When it comes to personal finance, it seems like feelings of scarcity, or lack of money, would be the biggest problem plaguing people. Instead, it's a lack of confidence.
"Nearly 60 percent of women feel like they don't have the knowledge to pursue their financial goals. On top of that, 34 percent say they don't have the confidence," says comedian Amanda Seales, host of Anatomy of Financial Confidence. The video series, presented by Chase, is designed to help people build confidence in their financial capabilities.
To find out why women lack financial confidence, Seales sat down with Toye Wigley, Head of Brand Marketing at JPMorgan Chase, to explore ways that women can strengthen their financial confidence.
What is financial confidence?
According to Wigley, the definition of financial confidence varies from person to person. "For some, financial confidence could be having the ability to be transparent with loved ones and friends about their finances," she says. "[For others], it may be the ability to take more financial risks."
One option, Seales says, is to build your own definition of financial confidence by identifying which choices make you feel more confidence in your decision-making. "Ask yourself what would give you financial confidence," she suggests. Once you know, you can start down the path to reach that goal.
For some, financial confidence could be having the ability to be transparent with loved ones and friends about their finances. For others, it may be the ability to take more financial risks.
A lack of financial knowledge can also make you feel less confident. Wigley suggests doing research to find the answers you need. "Actively seek information online or with friends, or go into your local Chase branch to understand some of the financial nuisances which may be holding you back."
You can also seek out online resources, like Chase's Savings Hub, that can give you answers to some of your key questions, as well as suggestions and inspiration to take your savings to the next level.
Talk to someone you trust
It can be difficult to build financial confidence when everything to do with money feels like a big secret. Wigley suggests reaching out to your friends and family for advice. "Talk to someone who you trust, someone in your inner circle," she says.
Admittedly, these conversations can be hard—there's a lot of cultural baggage surrounding finances, and many people have a difficult time being transparent about money, even with their loved ones and friends. Wigley suggests creating a financial support group to help get the problem off of your shoulders. She also recommends building a network of "accountability partners"—friends that agree to hold you accountable to your goals.
Building generational confidence
Building your financial knowledge and your financial community can get you a long way toward financial confidence, but ultimately true confidence comes from practicing healthy financial habits.
Wigley suggests that one way to build your good financial habits is by teaching them to others—particularly younger family members and friends. "As you get information, figure out how to teach the babies some of these opportunities to navigate their financial journey," she says.
As you teach others, you'll create a cycle of financial knowledge, deepen your understanding, and add more people to your financial group. This can be particularly helpful for parents who are looking to help their children develop good financial habits.
While there is no right or wrong way to build financial confidence, says Seales, it's important to take ownership of your financial life.
Above all, she says, "Own your finances, own your ability to invest, and own your ability to be each other's role models."