The Secret Money Formula No One is Telling You

Do you wish there was a magical formula to wipe all your financial worries away? Here’s what no one is telling you about over-the-top promises…until now.

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Do you wish there was a magical formula to wipe all your financial worries away? A way to save thousands of dollars without any effort? Or even mind-blowing money advice that you've never ever heard before? Here's what no one is telling you about these over-the-top promises...until now. #moneysavingtips #moneymanagement #moneymanagementtips #moneyhacks #budgeting

After blogging for almost 4 years, I’ve come to accept that not everyone is going to like me or what I write. And that’s okay.

I either respond as gracefully as I can in the comment section, or take full advantage of that “delete” button if it’s completely inappropriate. However, when I launched my book a couple months ago, I encountered a whole new level of negativity.

“This book is garbage!! Do not buy!!”

“Mostly one big DUH.”

“Perfect for anyone who has been living under a rock!”


Sure, I was disappointed not everyone liked my book. But after nine months of pouring your heart and soul into a project, it still hurts, you know?

It was only after I spent some time wading through the 1 star reviews {because I’m the kind of girl who does that instead of focusing on all the wonderful 5 star reviews the book has received!} that I came to a conclusion as to why my book wasn’t connecting with these readers.

You see, I think people were expecting a brand new magical formula that would wipe all their money worries away. A book that would give them mind-blowing advice, and offer effortless solutions that would save them thousands per month without even trying.

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but saving money does take effort. “Knowing” and “doing” are completely different things. You must practice the advice to see results.

Not everyone wants to hear that, especially in a culture where everything needs to be faster, easier, cheaper, and better. But no matter what clever marketing or over-the-top headlines promise, it’s not the REAL answer.

In fact, the “magical” money formula actually looks a lot more like this: 


Probably not what you wanted to hear, right? Words like “commitment” and “hard work” don’t sound fun to me either! But no matter what app, program, book, or blog you follow, this formula is the key to making it all work.

Let’s dig deeper into each of the four parts and explore exactly how this formula will teach you how to manage money better.

Part 1: Incentive

First off, everyone has an underlying reason as to WHY they want to save money….a.k.a. an incentive. If you’re not positive as to what that is yet, think about these questions for a minute:

  • Do you want to be debt free?
  • Is there an expensive hobby you want to pursue?
  • Are you tired of your bank account being wiped out by emergencies?
  • Do you want to travel to an exotic place, or take a road trip around the United States?
  • Are you dreaming of upgrades to your home?
  • Do you just wish you had the freedom to splurge every now and then?
  • Do you want to feel secure in retirement?

Incentives are crucial to moving forward in your financial goals, especially when you feel like giving up. Basically, if you don’t have an incentive, you won’t be inclined to follow through!

For Joseph and I personally, we both have separate and together WHY’s. Our together WHY is to be debt free, right down to our hefty mortgage. We also want to travel and see the world—there’s just so much to explore!

Separately, Joseph really wants to enroll in flight school {which if you’ve ever looked into it, you know it’s expensive}. For me, I just want to be able to make upgrades to my kitchen and finally replace our deteriorating dining room table.

These incentives inspire us to save, sacrifice, and hustle to meet our goals, no matter what it takes to get there.

Credit cards and mug

Part 2: Commitment

Now that you have your incentive in place, it’s time to commit. Not just to a plan {we’ll cover that more in the next step}, but commit to a change in lifestyle.

Remember, changing your lifestyle doesn’t have to last forever. There are certain seasons of our lives where we sacrifice more or splurge more. It’s an ebb and flow that constantly requires adjustment and balance over basic needs and nice-to-haves.

For instance, we gave up cable three years ago because we were adjusting to a new location and really needed to watch our spending. We always thought we would pay for cable again in the future, but right now we don’t even miss it. I actually think we enjoy the savings more than the sacrifice, especially with these awesome alternatives!

The thing is, you have to be honest with yourself about how much you are willing to commit, even if it hurts.

I’m not going to be that person who lies to you and says that it’s always easy, but I’ll also remind you that it’s not forever, and encourage you every step of the way.

The only thing standing between everyday chaos and a streamlined, well-organized life are these five organizational tools. Learn how to set goals, stay on top of your to-do's, come in under budget, and keep your life on track and running smoothly!

Part 3: Plan

Finding a plan is one of the more exciting steps in the formula. This is the road map that will take you from where you are now, to that incentive goal you outlined in the first step!

I’ll be the first to admit it’s a little overwhelming to see hundreds of budgeting worksheets, debt repayment printables, fancy spreadsheets, and money management books floating around the internet. How do you know which one to choose?

My advice is to pick the plan that aligns closest with your incentive, then commit to that plan, no matter what it is, for at least 30 days.

Here’s a few examples to get started:

  • If you don’t know where your money is going, your first step is to create a budget. Many readers have told me that my budgeting series is one of the best and most easily understood way to budget, but you’ll have to go find out for yourself!
  • If you need to save up for a big expense, use an app like Rize to automatically transfer money from your checking to savings. {For more on how much I enjoy my Rize savings app, read my review here!}

No matter what you want to do, there’s always a plan to help you get there. But you have to take this next step for it to work…


Part 4: Hard Work

This is where the going gets tough. I don’t know about you, but there are many sacrifices I’d prefer NOT to make! We have to cut things we don’t want to cut. And we have to hustle to accomplish those big goals and incentives we have at the back of our minds.

I know it sounds cliche, but if saving money were really that easy, then everyone would do it. Most of us wouldn’t be in the debt or spending crisis we find ourselves in today, and we’d always make the most responsible choice no matter what.

The reality is, most of us already know what to do…we just have to be willing to do the work it requires to get there. Go through the plan you choose step-by-step. Don’t just consume the information as quickly as you can. Put it into practice. And I promise, you will see the results you are looking for!

One Final Thought

I know we got a little bit deep today, but this topic has been on my heart for the last few months and I finally worked up the courage to talk be bossy about it!

Don’t get me wrong—I’m all about quick wins and easy ways to save—they certainly have their place and can help you get ahead. But there’s also something to be said about the slow and steady race too, which can often make a much bigger impact than those quick wins combined. 

I’d love for you to chime in the comments with your thoughts on this “magical” money formula. Am I totally off base? Do you agree/disagree?

What are your thoughts on this “magical” money formula?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. You are so right! Saving money and getting ahead financially is almost never a piece of cake. The only reason we are debt free and have our house paid off is because of the things you listed here….and it was a a LOT of intentional, hard work. If saving money was easy and didn’t require any sacrifice, well then obviously most of us would be millionaires already! πŸ™‚

    And Kalyn, I hope you can let those 1 star reviews not get you down. Your book was packed with so much practical wisdom. Yes, someone that is already super money savvy may have known a lot of it, but even I who consider myself to be such a person, learned some new things! And it’s a great resource for someone that is wanting to learn how to save money and get a better control of their finances. You did good, friend! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Lydia. You are too kind. Every now and then I go look at the reviews of authors I love and remind myself that they get 1 star reviews too. πŸ™‚

  2. I signed up for 2 of your courses today. I challenged myself to no eating out during Oct. I made a list of what I had spent by looking through my debit card charges. Fast food avg. $6 dine in avg. $15 morning coffee and or snacks avg $4 what I decided to do was put this on a paper list for SEEING what I could save and then put that amount in savings at end of month
    Just in 2 days I saved 15 not eating out Saturday lunch as I normally do each week and no Sunday doughnuts on way home from church 1.79 ….
    Noted down. 16.79 saved already
    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. That’s awesome, Roxy! I’ll be rooting for you!! Also – did you get the confirmation emails? I’ve been having some trouble with my email provider and I just want to make sure you get the courses you signed up for! Shoot an email to [email protected] if nothing comes through.

  3. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic formula! Even if some of the things you mention are “obvious”, I think it really helps to have it all laid out right there at your finger tips. It gives you sort of a road map to get started, ESPECIALLY when you are new to being frugal. Don’t let those people get to you. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I think that sometimes that the more experienced we are at being frugal the more we may expect to find that “magic bullet” somewhere. I used to think that mindset was specific to spenders.

  4. That formula reminds me of healthy living and weight loss. Anything that is worth having takes effort and commitment, well in fact all 4 of the elements you describe! Most people don’t like to be told that there is no magic easy way to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve, be it get better at something, lose weight and get fit, pay off debt, save money, you name it. I am a new reader here and haven’t got to “know” you yet, but it just makes me sad that people feel a need to pull others down. I am in awe of your strength: you have the courage to put yourself out there and take the criticism and, most importantly, you learned something from it! Chapeau. Keep doing what you are doing πŸ™‚

  5. I loved your book! I felt that the steps to reducing your expenses were extremely helpful and relevant. However, I totally agree that saving money can’t be done without hard work and I’m so glad you’ve shared your journey with us πŸ™‚

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