Money Kuel Category Expert: Melissa Ternes
Have you ever walked into someone’s home and the dog smell almost knocked you out?
You wonder how is it they don’t smell it?? Now, for the record, I’m 1,000% a dog person! And, I know if I don’t keep Phoebe washed, the floors vacuumed, and all of her dog beds and blankets washed regularly the house would be one of those knock you out ones.
Dog Smells And Money?
Now, you may be saying, ok Melissa, what does dog smell have to do with money? It’s actually quite the same. I call it being Money Blind. Money Blind is simply being oblivious to all that is there because we have gotten accustomed to it, it’s just the way it’s always been. For some that looks like stacks of unopened bills, for others it’s always having credit card debt, and for some it’s the fact that retail therapy has become a regular part of life. It’s the thing that if you were asked about it you might initially hesitate in telling the whole truth, not because you want to lie about it but because you don’t actually see it for all it is.
“retail therapy has its place even though it gets the bad rap of shoes and purses”
Are unopened bills, credit card debt, and retail therapy evil things? Not necessarily. And, I think this is where we often only have the surface level conversations about money; the sound bites from the media and gurus. Unopened bills can be a sign of ignoring money or a sign that you are out of time and overwhelmed with all that has to get done. Credit card debt can be a sign of under-earning and over-spending; or, it can be an intentional and well-planned use of money that has a return in the future. And, retail therapy has its place even though it gets the bad rap of shoes and purses. There is nothing inherently wrong with these, it’s what’s underneath that’s important to decipher.
What does it look like to get your Money Vision back?
It’s like when you wake up out of a deep sleep and it’s fuzzy at first, then everything comes into view and clears up. And for some, then we get a little extra help from a pair of glasses.
To start, take a look at where the mail lands when it comes in the door. Is it a pile a mile high, or is it neat and tidy. Do all your bills come to your email and are scattered throughout your inbox, or are they neatly tucked into a folder. Step one can be as simple as opening or filing the mail. That’s a step toward clearing the sleep out of your money eyes. After you take care of the mail, pause for a few minutes, and check in with yourself. Ask, was I avoiding something by not looking, if so, what? Or, was it just overwhelm at all the other things that need to get done and mail fell off the priority list. Then ask yourself, how you feel about money now that you have opened and taken care of the mail.
“Sometimes, it takes a little bit to find all of the offending odor and clean it up.”
Next, make a list of all the accounts you have and the balances. Does the list surprise you, or is it what you expected? Again, this is another way of clearing up the vision – know where you stand. This is the equivalent of inviting a really good friend over and asking, does the house smell doggy? Sometimes, it takes a little bit to find all of the offending odor and clean it up.
Keep working through your money and ask the question, “am I living the life I want to live”? If the answer is no, then take some time to figure out what you want and what has been keeping you from it. This may start as a bucket list or as a vision board. Daydreaming is a great way to look for what you really would like to be doing, having, and being in life!
Get Help if Feeling Overwhelmed
And if all of this seems overwhelming, then it’s time to get help with a pair of glasses. Money is no different than eyesight, sometimes we need a little outside help to see it clearly. That’s what mentors and guides are here for – to help you see and achieve the life you desire! Depending on your situation, you may ask a trusted friend, partner or financial professional. The most important thing is to find someone you trust so you can open up and have great dialogue about money!
About the Author:
Melissa Ternes is a financial empowerment coach, author, serial entrepreneur, wife, dog mom and lover of travel. Melissa is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and when she’s not out speaking or teaching, she’s seeking an adventure on the “pretty blue water” of Belize with her husband and adventure companion, Wayne. You can connect with Melissa on LinkedIn and check-out her website at Master Your Money Now.