How to make more money in 2015

betty ming liu Money 15 Comments

In 2015, I plan to be powerful in managing my finances. It’s time to retire the wishy-washy worried woman act. Let’s go into the new year with confidence!

I’m feeling inspired because I just read Suze Orman’s Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. She said she finds that way too many women feel insecure about their finances and are committing financial suicide.

In this nifty, little $9.99 paperback, Suze features examples of nurturing, competent women who take splendid care of others. But they feel guilty about spending on themselves and investing in their own future.

And when these women are relationships, they typically can’t wait to turn money matters over to their partners, especially if that partner is a man. This is true of even highly-educated professional women.

Ouch, ouch and ouch. Was Suze spying on my marriage? Sounds like she also knows too much about my post-divorce romantic disasters. Why was I always looking for a guy to take care of me financially?

After a decade as a single mom, I’m finally finding my own confidence. But in reading Suze’s book, I can see that remnants of the old me linger on. The situation calls for some fine-tuning. To put the issue in Suze speak, I need to make myself a truly wealthy, powerful woman.

While the book is written for women, I think it would be just as interesting for any man who has money anxiety. There’s plenty of useful info here, all of it presented in plain, simple English. 

I really like Suze’s detailed, lengthy explanation of why it’s not enough to have a will when I die. She also offers practical advice on how unmarried couples can divide household expenses equitably. Plus, I am now sold on the importance of opening a savings account, even though my bank pays a pathetic interest rate of less than 1%. What counts is the practice of saving.  

The pages also explain basics. Do you need to know how mutual funds and various interests work? Are you clear on the difference between good and bad debt? Maybe you need step-by-step advice on how to strategically pay down credit card bills, manage college tuition expenses and choose life and home insurance.

The book is set up as a five-month financial makeover plan. Here are a few highlights from its pages: 

  • Suze says that in an economy where layoffs are rampant, every person needs to build up a savings account that can cover up to eight months of living expenses.
  • The law requires the three credit bureaus to give us each a free credit report once a year. Sometimes there are errors we will want to fix, or problems to address. To get the report, go to annualcreditreport.com. 
  • If you want to shop around for a no-fee bank checking account, bankrate.com is a good place to compare rates. Be prepared to feel sad, though. Rates are woefully low. 
  • Social Security Administration benefits will never be enough for anyone to live on. But if you want to estimate your potential benefits under multiple wage scenarios, you can play around with the free online calculator on the federal government’s website. (You can also expect the SSA to snail mail you a copy of your earnings history every year.)

There’s lots more in the book. Some of the inspiration in it is good. I especially like her section entitled “The Value of Doing What You Love:” 

There’s a category of worker that we haven’t yet included in this discussion: artists, writers, teachers, activists, and others who have chosen their professions not for the pay but for the satisfactions and nourishment their work brings to their souls. I hope those of you engaged in this type of work realize every day that you are not on sale, that you are doing what you love, and how grateul the rest of us are for what you do.

And if you’re feeling nosy, check out Suze’s Dec. 11, 2014 interview with the Wall Street Journal. It’s about her real estate holdings and has a little about her personal life.

Suze, 63, lives with her wife Kathy Travis live in a one-bedroom apartment at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. They also own homes in South Florida, South Africa and the Bahamas. Her property investment philosophy: “If I can’t write a check for it, I can’t afford it.”

Wise words to live by.

How about you and your finances? Any thoughts on where things will go in 2015?

Comments 15

  1. It’s funny that you made this post on your blog Betty, on Saturday night I saw, Suze Orman’s TV show on CNBC money. I thought to myself, this woman has such a straight forward direct approach and positive attitude about money management, savings and the ever present bankruptcy and student loan issues. I like the call in part of her show where callers as for advice and help in money management, 401k’s, Roth IRA rollovers, retirement and if with their current cash flow \would they have enough money to take a vacation or buy a car or new home. I suggest if you are female or male (as there were male callers into her show too) that you take advice and the time to watch her show. It’s called “The Suze Orman Show” aired on CNBC.
    Thank you for making this post very informative and helpful I will definitely pass it on, good day!

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      Thanks for the reminder, Walter! I still haven’t watched her show. Been too busy reading her books. But you’re right. I should see what she’s like on air. What I like best is her ability to deal with our emotional issues behind money. How we feel about $ impacts how we manage $.

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    1. Thanks for the app I just installed it very helpful, I will tell my wife about it too. It’s a good way to start off the new year.. Happy New Year..!

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  3. Exactly, she gets to the real cause of people’s money management issues, she’s straight with the callers and gives good advice too. Very positive as well.

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  4. hi betty,
    always love reading your blog! here’s a fun money-saving trick that appeared on fb (from obvious magazine), but i found this graphic much more appealing. basically you start the year by saving $1, then each week you had another dollar to that pot: i.e., $2 the second week, $3 the third week, etc. not necessarily in a bank (but you could totally do that & grab that piddly interest) — i’m using an envelope; one woman said she makes 52 envelopes for the year, but that seems like a lot of wasted paper, unless you reuse them each year. anyhoo, here’s the graphic — happy saving & here’s wishing you a most abundant new year!
    xj
    http://www.amittenfullofsavings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/52-week-money-challange-amittenfullofsavings.jpg

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      Jaimie, thank you so much for reading! And sorry for not getting back sooner…I’m in another one of my transitional stages and haven’t blogged for a while, as you know. But I’m so glad you shared this tip. I actually did it over the past year. And yes, I saw it on Facebook too. :)

      It works! The end-of-the-year payments are more demanding. By November, we’re talkin’ about much more than a dollar or two like what we’re doing in January. That taught me to keep up with the weekly payments. If I let them slide, then I was suddenly scrounging up $126 for three weeks instead of $40-something per week.

      Do you like the envelope? I also found that I enjoyed ritualizing my weekly savings. I’d mark it off on a little calendar and then, put the cash into a cute little candy tin that I found at a tag sale. I looked forward to taking the loose bills and subbing them out with a crisp Benjamins. Etc., etc.

      I’m doing it again this year. Yay, we’re doing something together!

  5. hi betty!
    nice to hear back from you. i love the idea of the cute tin, of making the process more ritualistic. i opted for just one envelope, on which i have scrawled my own version of a calendar — i just x off each week when i do my drop. i hear you on how much harder it will get toward the end of the year (especially on a yoga teacher’s not-salary!), but i love the idea of having a chunk of change at the end of the year, so we’ll see. … sending love & blessings. … keep keeping us inspired! xj

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      Jaime, I love your ritual too. Writing everything and keeping everything on one envelope is so compact. So….intimate. :)

      The funny thing is, now that I have the savings from last year, I don’t want to spend it! At least, not all at once. It’s nice to have the cash on hand: $1,500 in crisp, $100 bills. In fact, I’m thinking of opening a savings account. Big love and blessings to you too. Someday, I’ve gotta get to your neck of the woods and take a yoga class.

      Btw, I want you to know something else. To this day, I still think of that moment from the writing class when you talked about watching videos about the mistreatment of animals by industrial farmers. It makes me stop when I’m in the supermarket. I’ve stopped eating beef, almost done with eating pork and buying very little chicken. Thank you for your passion and humanity! xo

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      Hey Jaimie, YOU’RE BLOGGING????? What a pretty blog. I still remember us talking about blogs in that workshop, so long ago. When did you start up? Congratulations!!!And what a good post on the search for a vegan alternative to Uggs. I just went to your site and left a comment. As for your kitties, they are plenty young. Enjoy their lovely company. And thank you for your condolences. xo

  6. hi betty! well, yes, i am FINALLY blogging, but, jeesh, i don’t love that word. i really just started — it took FORever to get my site designed & me to sit down & make something happen. my new year’s resolution was to get one “meaty” post out each month, but this one took two months, so maybe i should downsize my expectations! … thanks for reading. i didn’t see a comment — maybe there’s a glitch in the backend (as they say) — but thank you so much for bothering to leave one, & especially for your continued inspiration as someone who keeps reinventing her life, who keeps moving forward & blessing all of us with her courage & creativity & curiosity! xo

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      Aw, Jaimie, thanks. You inspire me too. Honestly, whenever I buy meat, I think about what you said about those videos you watched, that made you weep. Remember? So, I’m not full-time vegan. But my meat consumption is drastically reduced. I also think of you whenever I make my Rice Crispie treats because now I use vegan marshmallows! And I couldn’t live without YogoGlo! I appreciate the friendship, the support, the new ideas. The love. :)

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