As a money coach and accredited financial counselor (AFC), my job is to help minimize the feelings of frustration and fear that can overwhelm us when making key money decisions. My approach is all about implementing simple actions that you can consistently use to help you save time, put more money in the bank, and strengthen your money confidence.
Money confidence is believing and feeling that you are in control of your finances. It's like a muscle, and when you are able to develop that muscle, it helps you push through more challenging financial moments.
We are currently dealing with an unprecedented pandemic that has not only created health uncertainties but financial ones as well. Having money confidence won't make the financial challenges go away, but it will allow us to have an easier time navigating the situation.
There are three financial habits I recommend you implement to help build your money confidence. These habits don't take a lot of time and are simple to do.
If you feel any resistance to incorporating them into your life, that is understandable. But taking these small steps can ultimately make a big difference. I genuinely believe you are better with your money than you think.
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1. Talk about money. Often, talking money feels taboo and scary. I think people feel this way because we believe that it means a conversation centered around the bills and amount of debt we may have. The reality is that talking about money can be positive, like sharing the strategies and resources that have worked well for you with your friends, family, or co-workers.
I also recommend taking an accountability partner, someone who is working toward a similar goal, into your confidence.
The more you talk about money, the more you will feel good about it and the more money confidence you will gain. You can help and inspire others in the process, too.
2. Track, acknowledge, and celebrate your money wins. When you take the time to do this, you are accomplishing more than the win or the money — you are experiencing growth, you are forming habits, and changes are happening within you.
Tracking your wins can be as simple as writing down where you started and where you are now in terms of how much you have saved. Remember that no win is too small. If you are more of a visual person, create a chart and note your milestones.
There is no one fixed way on how you celebrate your wins. It can be as simple as sharing your milestones with your partner, friends, family, or accountability partner.
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3. Articulate your money strengths. Becoming money confident does not mean you have to be good at everything in your financial life. It means you acknowledge your strengths, use them to your advantage, and are proud of them. Articulating your money strengths will increase your money confidence.
Money strengths can range from being good at saving money at the grocery store by combining sales and coupons to being able to resist impulse spending. The next time you don't spend on an impulse item and put that money toward an emergency fund or a goal, mark it as win. Don't sell yourself short.
Let's get real: We aren't going to be money confident 100% of the time. We will have good days and bad days. Those bad days can have an impact on our money confidence. But a way to work through those setbacks is to do money confidence check-ins at least once a month or as often as your instincts tell you to do one.
Ask yourself three questions:
Don't judge what feelings come up for you. Let your thoughts flow and write them down. Whether you want to be better at advocating for what you're worth in a job setting, or you worry about your ability to handle an unexpected bill, remember that there are no wrong answers here. These are common concerns, and you are not alone.
I encourage you make this a regular part of your financial routine. Looking back at previous check-ins can also help you grow your confidence, because you can see how far you have come.
Jen Hemphill is a Money Confidence Mentor, an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor), and host of the Her Dinero Matters podcast. She is the author of Her Money Matters, and you can find her at Jen Hemphill, Twitter, and Instagram.
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