I love reading anything by Suze Orman but I still struggle everyday to put her good advice to use. I am going to try and use this blog as a tool to track my progress when it comes to money and debt reduction.
I love something she wrote in her recent article in the Oprah Magazine. The article was titled "What Money Has Taught Me About Personal Power". She said, "Believe me, I know how easy it is to run up credit card debt. I have 60,000 memories of what happens when you act without conscience, doing whatever you want rather than pulling yourself back and considering whether it is right. If I had stopped to have that talk with myself, I would have seen my powerlessness earlier. That would have saved me money and gotten me to happy a lot faster.
To know whether something is right or just easy, I turn to my three gatekeeper questions: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? And I make sure I can answer yes to all three. Is it kind - to me? Is it necessary - for me? Is it true - for me?"
Around the holiday season, I also need to remember something else Suze has written in her books. She said you can't give what you don't have - financially, meaning, if you have to go in debt to give someone a nice gift or to donate to a charity, it is only hurting you. She doesn't say you shouldn't give, just that you should manage your money well so that when you have a chance to give, you can do so freely and without creating debt. I forgot it last Christmas and went way overboard with the giving. I bought too much for my family and also spent way too much on a Christmas charity we did at work where we sponsored a family and bought them Christmas gifts. It was all well-intentioned, but I have think more clearly this year so I can get to a spot where I can actually say, "Yes, I can give $xxx because I have budgeted and planned for it this year and it will not cause me stress, only a good feeling that I am giving to a worthy cause."
With that said, we probably will still participate in a very worthy cause called "Operation Christmas Child" where you fill a shoe box full of toys for an underprivileged child. It's not a very expensive donation - I will talk more about it later as we fill the shoe box.