Confidence means being self-assured. I was once chosen to speak at a pretty major conference, and at first, I questioned whether they had the right person, but then I realized I had all of the right qualifications for the job. Being confident doesn’t mean that we’re perfect; it just means we’re already great candidates for something, that we’ve prepared as much as we can, and that we’re ready.
Financial confidence, therefore, means we’re doing everything we can to set ourselves up for future success. We’re debt-free (or on our way to it), we’re able to make those big purchases (like a car or a home), and we’re saving for the future. We know we’re on the right track. When we’re financially confident, we tend to be more confident about everything. Think about a time you struggled financially. Your mind was likely always on money, instead of what was right in front of you. When we feel good about our money, everything else thrives. We can relax when we know the basics are under control.
While I’m no expert, I know what it feels like to be both financially confident and financially insecure. (Having four kids will drag you through the spectrum!) In honor of Financial Literacy Month this April, I’ve got a few tips to boost your financial confidence.
1. Start by joining SunTrust’s onUp Movement. There you can access tools to build and stick to a budget. You’ll hear inspiring stories. You’ll learn your “money personality,” which will help you better understand why you spend and save the way you do. Learn about everything from how to save for a wedding to how to financially recover after a divorce to how to handle all of the usual life events that throw our finances out of whack.
2. Explore additional sources of income. Whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or you’re saving for a vacation, finding extra streams of income can definitely increase financial confidence. Maybe you need to get a second job, but if not, have you looked into “side hustles” that can generate money here and there? You could babysit, pet sit, drive for a company like Lyft, do virtual assisting work online, or have a garage sale. Are you into crafting? Why not open up an Etsy shop and sell what you make online.
3. Manage your debts. Some debts, like student loans, mortgages and medical debts don’t look bad on a credit report (unless you miss payments or default), but nothing can make a person feel more financially insecure than carrying the weight of credit card debt. While getting out from under it takes time, you can speed up the process with a few smart moves. First, stop charging! Don’t charge another thing! Second, transfer balances to cards that have low or 0% APR’s. Finally, throw as much income toward paying off these debts as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner your income will be freed up to do with as you choose. The same goes for any vehicle loans you may have.
4. Save and invest. Without an emergency fund, you’ll be forced to rack up debt to cover an unexpected expense. Work on building a savings account that can cover six months of lost wages. If you have the option to invest in a 401k at work, do it (even if you can only contribute 1%)! If you don’t have that opportunity, look into opening an IRA.
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you. The onUp Movement is 1 million strong…and growing. onUp is about having the confidence to move forward one smart step at a time.
Join now and start building your financial confidence today.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.