How Optimism Impacts Money

Positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan and Frost Bank’s Senior Vice President of Research and Strategy Ericka Pullin share research insights that show how your attitude and mindset toward money directly impact your financial health. And the study shows that even those who aren’t as naturally optimistic can learn to adopt the mindset at any time.

Frost Research Reveals Optimism’s Role in Financial Health

Optimists’ future-focused mindset positively impacts their whole lives. Especially money.

This mindset shift can at least partially account for lower debt, better money management and more active progress toward financial goals. Plus, optimists experience about 81 days of financial stress—compared to their less optimistic friends who are stressed 226 days of the year.

What’s the real meaning of financial health?

At Frost, we like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s definition. It states that financial health means you have control over your finances, have a “rainy day fund,” are working towards financial goals and are able to enjoy life—whatever that means to you. In the end, working toward a state of financial well-being improves all areas of your life. And what could be more valuable than that?

The Three Financial Habits of Optimists

Anyone can adopt these three simple habits to unlock the power of optimism and improve their financial health.

True optimists are determined to see obstacles as opportunities.

They don’t operate out of blind faith. Instead, optimists have an overall belief that good things will happen as a result of creative problem-solving, resilience and some careful planning.

What kind of optimist are you?

Test your outlook by answering a few simple questions.

Being optimistic is good for both your finances and your life. Ready for a mindset shift? Or maybe you just need to keep up the good work. Take a five-minute quiz to see where you land on the optimism scale.

Optimism in the Media


When you choose optimism, people notice. And it inspires the practice in others. We’re proud to share stories of how others are seeing positivity impact their lives in ways big and small.