I'd like to know how to ask my boss for a raise. -Brooke from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
SUZE ORMAN: So first of all, you're going have to document why you think you should have a raise. Why? What have you done so you deserve a raise? Have you helped the bottom line of the company? Have you helped your boss, life be easier? Have you done things that you know without a shadow of a doubt, are invaluable? Do you?
Next, here is what's key. In asking for a raise, all right, when you ask for a raise everybody, you're not gonna say, "Hey, can I have a 5 percent raise?" If you do that, your boss can say, no.
If your boss says, "No," then what are you gonna do? What you're gonna do is ask an open-ended question. "Can I have a 5 or 10 percent raise?" Now you've put your boss in a situation where he's like, "Huh? What, what, that, wait, what?" Five or 10 percent. And now you have turned it on him just a little bit.
I've been a bridesmaid 11 times in the past four years. Each wedding has cost around a thousand dollars. I love my friends and I can't say no, so what's the best way for me to save up?-Sara from theAsk Oprah's All Stars studio audience
SUZE ORMAN: So how many dress you have back there?
SUZE ORMAN: Do the math for me, girlfriend. That's eleven-thousand dollars!
SUZE ORMAN: Come on up here. This is what we're calling our Circle of Truth.
To talk about money, come on up here with me. Just stand in our Circle of Truth. Now when you are in this circle, you have got to stand in your truth and be honest about everything. Ready for that?
Well, 11 dresses back there. Eleven thousand dollars, okay? Do you know that you didn't spend a thousand dollars a dress. But if you actually took that money and you had saved it instead, 30 years from now, 40 years from now, that's $5,000 a dress. So, it's not $11,000; it is $55,000 that you have spent on those 11 dresses. Truthfully, would you rather have (points to pile of money) this or (points to dresses) that?
Hey Suze, I got a question for you, because it's something my husband and I always discuss. When it comes to a car, is it better to lease the car or to own the car? I know a lot of different variables come into play, but is there a way that you can kind of summarize it for us, as best as Suze can, 'cause we know you do that so well?-Nancy O'Dell
SUZE ORMAN: You should never ever, ever lease a car. Now I know everybody thinks that leasing is good 'cause the payments are so little. But it's like you're renting a car for the rest of your life. If you wanna be smart you buy a car. If you wanna be smart you buy a car and you keep it for 10 or 15 years, believe it or not. Now you're being intelligent with your money. How much of a car should you buy if you're buying a car? Here's how you know. If you're going to be financing a car, you should know you should be able to afford the car payments every single month, if you purchased it and financed it over a three-year period of time. To afford the payments, if you have to finance it over four, five or six years, you cannot afford it.
Hi, Suze. I'm recently divorced and after discovering that my husband, among other things, didn't pay our taxes for several years. I also recently just decided to pursue my dreams and start a new career, so I'm not making that much money. And I just wanted to know how in the world I'm ever gonna be able to tackle this huge amount of debt that's in excess of $80,000? -Melissa from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
SUZE ORMAN: All right, so, you know, obviously whenever we have guests on, we ask [them] to fill out all of [their] expenses, what assets [they] have, and what's going on here. But it goes beyond just the tax return. It goes on to also where about $50,000 of credit card debt was run up, that she's legally responsible for half. It also goes to where she got her step-parents, step-father, to take a line of credit out on his home. Where her ex then put his credit card debt and paid it off with the line of credit and took the additional money and put it in his savings account. So, as you stand here in front of me - and I have to really applaud you for doing so - you're $80,000 in debt to the IRS. You have about $32,000 of debt to credit cards. You owe a good amount of money, about $30,000 now to your step-father with that, and you have $500 in savings and you make $600 a week.
This is not easy what I'm about to say to you because I don't say it lightly. But it's important that we all stand in the truth and we look at the situation that we're in. And not even Suze Orman can tell you how on $600 a week you can pay off that amount of money. You know there's a saying that when you owe as much as you make you're technically bankrupt. You owe 10, 20, 30 times more than what you're making. So, you're technically bankrupt.
Emotionally - not easy to do - but you are one of those people, and you did not do this just buying things, going out and spending money. You did this because you love somebody and this is what happened because you didn't watch it, you didn't check it. All of you in this room, all of you watching at home, this can happen to you. My advice to you is you're going to have to claim bankruptcy here. And you're going to have to hopefully find somebody who can deal with the IRS to see, is there a way with that to get the IRS to work with you in what's happened.
Hey All Stars, Mario Lopez here. And my question is for Suze Orman. Suze, I'm a proud new father to a beautiful baby girl, Gia Francesca. And I was wondering, what's the best way to invest for my daughter now so that she has something in her name for the future?-Mario Lopez
SUZE ORMAN: So, Mario, here's the thing. I know you want money in your daughter's name, however, it's dangerous when you have money in your daughter's name because little angel daughter could - I'm not saying she's going to - but she could grow up to be devil daughter once she turns 18 years of age. We see it happen all the time. Then she has this money in her name and once she's of legal age she can go and do anything she wants with it. She can buy a BMW, she could buy drugs. She can do anything she wants, therefore, you are far better off keeping that money in your name and investing it for her future. The best way to do so when it's for college is a 529 plan. So, where do you find 529 plans? Go to savingforcollege.com. It is the number one website in the entire United States on 529 Plans.That's where you find the information. Me personally? I would not be putting money in a child's name until I knew that child was responsible.
-A The money in a 529 account grows tax-deferred, all qualified withdrawals for higher education expenses remain Federal and State tax-free.
-Money is excluded from your taxable estate.
-No minimum annual contribution is required.
-One can contribute a maximum of $13,000 per year per beneficiary without incurring federal gift taxes.
-Withdrawals from each account can be used at the large list of eligible schools nationwide.
-The 529 covers almost all expenses related to college including tuition, fees, books, equipment, and supplies. (Reasonable room and board are considered qualified expenses if the student is enrolled at least half time.)
-If a child decides not to attend college or does not use all of the funds, the account beneficiary can be changed to another member of the family.
-The account owner may close the account or withdraw all or a portion of the funds at any time, even for non college-related expenses; however, any funds withdrawn for nonqualified expenses will be subject to the account owner's income tax rate plus a 10% IRS penalty on the earnings portion of the withdrawal.
-If the beneficiary receives a scholarship, the account owner may withdraw funds up to the amount of the scholarship without paying the 10% IRS penalty on the earnings portion of the withdrawal.
Hi, Suze. I have about $200,000 in student loan debt, $4,000 in credit card debt, about. And I'm gonna graduate in May with my second Master's Degree and I need to prioritize my debt and I need your best advice.-Miriam from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
SUZE ORMAN: What's the interest rate of your student loan debt?
MIRIAM: Well, they vary. I have some that are at 2 and 3 percent from my undergrad. And some that are, like, at 7 and 8 percent. And when I tried to consolidate them, they - the company I was working with wanted to do it all at the higher interest rate.
SUZE ORMAN: And just so I know, the interest rate on your credit card debt?
MIRIAM: It's about 18 percent.
SUZE ORMAN: In this case you would go - 'cause it's such a little amount of debt - get rid of the 18 percent debt. It's non-tax deductible; credit card debt is not tax deductible. Depending on how much money you're making, if you're making under $50,000 a year...it's tax deductible up to $2500 a year. Pay off the higher student loan interest rate first, stretch the one that's 2 or 3 percent for as long as you can, girlfriend. 'Cause a few years from now you're gonna be looking' back goin', "Wow, all I'm paying is 2 or 3 percent."
What's your All Star Action Plan for the week? -Robin Meade, host of Ask Oprah's All Stars
SUZE ORMAN: Well, listen, you're all spending money and you're putting it on your credit cards, so this is what I'm asking you to do. Before you spend another penny, you have to ask yourself: Is this a need or is this a want? Now, if it's a need, obviously you have to buy it. If it's a want, you better think twice about it.
Then you better ask yourself: Why do I want to buy it? Do you wanna impress somebody? What's goin' on with you that you wanna spend money on something that you just want when you don't have the money to spend?
If you then go to the next step, you have to ask yourself: Can I afford it? And if you can't afford it, guess what you're gonna say to yourself? I am denied!