Do you know who Suze Orman is? A week ago I would have said yes but the real answer was really no. Suze Orman’s name and image are like a lot of those ubiquitous things that I choose to ignore, like the Harry Potter books ( although I did watch the movies) and McDonalds, and children’s extracurricular activities. But back in January or February when I was underemployed my aunt said that Suze Orman was coming to Bermuda in May and that she and I NEEDED to go. I agreed, I needed to go especially in my current state but I wasn’t really in the place to pay $40.00 for a ticket, so she offered to buy mine for me. So there it sat Saturday May 10th, Suze Orman’s name in my calendar. If you would have asked me to describe her I would have said,
“She’s that finance lady.” But I had never actually listened to her. This past Saturday was my chance. My aunt Ann and I piled into her van and set off, both admitting we were tired and weren’t sure we wanted to go, but we had the tickets, it was an investment we couldn’t miss. I wonder if Ann hadn’t bought the ticket if I would have gone?
“How long do you think it will last?” I asked.
“I think it will be from 2 until about 4.”
“Two hours! “ I said in shock. The only thing that I had enough attention span to last for two hours was a NAP.
“Are there comfortable seats in the auditorium?”
“I think so.”
I imagined drifting off to sleep while 800 people discussed percentage points and things I didn’t understand like annuities. What the hell is an annuity? I would drift happily to sleep slumped in my chair, happy to have two hours away from a toddler because as a newish mother I really didn’t live in the future or the past anymore. My life was firmly grounded in the present between cooking an organic Applegate sausage to taking out the dirty overnight diapers, boiling eggs, trying to get my work done and carving out an hour to write this blog. Hmmmmm. I was in for a surprise.
When she walked out on stage I raised an eyebrow, she was magnetic and she hadn’t even started to speak. When she started to talk to us I realized she was more than magnetic she was funny. I like funny people, suddenly sleep dropped on the priority list. Then she continued, wow- she had actually done her homework, she was interested and knowledgeable about Bermuda and how we were different from the United States. I always felt a bit helpless here and I didn’t know how to find financial advice from someone who isn’t trying to sell you something you can’t afford to buy. But here she was, Suze Orman, with her perfect news anchor hairstyle and power outfit, speaking directly to me, and 800 other financially irresponsible Bermudians. She was empowering, no-nonsense, and logical and I felt like I came out of there three hours later with a total perspective shift.
This was my takeaway.
Number 1: Pay off the credit card debit.
I don’t have any of that, but only because what I do have is a husband but if I want to keep the husband, I need to:
- Stop accumulating credit card debt.
Number 2: Have an 8 month security fund. I don’t have that, but I do have a husband, but if I want to keep the husband I need to:
- Save for my own 8 month security fund.
Number 3: Invest in your pension. A pension? What’s that? I have a husband, does that count? NO!
- Accumulate my own personal savings in a pension.
Saving? I thought that was something I had to do for my daughter’s college fund not for my pension. I’ll never retire anyway. No.
- Save for yourself, your child’s education comes second.
“Finances” is one of those three syllable words that I totally tune out to, but not anymore. I need to be more diligent, I need to learn about this foreign world and take responsibility for my future before it’s too late.
Then Suze, said something else. She was talking to me, it was like she saw me routing around for ten minutes, in my Mary Poppins purse trying to find my cell phone to turn it off at the beginning of the talk.
“If your office is a mess, if your kitchen is a mess, if your closet is a mess, then YOU are a mess. “ She said.
“I am a mess, Suze, I really am a mess Suze!” I thought.
“Prioritize, get your life in order, empower your self.” She said.
“Loud and clear, Suze.” I thought.
So now I am a Suze Orman fan/convert and I am vowing to have more financial responsibility, think long term so that when I get old, Eva won’t be burdened by my needs any more than she will be burdened by my personality.
So today I took pictures of my kitchen, my office and my closet. It’s pretty bad. Lots of room for improvement, like my bank account.
Kitchen… yes that is my purse spilling out onto the table, yes that is an open bottle of organic ketchup and a full ( not for long ) coffee press.
Office… Before you ask that is a wine bottle behind the computer screen, and yes its empty, it was a mother’s day gift ( in addition to the toilet seat) from Chris and I am keeping it because it has a cool label, see below.
Closet… This might be the worst one, seeing I can’t even open the door to get inside, but yes the cowboy hat and sparkly heels are within easy access.
And just look at what I am teaching Eva.
I vow to improve so this time next year, why don’t we call it Suze Orman month (May) I will see how I have improved. It’s a challenge!
Here is the ticket for the show: It got covered in spilled ink in my overstuffed purse. I will need to give that an overhaul too.
Thanks Suze for the wakeup call. Whenever I have a challenge I think W.W.B.D.D. (What would Bette Davis do?) but now I think it might have to be revised: W.W.S.O.D. (What would Suze Orman do?) My favorite story is how she sued Merrill Lynch while she worked there!
As we would say in Bermuda “That Girl, She’s GOT SOME CRUST.”
I did pay my aunt back for the ticket, it was well worth the $40.00 investment
Xx Derelict Mom.