Nearly four years ago, when I was just realizing that I wanted to pursue the financial industry for my career, I faced a fork in the road. Do I go to school to become a Certified Financial Planner and help people with their investments? Or do I get certified as a coach and help people with the daily financial struggles that come with life? I decided to take the coaching road mainly because I want to help the people who are not yet ready to invest their money, or those who are already contributing to retirement but who are still living paycheck to paycheck every month. Those people are the ones who aren’t getting the support that they need from the financial industry and I aim to help them. But on top of that, I was also passionate and excited about the emotional side of money. I knew that in order to make long-term, positive change, my clients would need to work on themselves and their own financial beliefs. I’ve been on that path ever since.

Your relationship with money will impact how you behave with your money.

Why Financial Confidence Matters

Your relationship with money will impact how you behave with your money. That means that the more confident you feel about managing your money, the better you’ll do so. Here are some things I know for sure:

How to Build Your Money Confidence

Just because you don’t currently feel confident about your money management skills doesn’t mean you can’t change that. I’m a big believer in changing your mindset in order to make long lasting changes in your life. It’s a process that doesn’t happen over night, but it has to be deliberate and consistent. Below are some simple ways and some not-so-easy ways to improve your financial confidence:

Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

One of the biggest reasons many of us feel like crap about our money is because of past mistakes we’ve made. Maybe it’s getting into debt or blowing our savings. But here’s the thing: we all make mistakes. That doesn’t mean we have to suffer for them forever. In fact, the sooner you forgive yourself, the sooner you can move forward.

Get to Know Your Numbers

Knowledge is power. And that is just as true when it comes to your money. I’ve heard time and again from my clients that just filling in the budget spreadsheet I’ve sent them makes them feel more in control. So quit avoiding your numbers and get to know them.

Find the Easy Solutions

Not all financial decisions need to be difficult. Your money mindset can improve just from taking small, easy steps. Finding those small solutions will help encourage you to keep taking more steps.

Automate, Automate, Automate

Automation is key when it comes to taking the right financial steps. Automation takes the human aspect out of money. It makes it so that you don’t forget to do things and it makes it so that you don’t decide to spend your money instead of saving it. Automating your finances will make you confident that the right things are happening.

Celebrate Your Wins, Big and Small

If you’re like me, you tend to ignore the small wins and only focus on the big ones. But the problem with that is that big wins don’t always come along everyday. And our small wins are just important, and celebrating them will make us feel better about ourselves and motivate us to keep going.

Stay in the Know

This is especially important for women who aren’t the ones who are managing the household finances. It’s totally fine to take a step back, but you should not completely wash your hands of things. You need to stay in the know so that you’re confident you could manage things on your own if need be.

Pro tip: Use the In Case of Emergency Binder from Smart Money Mamas to keep an organized file of all of the important stuff: financials, healthcare, passwords, etc.

Talk About Money

I’m a huge proponent of talking about more money more often. The more we talk about it, the less taboo it will become and the less alone we will all feel. And there are still ways to do this even if talking about money makes you feel uncomfortable.

The moral of this article is that knowledge is power. The more you understand about your own finances, the more in control you will feel. That control will then lead to confidence. You don’t have to become a completely different person in order to feel more confident about your money, you just have to start implementing small changes over time.