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"And sometimes, depending on where you live, it makes sense to simply rent." That's particularly true if you're in an expensive city.

Instead of pouring a lot of money into property, Orman says why not invest in the stock market?

If you have credit card debt and no savings, and you feel miserable, don't attribute your woes to not having enough money; instead see the lessons your money is trying to teach you. I see so many women fail the gatekeeper test when it comes to dealing with loved ones.

Is it possible you have yet to find your self-worth? Do what's right, not what's easy Believe me, I know how easy it is to run up credit card debt. When a sister asks for a loan to pay off her credit card or a child asks you to cosign a loan for a new car, you jump in and say yes without a moment's hesitation.

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When I learned to give myself—and my money—the love and respect we both deserved, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted.

I was no longer racing to keep up; I was so happy being right where I was. I stopped spending money I didn't have and started living within my means. I was clear on who I was, what I wanted, and what I thought.

Repeat after me: Say no out of love rather than yes out of fear. Gathering that information is important, but at the end of the day you must depend on yourself to synthesize it and make your own informed decisions. One day she was driving us somewhere and asked me to pull her wallet out of her purse; my hand came back smeared in lipstick. And buying what you can't afford, regardless of how well you take care of it, is flat-out disrespectful of yourself.

Seeking out opinions is smart; blindly following those opinions without thinking through whether they make sense to you—and for you—will leave you drowning in a pool of powerlessness. Purchasing a home with a crazy mortgage just because you think it is your right to be a homeowner—and then not being able to keep up with the payments—is not being true to your circumstances.

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