How can greater financial confidence help you?
What is financial confidence? Part of emotional confidence is your sense of self and your belief that you have the qualities you need to be the person you want to be. Financial confidence is similar, and closely related: It’s the feeling that you can rely on yourself to make good financial decisions and live the life of your dreams.
Backed by research
Financial confidence is an idea that’s grounded in our research into the financial behavior of US workers. We surveyed a representative sample of US workers to learn which behaviors lead to them feeling both financially and emotionally confident, and how stress can impact financial decision making. (And nearly 40% of those we surveyed reported that they’ve avoided dealing with their finances because they felt overwhelmed, so stress is having an impact.)1
Financial confidence and emotional confidence are connected
One clear finding of our Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence™ research: financial confidence is closely tied with overall emotional confidence. Building your financial confidence is a great way to feel more confident in your life and your future, and to help reduce stress and give you the presence of mind to focus on the things that matter most. On the other side, a lack of financial confidence may lead to increased uncertainty, more stress, and lower quality of life. With the stakes so high, we want to ensure that everyone has the knowledge and the tools they need to live a life of financial (and emotional!) confidence.
Research identified model behaviors
A key component of our research was studying the behaviors of the most financially confident US workers — and of the least confident. We identified four model behaviors of the most confident US workers. These are the behaviors that are most closely connected to their sense of financial confidence:
First, living within your means. The most financially confident US workers reported taking more satisfaction from saving and investing money than spending it, and they were more likely to have a long-term, written financial strategy to guide their spending and saving.
Second, knowing how to balance risk. Many of the most financially confident embrace a protection first financial mindset, meaning they prioritize protecting themselves from the unexpected through things like an emergency fund and having the right mix of insurance.
Next, people who see themselves as financially successful tend to leverage a strategic relationship, like a financial professional.
Finally, they proactively pursue financial education (just like you’re doing now!).
What’s your financial profile?
Our Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence research also identified four financial profiles based on the key behaviors and levels of confidence of those we surveyed. The four profiles are:
- Day-to-Day Decision-Makers tend to lack a strong financial plan, focusing instead on day-to-day demands and having enough money to enjoy life.
- Retirement Realists place a high priority on devoting time to and caring for their families, achieving a solid work-life balance and having meaningful experiences.
- Ambitious Spenders enjoy demonstrating their success to others, being recognized for their accomplishments and being up on all the latest trends in technology.
- Confident Planners Have it figured out when it comes to finances and staying happy and healthy.
Are you a Confident Planner? A Day-to-Day Decision-Maker? Take our quiz to learn where you fall, and what steps you can take to boost your own financial and emotional confidence.
1 The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence, 2021
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