When asked which Halloween character best represents their financial state of mind, more than a quarter of Americans surveyed – 27 percent – chose "bat" because they would rather sleep than think about their finances, according to a National Financial Confidence Poll conducted by SunTrust Banks, Inc. The same percent identified with pirates because "their pockets are full of cash," perhaps reflecting the strengthening U.S. economy.
To help conquer these financial fears and take steps toward financial confidence, SunTrust offers the following tips:
- Recognize that your financial situation will only improve if you take action. The first step is a mental decision to do something, even if it's a small step such as signing up for your company's 401k program.
- Focus on positive financial goals. Instead of a "rainy day" fund, call it a confidence account. Think about how much better you will feel with $2,000 or more in savings. Also set rewards for reaching savings goals.
- Meet with a financial advisor. Everybody can benefit from accountability on their journey to financial confidence. Set up a meeting with a financial advisor to talk about your goals and how to get there.
- Calculate your net worth. While it might be scary at first sight, seeing your assets and debts on paper can quickly uncover any missteps to resolve. Then, as your assets increase and debts decrease, you can start to see yourself headed in the right direction.
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