During the month of January, Suze Orman will be providing information to
Building a Strong Financial Foundation on her weekly show. The information and videos of the segments are also available at the link above. Her show is at 8:00 CT and again at 11:00 CT on CNBC on Saturday nights.

Some of the areas she is covering is how much and what kind of insurance you should have and saving for an emergency account and retirement.

Nancy Kvamme

On the Suze Orman Show there is a segment called “Can I Afford It”. Viewers send in their financial information and what they are considering purchasing. Suze looks over the information and tells them if she thinks they can afford to purchase the item. In some cases, they may be able to afford the item but she urges them to reconsider, thinking their money could be used better on someting else or to save it.

On last night’s segment one of the callers was a 59 year old lady that wanted to spend $50 on a toy for her grandson for Christmas. She was denied. Their income was from her husband’s pension and disability payments. There expenses were almost exactly the same as their income. In addition they had $30,000 of credit card debt and a $20,000 car loan (financed for 4 years, Suze recommends not borrowing for more than 3 years). They had very little in liquid savings or retirement.

Suze denied her, because she said she felt it was more important to put any extra money towards their debt. She asked how much of her husband’s pension she would get if her husband passed away. She would get half of the amount they are currently receiving. Suze told her in that case she would be going in the minus each month.

She suggested she spend time with her grandson instead of buying the toy.

At the end of the show, she said it was difficult to deny the lady for the $50 expense but she said in some cases every penny counts to paying down debt and being able to afford things you need.

Sometimes there are kids calling in for the segment. In many cases, she tells them how much that money would be worth in the future with the power of compound interest and asks them if the item is worth that final amount.

It is important to spend money on some items but I feel it is also important to consider if it is worth the money your are spending. It comes down to thinking about the difference between wants and needs.

Nancy Kvamme

There is a quiz on the Oprah website which was developed by Suze Orman to see how you are doing financially.

The quiz consists of 12 questions dealing with issues ranging from having an emergency fund, saving for retiremenet and checking your credit score.

At the end of the quiz you will get your results and recommendations on steps you can take to improve your score or continue what you are doing.

Americas Money Class with Suze Orman premiered Monday, January 9. It is a series of 6 weekly shows.

Here are a few things from the first episode. Each of the audience members had a large piece of paper on which Suze asked them to write the total amount of debt they owe. She then had them raise their papers. She had a few participants come on stage with their paper and show it to the audience. How would you feel to admit how much debt you are in on national television? As she said the main thing is they you “Need to face it to erase it.” How can you make a plan to get out of debt when you don’t know what you are actually dealing with.

Some action steps for next week are to:
If you are in a relationship, don’t spend one penny without discussing it with your partner to make a plan about your finances.

On Oprah.com there is a truth pledge to print out and sign

If you have credit card debt, go up to everyone you meet and tell them the amount you owe.

Talk to your family about your debt

Check your FICO Score

The next episode will be on Monday, January 16 at 8:00 pm on OWN.

More information on the show and online tools can be found at <a href=http://www.oprah.com.

Nancy Kvamme

Suze Orman has a new show starting on the OWN channel on Monday, January 9. It consists of 6 weekly episodes. She will give you information on how to do the best with your finances.

There is more information about the show on her website.

You will have a chance to win $50,000.

If you are looking for sources of personal finance information, there are two shows on CNBC, The Suze Orman Show and Til Debt Do Us Part. The Suze Orman Show is on from 8:00-9:00 PM (CT) Saturday nights. Til Debt Do Us Part has two segments also on Saturday from 9:00-9:30 (CT) and 9:30-10:00.

On The Suze Orman Show, Suze usually has a guest on that has a financial problem, answers questions from callers and the “Can you Afford It” segment. During the “Can you Afford It” segment viewers call in with something they want to purchase, after looking at their finances, Suze either approves or denies them. Sometimes you may wonder why she approves them, but like she says with their finances they can afford to do it but many times she still tells them she doesn’t think they should make the purchase. Sometimes she has a follow-up call where she hast the person on the show again to see if they did make the purchase.

Til Debt Do Us Part is hosted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. She meets with couples once a week for a month to work on getting their finances in order. In a lot of the cases, some couples are spending $3,000 – $5,000 more each month than they make. Some couples spend twice the amount of their income. She shows them where their money actually goes, how much debt they actually do have and how much debt they will be in 5 years from now if they stay on the track they are on. Each week she gives them an exercise to do to either make more money or to learn to work together better. If they follow her instructions and show they are willing to continue to work on getting out of debt, at the end of the show she rewards them with a check of up to $5,000 to go towards their debt.

Nancy Kvamme