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There is no “One Magic Money Formula”!

Melissa Ternes August 2020

Money Kuel Category Expert: Melissa Ternes

With money all too often we hear, follow Guru X’s formula and you will succeed with money. The problem is not with the Guru’s formula. For most, if you follow the formula they work. It’s that their formula assumes that we CAN follow the logical path.

If we could have followed the path we already would have.The reality is, we buy emotionally and justify rationally. There is not a cookie cutter fix or formula for emotion. 

does it sound a little too much like, “eat less and exercise more”?”

Most Common Formulas

One of the most common formulas touted as the path to financial success is “spend less, save more”. Yes, it works, if you can do it. And, does it sound a little too much like, “eat less and exercise more”? We know, from years of personal experience, not to mention a booming billion-dollar diet industry, that it simply doesn’t work. It’s no different with money.

And if you really think about the spend less formula, there is only so much you can cut from your spending. It’s a race to the bottom, to cutting everything out and not enjoying life. On the other hand, the amount you can earn is unlimited. So, what if it is a combination of things and it’s unique for each of us?

Spending In Alignment

Let go of the spending that isn’t taking you where you want to go.”

Now what I invite you to do is look carefully at where you are spending and ask the question, “it is in alignment with what I want in life?” That’s where the magic is. Not in cutting everything out of your spending, but in being in alignment with your dreams, values and priorities. Let go of the spending that isn’t taking you where you want to go.

Another piece of the magic formula is to cut out spending on restaurants and coffees. Period. Or, it’s closely related cousin, only use cash or debit cards at restaurants. Maybe, maybe not. The important piece of this is not the restaurants and coffee, it’s the emotion and why behind them. For a single woman, eating out may mean social interaction and community – the place where she connects with others. For a busy professional woman with kids at home, it may be convenience and time. If you put the same cookie-cutter solution on both, one ends up lonely and the other even more stressed for time. The better solution is to look at ways to have their needs met without overspending. The need is where we get to the right solution for each person.

Address The Underlying Need

For the single woman, looking at ways to build community will solve overspending in the long-term. Telling her to cut out restaurants, may work for a while and more often than not, what I see is it goes one of two ways. One, she cuts the spending for a time, then rebels and goes back to old habits. Or two, she cuts the spending on restaurants, and it comes out sideways – meaning she starts spending more in another area to get the same feel good. Either way, cutting the spending without addressing the underlying emotion or need is only a short-term solution and one that leaves most only feeling more like a failure. For the busy professional woman with kids at home, it may be having someone come in to prep meals or a meal delivery service. Or, even assigning nights for each of the kids to prepare dinner. Get creative!

The Supply Side Of The Equation

Now let’s look at the upside, earning more money. Where can you increase what is coming in? Is it by looking at all that you have achieved at work and asking for a raise or promotion by showing them your value? Do you have an idea in your head for a side-gig? What talents do you have you can be paid for? Start brainstorming ideas that will take you toward what you want in life!

In all of it, know that you are a beautifully, unique woman and your money is equally beautiful and unique. Find the solutions that work for you not against you, realizing that emotion is leading the way.


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.