Financial Lessons from Suze Orman

5 Financial Lessons from Suze Orman

For the past couple of years, one of my favorite weekly activities was listening to The Suze Orman Show in podcast form. Every Monday, they released the episode that aired on TV on Saturday on iTunes. What a start to the week! Getting up to speed on financial lessons from Suze Orman!

Well, unfortunately, The Suze Orman Show is no more. The series finale was last month and I’m still a bit sad about it. Monday mornings certainly aren’t the same anymore. To mark the ending of the show, I wanted to share five financial lessons that I’ve learned from Suze throughout the years that I will take with me.

1. Stand in your truth

One of Suze’s biggest things is encouraging people to be truthful with themselves. This means acknowledging, accepting and even embracing your financial reality and acting accordingly. If you can’t face the facts of your situation, you can’t improve upon it.

For me, standing in my truth means accepting that I have what some would see as an extreme amount of student loan debt and that I need to spend money and live my life accordingly. Living in Flux is me standing in my truth – I have this student loan debt, I want to get rid of it, but I also want to be able to live a balanced life.

2. Protect yourself and your future

Although she doesn’t always say it explicitly, another one of Suze’s financial lessons is to protect yourself financially. Never co-sign a loan with someone. Save for retirement. Save a 6 – 8 month emergency fund before you do anything else. Set up a living revocable trust.

Suze is all about encouraging people to protect themselves and their futures. The biggest thing that I’m actively acting on is the emergency fund. I’ve always had a small emergency fund, but as of this year I’m trying to focus on building it out to eventually get to the 6 – 8 month size (I have a long way to go). This is why I’m splitting my savings between adding to my emergency fund and paying extra to my student loans. I may achieve each at a slower rate than if I concentrated on one at a time, but both are important so I’ve decided to work towards both simultaneously.

3. People first, then money, then things

Although you might assume that Suze Orman would teach us that money is the most important thing, you would be wrong. As she said every week, “People first, then money, then things.” In our pursuit of financial health, we cannot lose sight of the people in our life and our relationships and we should certainly never put money above people in terms of our priorities.

4. Be an informed consumer of financial products

At the end of the day, Suze wants everyone to be financially literate and informed. She taught a lot of the same financial lessons each week, because these lessons are worth repeating time and time again. Never buy whole life insurance. Never withdraw from your 401(k) or other retirement accounts. Never take a 401(k) loan. Sometimes things that seem like they might be a good idea aren’t good for us as financial consumers. This is why it’s super important to ask questions, think critically, heed Suze’s advice, and be informed consumers.

5. Save early and often

Compound interest, y’all! Save, save, save! Save an emergency fund! Save for retirement as early and aggressively as you can! Chances are that we all need more money to retire than we think we do. The best way to prepare for the future is now so that we can take advantage of the wonders of compound interest.

Thoughts on Suze’s financial lessons

I’ll be honest, I first gained an interest in Suze Orman because of Kristin Wiig’s rendition of Suze on SNL. But once I started watching (er, listening) regularly, I was hooked. I’m pretty sad that her show ended, because I felt that it was a great weekly reminder about how to manage my financial life. Now, I’ll just have to see what Suze Orman does next!

And with that, I’ll leave you with this mashup that CNBC produced to celebrate the end of The Suze Orman Show:

Did you ever watch The Suze Orman Show? What financial lessons did you learn?

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