Let’s talk money

A Simple Conversation Can Boost Your Financial Health
Lasting effects from the worst economic downturn in our lifetime are having a staggering impact on financial health. Our recent survey shows about two in five Americans do not feel confident in their ability to manage their finances during the pandemic, contrasted with about one in five who lacked confidence at the beginning of 2020. Plus, 40% of Americans consider their current overall financial situation fair or poor, and most don’t expect it to change any time soon. In a time when much is out of our control, we can control our thoughts and actions, and they can make a big difference.
In a time when much is out of our control, we can control our thoughts and actions, and they can make a big difference.
Opt for Optimism has always been about finding more ways we can help Americans activate the positive relationship between optimism and financial health. And, since three-quarters of Americans believe that having a conversation about finances would help improve their situation and make them more confident in their ability to handle future challenges, we’re finding ways to help them do just that.
Optimists don’t shy away from financial conversations
of optimists discuss their finances more than once per month.
Optimists are more likely to associate talking about money with feeling informed, caring, hopeful, proud and relieved.
Pessimists are 3x more likely than optimists to never discuss their finances.
People who talk about money are 2x more likely to have better financial health.
A variety of roadblocks prevents pessimists from opening up
They think it’s unhelpful
Pessimists are 7x more likely than optimists to believe nothing good comes from talking about money.
It’s embarrassing
Pessimists are more likely to associate talking about money with feeling upset, dumb, ashamed, judged and guilty.
It feels unnatural
Pessimists are 2.5x more likely to wait for another person to start a financial conversation than start it themselves.
We can all take a note from the optimist’s playbook
Find your squad
67% of optimists are most comfortable talking to people who are the same age or with the same amount of money as them. At Frost, we believe you don’t have to have conversations with those who are in a better place financially for it to be productive. Our research shows making the effort to discuss money with anyone is a step in the right direction!
Seek perspective
Optimists are 2.5x less likely to monopolize a conversation, opting instead for it to be more open-ended and inclusive. We believe it’s important to seek feedback from the other person, so leave room for them to share their experience—it allows for productive financial conversations and encourages both people to turn challenges into opportunities.
Get aspirational
58% of optimists typically have financial conversations that are goal-related, and half believe going into a financial discussion with goals in mind makes them most productive. It’s important to not let current financial situations define you—we believe a forward-thinking approach to finances and focusing on goals help overcome difficult times. And if your goals need to change along the way, that’s OK, too!
Keep it brief
69% of optimists would rather have shorter, more regular conversations than longer, less frequent ones. You don’t have to have long, annual financial conversations—most optimists discuss finances more than once a month. We believe that you should start engaging in the discipline on a regular basis to get into a groove that works for you.
Start managing your money like an optimist
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Learn more about Frost research
Where we began
We wanted to find a way to help anyone dealing with financial stress. So we examined how Americans feel about their finances and how those feelings might determine their day-to-day actions. Our research made our mission clear: Help people become more optimistic and the rest will follow.
Research methodology
TRUE Global Intelligence, FleishmanHillard’s in-house research practice fielded an online survey to further explore the way people talk about money. The sample size consisted of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older and was fielded between Jan. 3 and Jan. 11, 2020. The survey included quantitative and qualitative questions to ask about financial habits, as well as implicit association testing. The data have been weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population in terms of age, gender, region, race/ethnicity, income and employment.
The margin of error is +/-3.1%. The survey assessed optimism using methodology prescribed by the Life Orientation Test and financial health using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Financial Well-Being Scale. Then, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, this group conducted a 10-minute online survey with 1,001 American adults 18 and older from May 14-15, 2020. Data was weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and education based on figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.