Any financial loss is painful. But it can also be the trigger point that helps you take control of your life and build lasting security. We must all take responsibility for the situations we find ourselves in, and at the same time, be responsible for making smart choices going forward. No matter what your financial disaster may be today, a better tomorrow depends on your willingness to take responsibility for your money. No one will ever care more about your money than you. So isn't it time to treat it with respect and confidence?
Money Lesson: Never make checks payable to anyone but a major brokerage firm or bank. Go online and check your statements directly on the firm or bank’s website. Know where your money is invested.
OVERSPENDING: WANTS VS. NEEDS
Signs that you are overspending include: You don't have at least 8 months of living expenses in an emergency savings fund. You aren't setting aside at least 10-15% of your gross pay for retirement. Your monthly spending exceeds your monthly income. Recognizing the difference between spending on needs vs. wants is the key to taking control of your spending.
Money Lesson: If you have more money going out than you have coming in, you are technically bankrupt.
JOB VS. CAREER
The American dream of the last century seemed to promise jobs for everyone willing to work and a paycheck every Friday. That is a snapshot from the past, because we are in 2012 and there are approximately fourteen million people that are out there looking for a job. If unemployment has struck you, ask yourself this: are you searching for a “job” or a “career”?
Money Lesson: When unemployed immediately cut back every possible expense AND never take money from your retirement account
CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE BEFORE CHANGING YOUR JOB
If you are unhappy in your current job, my advice is to take a step back and see how you might be able to make it work for you. The truth that you must face is that in this lousy job market, the job you have is a great job because it is a job. You cannot afford to walk away from any job today without having another job lined up.
Mini Action Plan Reality Check:
1. Your thoughts create reality, so change your attitude to make your job work for you.
2. Think about what kind of response you are getting when you look for another job.
3. If you want to leave your job now, how much of an emergency fund do you have?
Suze's List: What You Must Have Lined Up Before You Voluntarily Leave a Job
1. Another job
2. A 16-Month Emergency Fund
3. Health Insurance
Money Lesson: You cannot leave your job unless you have a 16-month emergency fund.
SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS AND ALLOWANCE?
Fifty-one percent of American parents surveyed give their children an allowance. If you are one of them, you are making a big mistake and you, likely, don’t even realize it. Beware because you are teaching your children entitlement!
This information is for discussion purposes only. It is speculative and based on assumptions that may not be correct or complete. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and its affiliated entities and Suze Orman and her affiliated entities do not represent or warrant its accuracy. This is not a legally binding commitment and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and its affiliated entities and Suze Orman and her affiliated entities shall have no liability, and disclaim all direct, indirect, consequential, punitive or other damages, for the use of, or reliance on, this information.