How to Build Your Financial Confidence

Money Files

If you’re like most of my clients, the overwhelm and shame you experience with your finances can be traced back to a lack of financial confidence. 

You don’t feel confident in your ability to manage your money well and any time you’ve started to make changes you end up in the same place. You recognize that you need to make a change, but you don’t feel capable of taking the necessary steps towards creating that change because of the stop and go nature you’ve had with budgeting.

Luckily, financial confidence is a skill you can build.

In this episode, I want to help you recognize what is already working and how you can build upon your current progress. You’ll also have the chance to identify who you are when you are confident so you can tap into that version of yourself a little more each day.    

Tune in as I share 8 actionable steps for building financial confidence. 

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • What financial confidence is and how it can hold you back [00:34]
  • What financial confidence looks and feels like in day-to-day life [2:48]
  • How to recognize other areas of your life in which you’ve built confidence [3:04]
  • How to envision and recognize the financially confident version of yourself [6:20]
  • How to make the conscious decision to improve your relationship with money [10:59]
  • My actionable steps for building financial confidence [12:27]

Tune in to this episode to learn how to build your financial confidence and achieve your money goals.

In the episode…

Financial confidence is all about trusting yourself to make good decisions with your money. Most money problems can be traced back to a lack of financial confidence; when you don’t feel confident in your money management skills, you might struggle to spend and save in accordance with your values. Luckily, financial confidence is a skill you can build over time.

And whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably already proven your confidence-building abilities in other areas of your life. Maybe you wanted to learn to lift weights and signed up for a gym with no prior experience, but now you’re confident in the weight room. Or maybe you applied for a job you didn’t feel qualified for and are now a top performer in your company. You kept showing up, making small improvements, and envisioning your goals, and eventually you reached them. 

These instances are proof that you already know how to build confidence. You just have to apply that process to your finances. By following the same process – small improvements, conscious action, and goal visioning – you can become the most financially confident version of yourself.

Here’s how to build your financial  confidence and recognize the growth you’ve already achieved.

Step 1: Write down every win from the past six months.

Don’t limit yourself to “big” wins or “small” wins. Write everything down: paying off your credit card debt, saying “no” to Amazon Prime Day, or even just making a grocery list before heading to the store. Each of these wins is worthy of celebration, and the more you celebrate your success, the more confident you’ll feel in your ability to make good money decisions.

Step 2: Create a spending plan.

Use my free spending plan template to create a plan that aligns with your values and goals. Think about how much you want to save, what you need to spend on bills each month, and then what you want to do with the money that’s left over. When you follow this formula, you’ll have a clear vision of where you want your money to go and what you want to achieve financially.

Step 3: Schedule a money date.

If you desire to be the kind of person who looks at their finances regularly and has a deep understanding of their money, this is the place to start. Put a money date on your calendar, and spend some time familiarizing yourself with your financial situation. (If you’ve never done a money date, this episode will teach you how.)

Step 4: Cross something off your financial to-do list.

If you’ve been avoiding your finances, you probably have a financial to-do list that’s a mile long. Maybe you’ve been meaning to cancel a streaming subscription or review the bills in your email inbox. Pick one thing on your financial to-do list, and get it done. This proves to yourself that you’re not only capable of taking action but also that you prioritize money management, which is a key part of financial confidence.

Step 5: Raise your retirement contribution by 1%.

The best gift you can give yourself is to think about your future self. Do your future self a favor and raise your retirement contribution. Even 1% can make a huge difference in the long run, and it’s just one more way to feel in control of your financial future.

Step 6: Automate your savings into a separate account.

Don’t be the person who waits until the end of the month and throws their leftovers into a savings account. The financially confident version of you makes plans and acts on them. Decide how much you want to save from each paycheck (refer to your spending plan), and set up your bank to automatically transfer that amount into your savings account each pay period. You’ll feel accomplished seeing that savings balance rise, and you’ll feel in control knowing exactly how much you’re saving each month.

Step 7: Practice active decision making with your finances.

Never be afraid to ask, “How much will that cost?” When you go to the doctor, ask for an itemized bill. If a friend invites you to a concert, ask them how much the ticket will cost before committing. Financial confidence is all about making proactive decisions about your money, not reacting to and recovering from bad spending habits. In order to make those decisions, you have to get all the information up front.

Step 8: Have your own financial back.

This means holding others accountable for paying you back. If you buy concert tickets for your friend group and don’t receive a Venmo notification after a week, request those funds. If a client hasn’t paid their invoice, email them. If they still don’t pay on time, apply a late fee. In order to build your financial confidence, you have to trust that you’ll keep your best interests in mind. That means standing up for yourself and having your own back in tough financial situations.

Here are the takeaways that I want you to remember from this episode:

  • Financial confidence is a trait you can build, not something you have to be born with. 
  • You already have the ability to build confidence and the track record to prove it. You can apply this same process to your financial life and mindset.
  • If you want to become the most financially confident version of yourself, you have to start acting like the most financially confident version of yourself. Consider how that version of you would act, and then do it.
  • Building your financial confidence is a long game. Celebrate every win along the way!

Did this episode on financial confidence get you thinking about more money questions? Check out this episode on identifying your money ceiling!

Are you ready to build your financial confidence? Apply to work with me, and let’s change your relationship with money.

Transcript for “How to Build Your Financial Confidence”:

Hi and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneur producers to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances. 

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. Today, I want to talk to you about financial confidence or we could even call it money confidence. And maybe you’re in a place right now where you don’t feel confident with your financial decisions or even with your financial results. And I would say that this is probably the number one thing that’s holding you back from actually starting to budget or looking at your bank account, doing the next thing that you actually desire to do, or addressing a financial decision that, you know, needs attention. But you haven’t done it because you don’t trust your own decision making, and things just seem very overwhelming. But in this episode today, the number one thing that I want you to hear is that financial confidence is something that you can build. 

And the best part about creating this result in your life is that you’ve done it in some other area of your life already. Like, think about maybe you weren’t confident with your ability to lift weights in the gym, you got a gym membership or you joined CrossFit or whatever it was, and you weren’t confident in your ability to lift. But now you would consider yourself a lifter or think about a role at work that you took that you were wondering, Oh, my goodness, why? Why did they ask me to step into this role? I’m not sure if I can do this, but now being a manager or being over a department, that’s just who you are and you couldn’t imagine not being that person. So you’ve in the past created confidence in your life, confidence in your ability to do certain things. And so in the same way that you’ve created and thought about confidence in those other areas of your life and for some of you, you probably didn’t even really think about it, which is why it’s really important to look in that rearview mirror is because you can see, here’s where I started, but now here’s where I am. 

So I’m going to underscore this: Financial confidence is something that you can build. And it’s also one of the first results that my clients experience. So they are more confident with their financial decision making. They’re confident in knowing where their money is going. Day to day, week to week. They’re confident, too, that they can actually maintain the financial results that we’ve created together. So I want you to think about an area of my life where I’ve seen a shift in my overall confidence? And then ask yourself, how did I create this confidence? And really dig deep. Don’t allow yourself to answer. I don’t know. Or don’t allow yourself to answer in maybe three, four words, but just keep digging and asking yourself how and how did I do that and how did I do this and how did I do that? Because I want you to see a track record of your own success. Many of my listeners and people that I work with are type A women. And so I know for a fact that you are very confident in different areas of your life and maybe some. For some of you, the confidence looks like I’m blindly going to walk forward because I know that on the other side of what I’m fearing is the very thing that I actually desire to create. I’m that person. Like, I know that if fear is in front of me, it probably means that I need to lean into something because the results that I desire are on the other side. So use your type-A personality. Use who you innately are to really think about how you fostered confidence in other areas of your life. Because we’re going to translate this skill that you already have to do this and accomplish the same things when we think about your relationship with money. 

So as we think about our finances, one of the things I love to bring up over and over and over again is to remind you that money is really emotional. And it’s not just about a green and white piece of paper coming to you if you’re talking about dollar bills. And I work with clients all over, so you may not have a green dollar bill, but whatever your currency looks like, it’s not about that physical currency. It’s not about that number in your bank account. There are so many emotional things attached to how you think about money, how you view your relationship with money. And so as you do the work to transform your brain and transform your behaviors, your brain is automatically going to go to the things that haven’t worked for you, and your brain is going to diminish the work that you’re doing. And it’s constantly going to yell at you and tell you, Girl, you’re crazy. You can not do this. It’s. So as you’re doing the work, I want you to say, “Thank you, Brain, for your feedback. I really don’t need your support right now.” And really encourage yourself to hold the space to feel fear and also know that I can feel like I am fearful and I can also move forward, I can fail and I can also move forward. So that’s also a part of that. Like both and like both things can be true. You can feel very overwhelmed, but you can also take action that aligns with a person who feels really confident with their finances. Like what would that person do? Who is financially confident? What do you believe they would do? The answer isn’t they wouldn’t be in this situation. So I want you to think about how if I were feeling financially confident right now, what would I do? Who would that person be? 

I didn’t have this in my notes for you, but I like that question I want you to think about if I was writing like sitting down and writing. I love writing and thinking about the person that you’re becoming, but who is the financially confident version of yourself? What does she do? What does she think? What does she feel? How does she show up? How does she interact? Like getting to know that person? And when you’re in these places where you may feel stuck, you’re going to be able to tap into that financially confident version of yourself. And you can borrow ideas from what you wrote on the paper so that way you can have that both are like, I feel really fearful, but I’m going to act out of financial confidence. All right. And that’s going to also help you intentionally notice the things that you’re doing differently. 

As a coach, I always highlight and reflect for my clients how they’re different, because when we’re in the midst of whatever work we’re doing for ourselves, we sometimes can’t see the before and after picture because whatever we’re looking at looks so big or we diminish the. Actual success of where we are right now. So in your work that you’re doing for yourself, I do want you to be really intentional about noticing the things that you’re doing differently, how you’re showing up differently. I had someone message me on Instagram a few weeks ago and she commented that she called her doctor’s office to question a $600 bill that she’d received. And she was saying in the comments that she’s been paying her copay every time she goes in. So she didn’t understand why she had a $600 bill. But if you’re hearing that or if, you know, if that’s you, you’ve done something similar, I want you to know that that’s not a small win. That’s a shift. Because oftentimes and I see this all the time, we will give powers to other people when it comes to our finances. So if someone sends us a bill, we might get really overwhelmed, especially if it’s a bill we didn’t expect and kind of think it should be handled, but you’re not really sure. And so you give them the power and you just say like, okay, well, if they say I owe it, then it must be true. And I don’t feel like calling. So I’m just going to pay this bill or I’m going to ignore it. Right. Like that’s a cycle that people have. And so if you have a shift like calling about the bill and maybe you even have to call more than once because they don’t address it the first time like that is a gold star for you building that financial confidence. But also it’s like building financial trust, too, because you’re trusting your financial decision making. You’re trusting that you can actually take care of this. You’ve prioritized it on your calendar. Like there are so many wins and just that singular action that I want you to be able to acknowledge and notice for yourself. And I would say a lot of my clients like that whole bill calling thing is really, really big or canceling a subscription because it’s something that they wouldn’t have done in the past, but is a shift from who they were before to who they are now, and as they are financially confident, sells. Those are things that they do. They will call about a bill, even if it means that they have to call twice, even if it means that they have to talk to a complete stranger on the phone. That’s something that they will do and they will value. And it’s not even something they really think about anymore. It’s just who they are and what they do. 

So establishing financial confidence with your money requires that you make a conscious decision about wanting to create different results. So right now, maybe you have a stack of reasons why. Imagine that. Why in big capital letters you don’t deserve to be further along. And I have air quotes right now. If you could see me out of air quotes with this deserved because I want to underscore and I hear it a lot on consoles is that’s like a self-worth piece. You are very deserving of whatever financial results you desire to create. And if you hear your brain negotiating that you’re never going to have “fill in the blank”, whatever that is for you. I want you to recognize that it’s self-worth. And I want you to remind yourself I’m worthy, like I am worthy of the financial results I desire to create. And that just goes back to what I was saying earlier, where our brains do a really, really great job of reminding us of our past and they overlook our growth. And it’s very normal that we go to these automatic negative thoughts and use that as supporting evidence for why we can’t have the results that we desire. We don’t look for the things that are working. And so that’s something that we can intentionally do to help foster the financial confidence that we’re actually trying to build. So if you’re listening to my voice right now, I want you to use this as a positive thing for yourself, that you’re actually in a place where you’re seeking to shift your relationship with money. So you’ve already gone to the point where you’re like, I’m acknowledging I want help with my finances, so I’m here right now. That shows that I’m on the right track. Despite anything happening in your bank account, a conversation you had yesterday with the bill collector like you’re in the right place and you desire to change. Now, the change that you like, the full change you want, may require that you lean into that fear that we talked about earlier, but it doesn’t negate the fact that you’re in the right place and you’re looking for the help that you desire. So I want to acknowledge, commend you for being here because that’s really, really important. And I don’t want you to overlook that. 

So I want to leave you today with some things that you can do that are very tangible to help you build your financial confidence. And I want you to really start thinking about, you know, financial confidence is one of the results I desire to create in my life. And here’s how I’m going to go about doing those things. 

So the first thing I want you to do is to write down a list of wins that you’ve experienced in the last six months or in the last year. And I don’t want you to think small. I don’t want you to think big. But just, like, celebrate the things that you’re doing, okay? If you’ve paid off the debt, write it down. If you said no to buying something on Amazon Prime Day, write that down, too. Whatever, whatever that looks like. Maybe you’ve been making a grocery list before you actually go to the grocery store and you’ve checked your pantry before you go to the grocery store so you don’t buy three bottles of ketchup, whatever that looks like for you. Write down a list of wins that you’ve experienced, and some of them may look like dollars and cents, but other things could also just look like I’m shifting how I’m thinking about things. And those are just as important as the wins that are related to money in your bank account. 

Step number two, if you don’t already have one, create a spending plan or a budget. You go to the show notes. I’ll make sure that the one that I have is linked. But like actually sit down with yourself and create a spending plan. You know how much money you have coming in each month? Create a plan for how you want to use that money and think about what do I want to do outside of just paying my bills? So I always like to think of it as an upside down triangle. Thinking about What do I desire to save? What do I need to pay in order to keep my lights on and a roof over my head? And then after that, that’s money that I can use towards other things that I enjoy. So it makes sure I prioritize savings. I prioritize the adulting issues of life, and then I can prioritize the things that bring me joy. And so if you can follow that formula, it gives you a clear picture of where you actually desire your money to go. 

Step number three, I want you to schedule a money date. I will also link to your link in the show notes. I have a download that you can grab that walks you through a money date. And so, you know, if you’re someone who has been promising yourself, I’m going to look at my finances, this is a great way to look at your finances. Or if you’re thinking, I don’t know what to do on a money date, this is a great start. In order to engage in a money date for yourself, you can add questions to it, whatever that looks like. But engage in a money date, put it on your calendar. 

Step number four, I want you to cross something off your financial to do list. So maybe you said you want to cancel a subscription, maybe you haven’t checked your mailbox because it’s a point where you just know there’s bills in there. I want you to go check your mailbox. Maybe you have on your to do list that you’re going to separate your business and your personal finances. I want you to commit to doing that. Or maybe you said you’re on a call about the health bill that you don’t agree with or you’re going to make those returns. But step number four is about you crossing something off your financial to do list. Doing that is going to build your confidence because you are prioritizing the things that are going to help you create the results you desire to see. 

Step five I want you to raise your retirement contributions by 1%. Pay attention to your future self. That is going to be the best gift that you can give yourself. If you listen to the episode last week with Ellen, who’s a financial planner, you’ll hear us talk a lot about retirement. You’ll hear me talk about retirement from my perspective of someone who’s still building their retirement and the things that I’ve learned.

Step number six starts automating your savings into a separate savings account. So don’t be the person that would save what’s left over after you pay your bills. Say, I’m going to save $200 a month. I get paid twice a month. That means every paycheck I’m going to save $100. It automatically goes to this separate savings account. You can do that. Do it for yourself. Make it something that you do. And if you did the step earlier where you created the spending plan, you can commit to that in the plan and know how that impacts your other expenses. So you don’t have to, you don’t have to be the person that’s waiting to save if they have money left over. 

Step number seven, I want you to engage in proactive decision making with your finances. I don’t know how else to word this, but there’s a couple things that I think about where we can be really proactive in our decision making. And it could be as simple as asking how much will that cost? That is a question that we shy away from. Um, because we’re embarrassed to ask a girl for your money. How much does that cost? One of my girlfriends, which I’ve shared the story with before, asked me. I will say last minute. She will probably say it was right on time, but I would say last minute every last minute to be at her wedding and she knew my first question was going to be like, how much is that going to cost me? Because I’m fine just being a guest. I don’t need to be in your wedding, but you have to feel really confident in order to have those conversations because you might have thoughts about what someone else might think of you. So ask how much will that cost? Also in the same line of thinking. I think another thing that you can do is to ask the billing department of your doctor’s office or your dentist, your optometrist, whatever that may look like. Ask them for an itemized bill before your service so you can ask them to actually call your insurance, to give them the codes, and ask them to give you an itemized breakdown of how much you can expect to pay out of pocket. And that is you being really proactive. It means that you’re not going to get a surprise bill for $900 because you went in and got an x-ray. They could tell you whether or not it was going to cost $900. You can make more informed decisions. Maybe it’s November when you need this x-ray, but you can wait until January so you change your health insurance so it’ll cover more. Like there’s just things that you can do when you’re willing to ask these types of questions and make more informed decisions. You can also say no when you don’t desire to spend money. That’s another way to engage in proactive financial decision making is you can tell someone, No, no, it was a complete sentence. Maybe a friend wants to go somewhere to a concert. You don’t actually want to go to the concert. And so you can tell them, no, you can. It’s just something else to do. But I want you to be spending your money in ways that align, in ways that make you feel good. Don’t spend your money to make other people feel good. Right. And then under that proactive financial decision making, the last idea I have for you here is if you are a business owner, I want you to love your price regardless of the client. What does that mean? That means we’re not giving family and friend discounts or we’re not shuttering when someone says it’s expensive. Okay, you’re going to make that proactive decision that you know the reason and rationale behind your prices and you’re not going to discount it or discredit it for anybody else. 

And last on our list here to build financial confidence. Number eight is start having your financial back. That’s a really technical financial term to have your own financial back. So ideas under here, like what does that mean, Keina? It means holding someone accountable to paying you back, right? So maybe you told your friends that you would buy the concert tickets. You spent $500, but you haven’t been Venmo’d by anyone. It’s been a week, so you feel bad asking them for the money. They probably just forgot. Especially like if you don’t have friends where you guys are talking about finances and that’s not something you do. Open up your Venmo, open up your Cash App and send them a request. Okay? They want to pay you back the money. And then when they pay you back the money, put the money toward your bank account, put it toward your credit card, and know that you did something that’s building your financial confidence. Similarly, if you’re in business, I want you to send that invoice without the discount, or I want you to follow up on the unpaid invoice that a client hasn’t paid you. I joke with business people. I’m like the electric company isn’t like, Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m asking you for electric bill money. I really apologize. They will slap a late fee on that and they are not thinking about whether or not they hurt your feelings, whether or not they sound greedy or needy. No, you owe the money. They want their money. So as a business owner, I want you to send the invoice without the discount. We need to attach a late fee to something because that’s in your policy. Do that, but like to do it confidently. You can also call going back to the medical bills or any other bill. Maybe it’s your cable bill. All of a sudden it would go up to $200, it was $110. Call about the bill. You don’t agree with it? See what happened. Right? Look, and actually notice where’s the shift? And I’m going to do that because I’m someone who’s financially confident. I’m not thinking about what other people might think of me, but instead I’m going for the fact that I know where my money is going. I am very confident in my financial decision, so that’s why I’m taking this action. And then look through your financial statements like that’s another way to have your financial back. When you’re looking through your financial statements like bank account statements, credit cards, but just make sure that the numbers align with what you think they should be. 

All right. So if you made it through all those steps, great. I’m proud of you. And you may even want to go back to step number one and modify your list to see, are there any other celebrations that you would add? Now that you’ve heard me, kind of go through some of the things that can help build your overall financial confidence, and then you can be making sure from this point forward that you’re not overlooking your growth as an individual when you think about how you feel about how confident you feel about your finances. So as always, I hope this episode, something within this episode resonated with you. If it did definitely pop on Apple. Leave me a review. Leave me a comment. I love to hear from you guys. And if you are looking to transform your relationship with money and you want to work and dove in on creating financial confidence for yourself, you can go to my website. It’s www.WealthOverNow.com/Appointment and you can book a call to work with me. I work with my clients for five months in a 1 to 1 setting and in that container you will have my accountability and support to do the work that I know will help you realize not just what potential there is in terms of learning how to budget, but it’s honestly going to open doors of possibility for you and help you realize dreams that you never knew you had. So until next time, thank you for tuning in. 

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to www.WealthOverNow.com/Appointment and let’s get started.  

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