Oprah can be hit or miss by a lot of people but one thing she is not is broke. When Forbes released its latest billionaire list, out of 615 billionaires, 7 were black and one was female: Orpah Winfrey.
When I used to watch Oprah, there was one piece of money advice she gave that stood out to me. I wondered why someone who was a millionaire, at that time, would utter such a thing. It puzzled me when I was younger but I understand what she means by it now.
That day Oprah informed her hushed audience that she always signed her own checks. As soon as that revelation left her lips, you could see the look of astonishment twinkle in hundreds of women’s eyes. At first, I thought she didn’t use an accountant but I knew there was no way Oprah had the time to keep her own books.
The average person doesn’t have the luxury to employ one so I knew I had to look deeper into her meaning. Where did I end up? Well, to me, it means that a person needs to be in control of their money and know what’s going on with it at all times.
Did you hear about what happened to Kevin Hart? His personal assistance stole thousands of dollars from him. Kevin had no clue. Why would he? He trusted the guy. Had he used Oprah’s approach, he would have been able to detect the fraud.
Seen the paper trail and stopped it dead in its tracks. Kevin broke the most important rule: he had lost control over his finances.
I value Oprah’s advice. I give her partial credit as to why I’m in the driver’s seat when it comes to my finances. The other part goes to my mother. Over the years, Oprah has dropped money advice here and there.
I have no clue if anyone listens or not but she does have at least one person sitting in her audience. For someone to come from humble beginnings and to make their mark in the world is someone that I would consider a money mentor.
The following nine quotes for money are my favorites from Oprah:
Why anyone chooses to live a life in debt has always been a puzzle to me.
I agree 100%. If you asked someone if they would rather live a life being financially free or one where it is a burden. Most people would choose freedom. So why is it that we choose to place ourselves in the debt-ridden category?
I choose freedom because of the opportunities it presents itself. Besides, when you live in debt it is a constant battle of trying to crawl over that wall. To get ahead. Interest is the enemy and 9/10 it prevails each time. I hate interest.
You pay for something you want and then years later, not only haven’t you paid for it but you also paid more than the original cost. That’s not getting ahead. That’s losing control of your finances.
When you define yourself by the things you can acquire rather than see what you need to be happy and fulfilled, you’re not just living beyond your means or overextending yourself. You’re living a lie.
Is Oprah, right? Are we living a lie? I spoke about this earlier. If we find ourselves in that situation where we are buying for optics purposes, we will never get ahead. Ask yourself, has there ever been a time where you bought something not because you wanted it but because in your mind it comes with a certain image.
I remember getting into a higher-end BMW and thinking had someone blindfolded me, I’m not sure if I would have known if I were in an expensive car. Okay, Okay, the high-end gadgets give it away but still, it was the feeling that I had while riding in the car. It felt like it didn’t matter.
However, as soon as I arrived at my destination, the valet snapped me back to reality. It does make a difference. You’re treated better. So what Oprah is saying here is that sometimes we take on all this debt not because we want to feel happy but to give the illusion to others.
If this is why we are doing it, at the end of the day, it affects our bottom line rather than the person we’re trying to impress.
Material excess is about so much more than the physical objects themselves.
When you free yourself from debt, you create space to purchase with purpose – to add things to your life that are meaningful.
I vowed never again to create more bills than I could pay. I just hated the way overspending made me feel.
It’s interesting how she phrased that last statement. It is as if the great Oprah herself learned a valuable money lesson. There is always that moment of clarity when we realize that this can’t continue. This moment is different for everyone. I learned to question all my money purchases now.
Just to take a step back in order to see if I can justify the cost. I say to myself: is this item unique? If the answer is yes, then I feel okay with my purchase. If no, then I allow it to fall by the wayside. How many times have you fallen in love with a pair of shoes, bought them and they stayed tucked away in your closet? For me the answer is numerous.
That’s extra money I could have saved for a rainy day. Instead, I charged a pair of shoes where months later, I found a similar pair to go gaga over. So now, all my major, even not so major purchases have to pass the unique test.
I have decided to keep only that which delights me or enhances my wellbeing.
Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life. When you can let go of the desire to acquire, you know you’re on your way.
You enjoy everything a lot more when you are not overreaching. This is how you know you’ve shopped smart: You bring home a purchase, there’s not a tinge of remorse, and whatever you got feels better to you ten days later than it did when you first bought it.
I have always had a great relationship with money, even when I barely had any to relate to. I never fear not having it and never obsessed about what I had.
That’s some good money advice, isn’t it? What I took from all this was simple: stay in your money lane. If you don’t have Beyonce money then don’t try to live like you do. I live my best life living Beyonce lite. So far, it’s paid off for me.