didn't download it. That was my goal. Honest to God. And why didn't you all download it more? You should have all called your friends. You still can. You have a few hours to do so.
Oprah: You have a few hours because for two and a half hours actually it's still going to be for free.
Suze: And it was like I really thought that 2 million people would at least do it.
Oprah: Well, I think 1.4 is an enormous amount of people—people.
Suze: Yes, but my personal goal was 2 million people.
Oprah: Two million. Well you're going to end up selling that many. And this is what's so interesting. How does your publisher agree to do that? Who—how does your publisher say, "Yes, let's give away 1.4 million or a million or 800,000 or whatever." How did you get the publisher to agree to do that?
Suze: Because that's a publisher that understands that at a time like right now, even the book, I have to say—
Suze: Even the book is $5. You know, you go on Amazon.com, the book is $5 now and 69 cents. They've discounted it. Everybody is selling it for that that is selling it because how can you at a time like this make money off of people that are suffering? So when you're a financial person, you're writing a book, you can't up with a hardback book that's $24. They don't have $24 today. People don't have any money to do anything. So give it away for free and then eventually, you know, the publisher has to make some money somewhere for having done all that, so—but even at $5, so don't go out to have a cup of coffee and get a book.
Oprah: And get a book. Don't go out to have a cup of coffee. We'll be talking about that in a moment.
Suze: People wrote me about that too.
Oprah: Okay. In a few minutes, we'll be taking your calls live. The number is this on your screen—866-677-2496. That's 866-OPRAH-XM. I never do it well with the—with the letters. So it's always better when you just have the numbers—866-677-2496. On our best life money show, Suze asked all of us to take a pledge, remember this? First, she said don't spend money for an entire day. Second, don't use a credit card for a week. And third, don't go out to eat for a month. Now the last one was tough for a lot of you to swallow, apparently, and we heard from several very fired up restaurant owners who have a bone to pick with Miss Suze. So Jeffrey is the owner of something called Plan B—Plan B Restaurant on the Jersey Shore. Jeffrey, we're giving you the floor.
Oprah: How are you? What do you want to say to Suze?
Jeffrey: I was watching the show last week and—
Suze: First of all, hi, Jeffrey. Hi, Jeffrey.
Suze: I want to say hi to you, Jeffrey.
Suze: There you go. All right.
Jeffrey: My mouth fell to the floor, and I'm like, "How irresponsible!" I started this restaurant a year and a half ago. I'm barely getting it off the ground and now I'm being told don't go out to eat. How can I support my family, have my employees support their families if nobody's coming in to eat? I'm in a town that's just starting to develop, so it is everything at one time, and now I'm sitting here and nobody's here because you're telling people not to go out to eat. There's got to be better ways for people to save money than not going out to eat. Like maybe don't go to a sporting event and let the football players make $5 million a year instead of $50 million a year.
Suze: So I get that. I get why you would feel that way. But before we talk about people going out to eat, can you just tell me, don't you agree that the United States of America right now, Jeffrey, is in serious financial trouble? Do you agree with that with me?
Jeffrey: I agree. I'm in serious financial trouble myself from starting the business. I understand that.
Suze: And do—I just have to ask you this. When's the last time you went out to eat?
Jeffrey: Um, probably once a week because that's when I have my daughter and I take her out for dinner on Monday nights.
Suze: And you do so. And do you have credit card debt, Jeffrey?
Jeffrey: You don't want to know. Yes.
Suze: You do. And how does that make you feel? I'm just asking you this. It's like you have this credit card debt, you don't know if you can pay it, your business is suffering. Trust me, your business isn't suffering, Jeffrey, because I said for just 30 days don't go out to eat. And I just have to say this also to you. You do know that—I mean, have you been watching the webinars here? The webcasts?
Jeffrey: No, because I'm usually working.
Suze: Just even on Tuesday night, Dr. Oz sat right in this chair here and said, "You know, to change a habit, to truly change a habit, you have to not do something for 21 days."
Jeffrey: And I don't disagree with that. However, why pick on the small-business person? Why pick on the restaurants who are already seeing a downturn because people are eating out less already. People are ordering differently. You know, and I'm doing what I need to do so that I can get people to come in the door. I'm changing my menu prices to lower some menu prices so that people can come in. But why not go after an industry that's already flush with money and let them tale a little bit of a downturn when the restaurants really can't.