Psychology of Saving

How Well Do You Know Your Financial Self?

Nearly 30 percent of Americans admit to spending too much money on unneeded items1

How Well Do You Know Your Financial Self?

How well do you know your financial self? Take a look at these four steps to discover what's working for you 
and your money:

1. Write down three financial behaviors you do well today

Think of some money habits you're proud of. Are you putting a chunk of every paycheck into a savings account? What about lifestyle changes: Have you reduced the number of times you dine out each week or cut your cable service? Every good habit is worth a pat on the back (and a buck in the bank), so don't sell yourself short.

2. Write down one financial behavior you want to change

Consider kicking an existing bad habit (a new-shoe addiction?) or finding financially smart alternatives for a pricey hobby. No bad habits to speak of? Congrats! Think about how to make your good behaviors even better, like upping your 401(k) contribution.

3. Share one thing you are doing well with friends and family

Money can be a taboo subject—a 2014 Market Probe survey revealed that personal finances top the list of challenging topics to discuss with others—surpassing politics, religion and death. Are you surprised? But transparency can be a good thing, and open conversations about money tend to lead to positive results. Have a casual conversation over coffee (or cupcakes) about the financial habits that are working for you.

4. Ask a friend or family member what they are doing well with their finances

As part of this same conversation, see if you can ask for some tips in return. Your friends and family members may have creative ways to manage their money that you can't learn by reading a Facebook post or even a personal finance blog.

Make Your Money Work for You

It's easy to get caught in a money rut. Shake it off with a better way to pay your bills and by making good money habits that really stick.

1 "Americans Will Focus on Health before Finances in the New Year," Dec. 15, 2015, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

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