Put down that Kate Spade bag. Do not OD on Dior. Think about it. Do you really need another little black dress?
Suze Orman wants you to be smarter with your cash.
Me: Suze, our readers are over 40. What's your best financial advice for Midlifers who need to be smart about their cash?
"Once you've turned 40, it will depend on your situation," says Orman. "Do you own a home or rent? Let's just say you bought a home and the only thing you've been able to do is make your mortgage payments. You've saved about $30,000 or $40,000.
"At the age of 40, if you know that you're going to stay in that home forever, your number one priority should be to pay down that mortgage by the time that you actually retire."
"Number two, perhaps you're a single woman without a lot of money in savings," she offers. "You have got to make sure that every single penny that you spend is a penny that needs to be spent.
"Perhaps you're spending money on things that just don't make sense," she offers.
I shudder to tell her about my recent trip to the Chanel counter.
But I needed that new spring shadow!
"A single woman needs to make sure that she has the correct documents in place today that protect her tomorrow because if she becomes incapacitated or she's in an accident or ages then who is going to pay the bills for her? Who is going to deal with her money? Who is going to make decisions for her?
"It's also mandatory that she was a will, a living revocable trust with an incapacity clause in it, an advanced directive and a durable power of attorney for healthcare."
SUZE STYLE: A NEW BOOK AND TV SHOW
Suze has the smart, short 'do and casual style that's unmistakable. She is also the author of "The Money Class" and has her own show on Oprah's OWN Network called "America's Money Class" airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. She gives personal finance advice with classroom style lectures before an audience and a final exam at the end of six episodes
"That idea came from me thinking what can I do to get people to pay attention?' People don't pay attention to the most important thing in their lives.
"They're not paying attention to their money," she says. "I thought, 'How can I get those on board who every time they think about money they get that queasy little feeling in their stomach or they start thinking, 'Oh my God, I can't deal with it. It's just like my life.'"
"I thought, 'What could I do to involve those people into one of the greatest classrooms that have ever been presented on TV. It was my idea to say, 'Guess what? Let's take my money and give $50,000 for a first prize and $5,000 to five different people."
Oprah loved the idea.
Orman says, "The message from her was, 'Suze, people are hurting out there. They need honest advice and compassion. They need truth. Give them what they need, Suze.'"
SUZE ORMAN: LOVE AND A FEW SPLURGES
Yes, she will splurge. Suze says that she will fly on private planes paid for by her for certain business trips. Otherwise, she likes to fly economy airlines like JetBlue!
She recently married her partner in South Africa.
"I'm gay and I've been with KT now for 11 years," she says.
She does keep her private life mostly private.
"When somebody asks a question I always talk about KT. I never try to hide any of it. I always show off my girl because I love her so much."
SUZE'S FINANCIAL PAST
Suze grew up poor in Chicago. "I came from a work ethic," says Suze Orman. "I figure I've been working since I was 12 and I'm still working just as hard.
"I didn't have a choice," Orman says.
She was born on the South Side of Chicago in 1951 to Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrant parents who managed a deli in Hyde Park.
"My Dad was sick and he needed us to work and take care of things," Orman says. "You just take care of things. "
"I have to thank my parents every single day for poverty," she says. "That was a line I stole. But it's a true line. I have to thank them because it taught me how to be who I am today."
SUZE ORMAN FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR 2012
I asked Suze her best financial tips for 2012. She was happy to provide the following:
"True wealth starts with everyday actions, thoughts and even the words that you use," she advises.
"One of the greatest rules that will change your life is if you can simply get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending then you can really turn everything around.
"Number two, you have got to live below your means, but within your needs," she says. "If you can afford a new car, but your car only has 13,000 miles on it, it doesn't matter if you can afford that new car. Drive your car another seven years if you can."
"If you live below your means that allows you to have extra money for you to save and fund an eight-month emergency fund or fund a Roth IRA or a retirement account. You need to do things that allow you to accumulate wealth, as you get older.
"Your habits, your thoughts and your words and actions all have to be in the same camp," she says.
"It will turn your life around."
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