Three Habits of Financial Optimists
Start Managing Your Money Like an Optimist
There are three simple habits that anyone can adopt to unlock the power of optimism and improve their financial health.
Adopting these habits
While conducting research, the team at Frost noticed that those who implement these three habits are seeing some big benefits. Compared to pessimists, optimists’ financial health is likely to increase 7x over, they experience 145 fewer days of financial stress (that’s a lot of days!) and they are much more likely to recover from a financial setback.
Explore below for tips on how to work each habit into your daily life.
1. Take the taboo out of money
Optimists aren’t afraid to talk and learn about money.
Optimists try to better understand and improve their financial health in several ways, including through discussion.
Talking about money has long been considered taboo. However, optimists try to see past all that. They acknowledge the initial discomfort that comes with discussing finances, but they don’t let it stop them from talking things through with friends, family and experts.
Opting for open communication with trusted individuals can lead to improved financial health.
What might be holding you back
  • Fear of being judged
  • Feeling awkward about bringing money up in conversation
  • Intimidation—nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t pass a financial literacy test
76% of optimists are comfortable talking about their money.
— From Frost research
Practice Taking the Taboo out of money
1. Get Smart(er)
2. Pick a Money Buddy
3. Talk Money with Your Partner
2. Seek progress, not perfection
Optimists will make an effort to celebrate reaching every goal, no matter how small.
Optimists aren’t perfect and they don’t try to be. Instead, they strive for progress.
Perfectionists, on the other hand, find it difficult to tolerate mistakes. The fear of failure can be so paralyzing that people get stuck in place. Big goals can overwhelm, but when you break them down into baby steps, it will all feel a lot more manageable.
When you choose progress over perfection and celebrate the small victories, you’re far more likely to reach your financial goals.
What might be holding you back
  • Feeling the pressure to solve your money challenges overnight
  • Feeling too overwhelmed to make a plan
  • The concepts of “budget” and “plan” seem overly complicated
Nearly 60% of financial optimists feel confident about their personal finances because they recognize that there is victory in progress, no matter how small.
— From Frost research
Practice Seeking Progress, Not Perfection
4. Figure Out Where You Want to Go
5. Make a Plan
6. Recognize Tiny Victories
3. Expect the Unexpected
Optimists learn from their mistakes to prepare for the future.
Financial setbacks are normal and should be expected. A positive mindset won’t prevent financial challenges, but optimists will leverage these obstacles as an opportunity to learn.
Frost research found that feeling secure can have a huge psychological impact.
When you feel like you’re prepared, you become less fearful of the future. Plus, you’ll free up time and mental space for pragmatic and productive optimism.
What might be holding you back
  • Feeling hopeless when experiencing financial setbacks
  • Beating yourself up after a setback
  • Letting current financial burdens impair your ability to look ahead
69% of optimists say that they have a plan in place to deal with financial setbacks, which allows them to feel more confident in their ability to recover.
— From Frost research
Practice Expecting the Unexpected
7. Learn from Past Setbacks
8. Start Saving
9. Establish a Support System