Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘Suze Orman

Good Little Boy

with 9 comments

Total Black: $3,323.08
Total Red: $270,855.95

A discussion in the comments to Burning a Hole prompted today’s post.  I found valid but conflicting information on the internet and in those comments about how to handle credit card debt.  Even Suze Orman has modified her advice.  So I thought I’d take a moment and blog about it. Keep reading . . .

Oh, Mother!

with 22 comments

Total Black: $6.71
Total Red: $245,701.55

Palm to face!  It is with a heavy heart that I write today’s post.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

June 29, 2010 at 21:56

Limits and Liens and Loans

with 22 comments

Total Black: $906.89
Total Red: $241,059.05

Oh my!  Oh my!  Oh my!  I went looking for a jeep today.  Not sure how this will work out. Keep reading . . .

Semicolon And

with one comment

Total Black: -$28.87
Total Red: $230,428.32

I spent a few hours over the weekend helping my colleague again. Yes, the same colleague who has not yet paid me for work done in August and who seems to trigger multiple comments. I guess I’m a sucker for helping people in need. But in his defense, I don’t think he’s billed the company yet for our hours, so it’s not that he’s holding out on me. He’s received an offer from the government office we both worked pro bono at so he needs to finish up his consulting work as quickly as possible. You can’t work as a government attorney and have clients on the side. Keep reading . . .

Hay & Hokum

leave a comment »

Total Black: $65.20
Total Red: $230,481.61

I picked up a copy of a free local newspaper today: The New York Press.  I’m not sure why because I don’t read free newspapers.  I guess I find them slightly suspect.  Is their news reporting being slanted by their advertisers?  Then again—aren’t all newspapers affected by whomever pays them?  But I digress.  An article in the newspaper caught my eye, “What the Hay?” by Ethan Epstein.  The article begins: “It was a crisp Sunday morning in September when people began to file into the Javits Center for a dose of hope.  The ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ seminar is just the sort of optimistic approach these 2,000 women and men—mostly women—needed.  And it almost seemed possible since personal finance superstar Suze Orman was there to shore up the more dubious self-help nostrums.”  How could I resist reading that article.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fifth Day of Accounting

with one comment

December 10th and my fifth day of accounting.

Total Black: $65.10

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $0.00
Secondary Checking: $0.00
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $0.71
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.00
Mutual Funds Account: $64.30

FICO Score 497 [to be updated]

Total Red: $230,322.41

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,637.00
Visa: $8,133.82
Visa: $5,605.17
American Express: $2,402.17
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,010.35

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,518.49

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,280.08
IRS (2008): $27,952.00
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Total black is nil, but that’s mostly because I sent nearly everything to credit cards as well as a payment to the IRS.  I realized this morning that I haven’t been counting cash on hand in my numbers.  So, I suppose total black would be up by about forty dollars to account for the cash in my wallet.  I withdrew the remaining amount yesterday evening so that I’d use cash for the next few days.  I saw a bit of the Suze Orman Show the other day.  She’s pushing a Back to Cash movement.  I’ve been dancing around that issue for some time if only to avoid debit card insufficient fund fees.  So, I decided to commit myself to using cash for six months—the longest amount of time her site allows.  Here’s hoping I can keep my promise. Keep reading . . .

Shames Most Financial

leave a comment »

Total Black: $75.45
Total Red: $228,312.40

Got about five pages further in Suze Orman’s The Courage to Be Rich this evening when I had to stop and think about what I had just read.  Orman relates the story of one of her clients, Mark, who recalled an experience from his childhood.  While on a school outing one day, Mark and some classmates had lunch with their minister at a restaurant.  They all sat down to enjoy hamburgers and fries and cokes with straws.  Once the meal ended, everyone put money on the table for their food.  Mark didn’t.  Instead he cried because his parents hadn’t given him any money.  I suppose he hadn’t realized before ordering that he’d have to pay eventually.  Orman tells us that years later Mark is still ashamed of that experience and still atones for it by picking up the tab or making sure others know he has money.  I suspect that if ever he found himself in a situation where he didn’t have enough money on hand he’d probably feel like a nine year-old boy again. Keep reading . . .

A Minor Triumph

leave a comment »

Total Black: $330.01
Total Red: $228,454.60

Total black is up.  Unemployment came through.  Sent money to one of my credit cards though.  Just caved.  I can’t stand the automated telephone calls.  It’s seems every three hours it cycles back around again to my number.  I don’t know how it doesn’t rise to the level of harassment, especially when they start as early as 8:30am and call seven days a week.  No rest for the weary I suppose.

One random bit of good news: I finally gave money to a homeless man.  Too many prior entries discuss my continuing struggles with panhandlers and the like.  As I was rushing out of the subway station to get back to the temp agency—I had been there earlier in the day for an interview and was now returning for a follow-up visit—I passed a man who appeared to be sitting on the ground in front of a subway kiosk counting the money in his can.  When I looked back, I saw that he wasn’t sitting on the ground.  At least not exactly.  His legs had been amputated almost up to his hips.   As I walked by I said to myself, “You know, if he’s still here when I come back through, I’ll give him something.”  Just as I was about to walk through the turnstile, I caught myself on that lie.  What’s the likelihood that I’d see him again?  This was the Grand Central subway station.  Hugh underground complex.  So, I stopped, took out two dollars, circled back and put the bills in his can.  I don’t even think he saw me.  But that’s ok.  It was a breakthrough for me.

I mentioned in a previous entry, Change to Spare?, that Suze Orman advises giving to others so as to open ourselves to receiving from others.  I can’t say if it was chance or something higher, but a few moments later upon arriving at the temp agencies, one of the employees came to me with a job opportunity that had just come through.  It’s still pending, but then again this was only yesterday.  Curious, no?

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 3, 2009 at 23:22

Feelings and Finances

with 2 comments

Total Black: -$95.85
Total Red: $228,454.60

Just feelings.  Nothing more than feelings.  Feelings of . . . finances?  Come again?

I started reading Suze Orman’s The Courage to Be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance.  It’s good.  Really good.  Although the subtitle pretty much sums it up, some complain that it doesn’t contain enough strategic financial advice.  Well, that’s not what I’m seeking here.  So this book, it turns out, is just what the doctor ordered.  And just pages in, Suze Orman assigns you the task of considering your feelings about your financial situation.  How do you feel about your finances, she wants to know.  “I want you to address your emotions honestly,” she writes, “and commit your thoughts and feelings to paper.  If you don’t have the money to pay your bills, write down how it feels not to have enough money.  If you’re in debt, write down how that feels.  If you have far more money than your friends, write down how that feels.”  What better place than here to follow her advice? Keep reading . . .

Change to Spare?

with 2 comments

Total Black: $406.64
Total Red: $228,519.06

In a prior entry, The Lowly Penny, I wrote about my own struggles to unclench my hand.  Unfortunately, despite quite a few opportunities, I still haven’t given anything to people I pass on the street.  In fact, at one point last week, the only money I had was $2.50 in my pocket from one of the participants of the bookclubs I organize when she paid her RSVP fee in cash moments earlier.  As I walked home with that money in my pocket, I wrestled with giving it away versus getting something to eat to hold me over until the morning when unemployment money came through.  I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that I kept the $2.50 or that I used most of it to purchase an instant noodle dish for dinner.  I must have stood in Duane Reade for about fifteen minutes thinking through all the variables of the items I could afford.  A box of pasta for $1.99 would supply at least three meals, but I’d have to eat it plain because I didn’t have any sauces, oil, or even butter to dress it up.  A can of tuna fish for $2.09 would’ve worked, but it was tuna in oil and I don’t really care for that type.  Tuna in water cost more than I could afford.  I debated the chicken-flavored Ramen noodle six-pack for $2.49 because that would have provided at least three meals (I usually double-up on the Ramen noodle packs because they’re small portions).  But I decided not to chance it because I was unsure if New York charges tax on food and I didn’t want the embarrassment of having to give it back because I didn’t have enough on me.  None of the credit cards had room to cover the few cents extra it might have cost.  I had to laugh though as I stood there comparing prices.  I had this image of myself on The Price Is Right deciding whether the actual retail price was higher or lower than the price being displayed on the can of stew or box of mac & cheese in front of me.  I knew the answer, I explained to Bob Barker, because of that low point in my life in Duane Reade figuring out what I could afford to buy. Keep reading . . .