Suze Orman's Webcast Transcript
Marjorie: When I was watching the show last week and you were talking to the Albertsons and you were talking to Scott about fantasy football being a want, it made me think more about want versus need. And, for example, an expense I have, I professionally have my haircut and colored and styled.
Oprah: That's a show idea.
Marjorie: And I feel like that's a need for my image and the impression I make when I'm on sales calls. And I don't know the whole story behind Scott and fantasy football, but if there's something—if that's something that he uses personally and professionally to connect with people, in a way to enhance his well-being, to contact clients, perhaps help his income, I don't think it's just food, clothing, and shelter that's a need. You have to look at the value behind the expense.
Suze: So—I agree with that 100 percent. And I think it's very important to look presentable. And I think it's very important that you feel good about how you look. That doesn't mean that you go and get $500 haircuts or haircolors. It doesn't mean that a friend can't cut your hair or you can't color your hair yourself by going to the store and getting something. That's fine. I get all that. Fantasy football? I don't think so. I don't think so on any level. But there is an exercise that I think we all can do that would help you, and you can find this exercise also on Oprah.com, I believe. And I would write a sentence. And I would put whatever it is, before you go out to buy something, before you go out to do something, here's how this sentence would go: "I need to," and then finish the sentence with whatever it is that you are going to do. "I need to eat. Or I want to eat." All right? Maybe you want to eat. All right? But let's try another one. Like "I need to go out and spend money on fantasy football." No, you don't. "Or I want to go out and spend money on fantasy football." Which one of those things are true? Do you see what I'm saying? When you put it in a sentence, it will make logical sense to you what is a need and what is a want.
Oprah: I think even—even better when you're in the middle of getting ready to purchase something, "Do I need this pair of shoes or do I want this pair of shoes?"
Suze: That's right. But sometimes you need a pair of shoes. You actually—there can be a case where you have holes in your shoes, it is snowing out—
Oprah: Yeah. Yeah.
Suze: And you need a pair of shoes. And you may also want what you need. That is possible.
Suze: But when it's doing things such as, you know, you need—"I need to go and buy food." May be true. You know, but what kind of food do you want to buy? You know, you may want to buy caviar. Do you need to buy caviar? No. Now, we're going to have the caviar people calling us. But find out—you know, when you put it in a sentence in a—in context, it really rings true for you if you need something or if you want something. If you just think it all the way through. You're not buying that?
Oprah: I am buying it. I'm saying I wouldn't get very much then because I don't need anything. I'm thinking about it. Really I'm thinking the last 10, 20 things I did.
Suze: Big difference.
Suze: When you have money, and you aren't hurting anybody by spending your money, in fact, we're helping the economy right now by spending money, all right? It don't matter, Oprah, whether you need it or you want it, you can have it.
Oprah: Thank you, Suze.
Suze: Any time. And the same is true with me, I have to say.
Suze: That doesn't mean you abuse it. That doesn't mean whatever. But when people have money in this type of an economy, that's when we should be spending our money.
Oprah: That's what helps the economy.
Suze: That helps the economy.
Suze: We should be going out to eat to restaurants, because we're helping the economy and we're not hurting anybody, because we're not going to claim bankruptcy.
Suze: And then the bank isn't going to get hurt because we put something on a credit card that we can't afford.
Suze: So we're—that's not it. But when people are in debt, people don't have an emergency fund, people have to watch every penny that they're spending right now. They may lose a job, and then how are they going to pay their rent? That's when you have to question every single thing. "Do I need it? Or do I want it?" And if you want it and you can't afford it, then you have to deny yourself. Simply that simple.
Oprah: Marjorie, are you buying it? Because she's—are you buying this?
Marjorie: Yes, I hear what you're saying. My comment was more about if there is something, and I'll use fantasy football as an example, if it fulfills something in him that is going to be left empty, if he doesn't have it, I mean, seriously, if that is how he has his relationship with his buddies—
Suze: No way. He's—let me just tell you about Scott and Carol, the Albertsons. They are doing great.
Marjorie: I don't know their story.
Suze: No, they are doing great. They're out of credit card debt. He has—like every lightbulb went out. He stopped eating out. They have an emergency fund. They are doing so fabulous right now I can't even begin to tell you, and he doesn't even miss his fantasy football, I am sure. But it's—you know, but it's, again, it's all what we think. We escape into these things—
Oprah: Isn't it about priorities too?
Suze: It is about priorities. You know, today I was actually having my nails done and I was—
Oprah: Did you need that or did you want that?
Oprah: Both, okay.
Suze: Yeah. Seriously, I did. I did. I needed it. All right. So—but—and the woman that I was—that was doing my nails was from Cambodia. And we were talking about how, you know, she says, "Oh, everybody here lives in such"—she was telling me she lives in a studio apartment with her husband on the floor. They have a bed. And I thought, "Oh, really?" And she said, "Oh, no, it's fabulous. I used to live in Cambodia just eight years ago in the same-sized room with like 10 people."
Suze: She said, "Oh, no, I have everything here I could ever want."
Suze: And I said, "One room with a mattress on the floor is everything you could ever want?" She said, "Yeah, and it's everything I ever need. Also it's perfect, Suze."
Suze: And she meant it, Oprah. She meant it. So everything is in perspective.
Suze: Everything is perspective.