Stop spending on cosmetics, 'toys' - Suze Orman

MANILA, Philippines – Stop wasting money on cosmetics and boy toys, personal finance guru Suze Orman told a crowd of bankers and media on her most recent visit to the Philippines. 

Orman said women spend way too much money on cosmetics, from the expensive shampoo they buy when they visit a salon, to the numerous different shades of lipstick they have even when they only use one.

“Women spend a lot on manicures. If you simply buffed your nails you wouldn’t have to get a manicure more than once a month because the only reason you go back is because your nail polish is chipped. I’m an extremely wealthy woman and you don’t see me with nail polish on because it’s so much time and money,” Orman explained, speaking at a press briefing at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) building Thursday, May 16.

But if people think it’s the women that spend an unnecessary amount, Orman said the men are also to blame.

“The amount of money you spend on your 'boy toys' is amazing. We’re seeing all these high-end car dealerships coming to the Philippines. Why? Because they know that you’re going to want to drive one of these cars, finance it and they’ll make a fortune out of it,” she said.

Known as the ‘money lady’ Orman knows what she is talking about when it comes to personal finance. She is the personal finance guru of Oprah Winfrey, a 9-time New York Times best-selling author, and one of Forbes magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2010.

She is back in the Philippines for the second time to give out advice on how to manage personal finances, something which the Philippines needs now more than ever as its middle class expands on the back of a booming BPO industry.

Orman’s main piece of advice to the growing number of young earners that are suddenly finding themselves with a disposable income is to spend the money rationally and only on things that are needed.

“The greatest thing you can do for yourself rather than buy things is to just pay off your mortgage. Just because you make P15-20,000 a month don’t spend it. Only use it for your need, which then will generate incomes that you can invest which can then be re-invested in your future,” said Orman.

“Look at your closets and your jewelry. Look at the thing you’ve bought. Have you really got the value out of life by all this junk in your closets? I doubt it,” she added.

In a country where 8 out of 10 Filipino households do not have deposit accounts, Orman has made it her mission on her visit to the Philippines to educate Filipinos on the importance of saving and cutting out what she terms "latte expenses," (the small daily expenses which people make that can add up in the long run).

Savings, Orman said several times during her talk, gives empowerment.

“Understanding that who you are in life to yourself if far more important than showing people what you have. A lot of people feel more powerful in life knowing they don’t have credit card debt, they own their home and car outright,” she said.

“What makes me feel powerful is that I feel secure and safe. It doesn’t matter if people don’t want to buy my books because I’m safe with how I am right now and if something happens I would do just fine,” Orman added. – Rappler.com