The Money Class…

I wonder if there is anybody else who grew up as ignorant about money as I did!  I knew three things about money when Ed and I got married.  #1-you have to earn it,  #2-you need to always pay your bills on time, and #3-spend whatever is left over after paying the bills.

Ed learned three things while he was in the army.  #1 do whatever Uncle Sam tells you– for meager pay, #2 to live frugally,  and #3- save some money for “a rainy day”.   In case you haven’t caught on by now, Ed is the saver in our family, while I’m the spender.

Neither of us ever received any financial advice from our parents.  We learned the hard way–by trial and error.  Some things we did right, some things we didn’t.  If I could go back and have a re-do, I’d definitely change a few things, especially on my part.

With Ed  rapidly reaching retirement age, we’ve been busy as bees, trying to get our monetary affairs in order.  In other words, we’ve been trying to save money, and also get out of debt!  Of course, Ed’s been saving over the years,  but thanks to the ridiculous low interest rates being paid these days, that’s slowed considerably!  I’m happy to say, however, we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of debt, and it’s a welcome sight!

A few weeks ago I began watching “The Money Class”, Suze Orman’s new mini series on OWN.  It was a six-week series, which taught different lessons about money each week.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching all six of the shows–and I learned about everything from emergency funds to bankruptcy!

At the end of the six-week series (which fell on Valentine’s Day),  Suze  put a quiz on Oprah.com.  For a period of twenty-four hours, you could go on-line and take the quiz.  If you made 80% or above, you then qualified to be entered in a drawing to win the grand prize of $50,000 .  Suze said the test would be multiple choice.   Suze even gave away an answer to one of the questions, when she said to “remember 300”, in the video clip  prior to the quiz.  I decided to go on-line and take the quiz!  Great way to spend Valentine’s Day, huh?

Let me begin by saying, I don’t work well under pressure, and it was a timed quiz, which freaked me out!  There were twelve multiple choice questions, followed by an essay question, which also freaked me out.  I had 15 minutes to finish the entire quiz–and the essay question had to be answered in order to qualify!  Oh my word!  I could hardly keep my eyes off that ticking timer in the corner as I read through each one those questions.

Most of the questions were pretty easy, but there were two questions I wasn’t sure of.  One of them was “what is the lowest possible FICO score”?  The choices were 300, 500, 800.  I knew 800 was good because it’s the score I strive to achieve.  I told myself the answer must be 500, because surely nobody could have a FICO of 300!  Wrong!!!  After I’d finished taking the test,  it then dawned on me that Suzie had given me the answer to this question–and I missed it!  To make matters worse, it was the only question that I missed on the exam!  Does it get any worse than missing the question that you’ve been given the answer to???  Let’s just blame my stupidity on that ticking timer!

I qualified to enter the sweepstakes, and I was thrilled!  Not because I qualified for a chance to win $50,000 (although that would be great), but because it showed that I’d learned some valuable information over the past six weeks.  If only I’d known all of these things forty years ago!

I highly recommend watching these shows on OWN.  They are currently showing reruns.  If you don’ t get the channel, you can also go to Oprah.com/money class and find most of the information there.   There’s a wealth of information to be learned, especially for young couples just starting out.  The Lord knows, they need all the help they can get these days!  Come to think of it–we all need all the help we can get with our money these days!

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Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 9:41 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Things are looking better here these days….we paid off our mortgage on Monday so we are officially debt free….I hope it happens for you, too…..

  2. I watched Suze Orman too. She’s a wealth of information. I didn’t see all of the classes, but having watched her on other things in the past, when I saw her on another show, she had said you don’t really need to have watched,to know the anwsers. ( But I guessed at the fica score at 500 too. Like you I couldn’t imagine a 300.)

    I am surprised my Mother didn’t offer some financial advice when us kids were getting jobs and making money. She was a good money manager, but we didn’t talk $$ in our family. Terry and I, on the other hand, have always told our daughters you need to save $$ for an emergency, because one always comes along.

    I grew up in and lived in Michigan most of my life. What ruled Michigan? The auto industry. That meant other companies provided the same benefits in order to be competative. Like higher salaries, but also fully paid insurances and retirement accounts. So many companies stopped that by the early 1980s and went to 401s. So the things we boomers were raised with and expected to have are not there.The $$ we ( all of us) had in 401s took hit after hit in the stock market. I’ve told my daughters we all need to move into “the big house” together like the Ewings, but it’s looking more like the Waltons these days.

  3. Way to go on watching her show. I know I should have and will try to watch the reruns. I first saw Suze on QVC many, many years ago and I just didn’t like her. It was just something about her voice. Now I have seen her several times since and recently watched her on Rosie on OWN and have a new liking for her. We also need to get prepared for our retirement. I inherited money a few years ago and it is so sad that it sits and makes nothing!!! I am a classic case of someone who didn’t know the meaning of money years ago when I was young. When my husband left me I didn’t even know how to write a check, all I knew how to do was spend it!

  4. I have made it a point to teach my children the importance of saving, not living on credit, and budgeting. You can buy that new dress AND take a vacation if you save, plan, and budget. It’s definitely a process and when you’re young you can’t imagine future tuition, retirement needs , etc.

  5. I wasn’t taught about money, either. And have the stories to tell as a result. Thankfully, we’re back on track now … but you’re so right, we need to make sure that the young couples (and the not-so-young couples) know how to properly manage their money.

  6. My hubby is the saver (I didnt realize that your hubby was military too, until I read this post…or maybe Ijust had a memory lapse :o)…anwhooo…thank you for his military service)

    I wish that we were more knowledgeable about investments, but we are blessed with what we have, only a mortgage on our home, a small note on my car and the “typical” living expenses….My hubby had read one of Dave Ramsey’s books a number of years ago, which had a wealth of info also. Thanks for sharing about Suze Orman’s on OWN.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    Thank you so much for stopping by! I have been out of the blog loop too, so have not posted my “one post a week” post in a bit…but am hopefully back.

  7. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


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