What keeps you awake at night? I’m not talking about your neighbor’s barking dog or drinking too much coffee before turning in. I’m talking about those things that go bump in the night, rattling around your brain, and making it impossible to sleep. If you’re like 80% of Americans, the answer is “personal finances”.
Yes, 80% of Americans admitted that their personal finances keep them awake at night.
I’m one of those people.
And I’m not afraid or embarrassed to admit it.
For too long talking about money, in a positive or negative context, has been taboo. We aren’t supposed to share the specifics of our salary. We rarely mention monetary promotions at work. We hide credit card debt like it is a shameful crime. We’ll share intimate details about our love lives but won’t voice fears about our personal finances.
That needs to change.
It starts with being willing to speak up about finances, both good and bad.
So, let’s have a conversation right now about how finances sometimes keep me up at night….
My financial night terrors began in college. Like many students, I had to find a way to pay for my schooling on my own, and this responsibility was a huge stressor. I felt that I had to be laser focused on my classes and studies to ensure I got the best possible grades. Top grades equaled more scholarships and a few less hours spent working.
In addition to scholarships and working, I had to take on student loans. The thought of those tens of thousands of dollars hanging over my head, accruing interest by the second, was enough to leave me lying awake until dawn on a regular basis.
Don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with being a good student. In fact, my efforts resulted in my graduating Summa Cum Laude and receiving multiple job offers. However, I wish that I could have relaxed and enjoyed my time in college. I wish that I could have built more relationships, joined more activities, and just hung out for once in my life.
This is a prefect example of not feeling financially confident which prevented me from diving into life and taking advantage of those once-in-a-lifetime college experiences.
Unfortunately, my financial insomnia did not improve after college. In fact, it has never completely left me.
To this day, no matter how much or how little is in my bank account, I have those familiar fears of not having enough. I worry about being able to take care of myself and my family. This coming from someone who has a degree in finance and has made finance her career!
What I’m trying to say is no matter who you are, how successful you become, or how much money you stash away, in the dark of night, contemplating your financial future can be terrifying!
While my financial confidence has improved tremendously through the years as I’ve expanded my knowledge and experience in the realm, I think that there will always be nights I lie awake worrying about it. One improvement I am happy to report is that I have learned to not let that worry keep me from enjoying life… and neither should you.
You can’t let fear control your life. Start getting a grip on your financial fears by talking about them. Start a conversation. Share your concerns with friends and family or complete strangers utilizing the anonymous nature of the Internet. (Whatever you’re more comfortable with).
Another thing you can do is take control of your finances. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to school and get a degree in finance. This doesn’t mean you have to get excited by words like IRA, 529 plans, investments, etc. (Although if you are excited by these phrases you can hang out with me and we’ll geek out together)!
Take control of your finances by creating financial goals. Take control of your finances by understanding where your money is spent, how you can save money, and what options and tools are available to you to help you reach your financial goals.
A great way to get started is to join the SunTrust OnUp movement. This is a movement aimed at helping people take control of their finances so they can live the lives they want. The movement will help you connect with others who have decided to take this first step towards financial health. In addition, you’ll be able to take a “Mental Wealth Quiz” that will match you up with tools and tips tailored to your needs.
Don’t wait, join the movement today, and start sleeping a little more soundly at night.
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.
The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.
Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.