Taking control of your money can help you feel more fearless about the future.

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Brian (00:10):

Welcome to "Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian," a podcast where we draw the connection between your financial and mental well-being. If you're listening to this episode around the time it's released, let me also wish you a happy Halloween. I love when it's fall. I love when the air is crisp, the leaves are changing. It's my favorite season. I love it. I'm Brian Ford, head of financial wellness at Truist, and I genuinely love helping people with their personal finances, I think as much as a kid loves filling up his bucket with candy on Halloween. I'm here as always with my co-host, Bright Dickson, who is a senior purpose advisor at Truist, and an expert on resilience and positive psychology. Happy Halloween, Bright. What are your plans for the holiday this year?

Bright (00:54):

Well, happy Halloween to you too, Brian. I'm not a huge Halloween person. I'm pretty thrilled if I remember to buy candy the day of. But my plan is to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters because I'm in a big trick-or-treating neighborhood, and I will probably watch “E.T.,” which is one of my favorite movies, while I do that. What about you? Are you doing anything special for the spooky season?

Brian (01:17):

Well, I enjoy Halloween, but my wife absolutely loves it and she normally makes me dress up as something I'm not so sure about. And then we'll go to at least three Halloween shindigs for which she will have three different costumes for. Yeah, it's kind of nuts.


But it's fitting that we're doing this podcast so close to Halloween, because I've got a question for our listeners. What scares you? Think about it for a second. Is it ghosts, sharks? Are you afraid of heights? Public speaking? What about big, unexpected expenses or maybe credit card debt?

Bright (01:56):

Brian, I'm not necessarily a huge fan of snakes, but I think when I'm really serious, it's those major unexpected expenses. Those are really scary for me.

Brian (02:04):

Yeah, look. Oh, snakes, spiders, ugh. Yeah-

Bright (02:08):


Brian (02:08):

... not feeling it. But look, you're not the only person, Bright. But you've got nothing to be afraid of because today's episode is all about facing and overcoming your financial fears. Everybody has financial anxiety every now and then. And whether you're worried about the stock market or something more personal like credit card debt, what matters is how we take action and respond to that anxiety. So we'll break down really the psychology behind it. We'll explore some common sources of financial fears, talk about specific strategies you can use to help feel a little bit more fearless when it comes to money. So Bright, are you ready to help our listeners face their financial fears?

Bright (02:44):

Ghosts, snakes, unexpected expenses, credit card debt, it sounds like we're going to get a grip on all sorts of scary stuff today. So deep breath, everybody. We've got this.

Brian (03:04):

OK, let's start with something kind of fun. Not long ago, Truist did a survey that connects Halloween with personal finances. The survey asked people to pick which Halloween character represents their financial state of mind, and the results, they're pretty interesting. So we had 19% of people pick the classic ghost because quote, "Unexpected expenses make my savings disappear." Another 19% chose vampire because they said, "Just paying the bills sucks the life out of my paycheck." About 8% said they were skeletons because their excessive spending habits were just killing them financially. And more than a quarter of the people who took the survey said their financial state of mind was like a bat because they'd rather sleep than think about their finances. OK, Bright, which one of these Halloween characters represents your financial state of mind?

Bright (03:55):

Brian, I'd say most of the time I feel like the bat, but as I look at this survey, I've got to say I'm pretty jealous of that 27% of people who picked pirate because, and I quote directly here, "My pockets are full of cash." So maybe part of their problem is that actually they keep too much of their money as cash when maybe they should be investing it. But that's a pretty happy looking pirate, honestly. So, "A pirate's life for me," is that how the song goes?

Brian (04:23):

Well, before our listeners put parrots on their shoulders and set sail, I'd advise them against turning to a life of piracy. I mean, for one thing, you're not getting any interest on buried treasure.

Bright (04:36):

Fair enough. So you're saying cartoon pirates are maybe not necessarily the best financial role models?

Brian (04:42):

Yeah, I'm just saying.


But the part of the survey I really want to get to is about people's top financial fears and their scariest financial mistakes. About 21% of people said their number one financial fear was that they or their spouse would lose their job and their income. Another 17% named the fear of a potential medical emergency and its resulting costs. And I think that one falls in the scary unexpected expenses category that we already mentioned. Others cited a recession or an unforeseen economic event. The survey also shows that people are experiencing a little fear that they haven't saved enough for retirement. And for others it's running up a credit card balance on unimportant purchases or spending too much on a relationship that didn't work out.


And Bright, even though we plan to chat about some of these specific fears and how we can address them in a little more detail later on, for now, I just wanted to mention that this survey, it shows that financial fears, they're common. There are things involving money that can scare anyone. Plus, I think it's kind of fun to relate our financial fears to some of these Halloween characters.

Bright (05:50):

It is, and we definitely had to mention that pirate. And Brian, one point I know we also want to make really clear is that it's not the money itself that's scary. Money's a number. It's what it represents that matters. So when we're scared about our credit card debt or not having enough saved for retirement or whatever the case, it's not really about the money. It's about what it means for our lives. What we're really afraid of is the impact on our lives and on the people we care about.

Brian (06:20):

Yeah, so true. I mean, money on its own isn't typically scary. So on the one hand, money can help us live according to our values and support the things and people that we care about. However, the opposite is also true. When our money life is not in order, it can impact the things and people we care most about. And that's scary, for real. So Bright, from a mindset perspective, where are these fears coming from?

Bright (06:45):

Yeah, let me just say first that I really do love how this episode is coming out so close to Halloween, because these spooky characters, all the Halloweeny stuff, it actually provides some nice metaphors for thinking about anxiety and fear in general. That's really sort of why we have Halloween. So for a lot of us, the things that scare us are ghosts. So maybe they’re things that had come back to haunt us, maybe things that have happened in the past, rooted in bad experiences that we've had before, and we're worried they're going to jump out and scare us again. Others might be monsters that we invent all on our own in our own imagination, and they live under the bed or in the closet and come out and scare us. And that doesn't mean that they can't be scary or significant, but just they exist in our own mind, and that means we have some control over them.

Brian (07:38):

Yeah, no, I agree. I would say monsters that aren't real, sometimes financial monsters, just they creep into my mind sometimes and I just need a little bit of perspective. I agree with you there. Bright, can you speak a little more about the overall psychology of fear? What's happening in our brains when we get scared?

Bright (07:58):

We'll talk at a really basic level. It gets complicated, but it starts in a part of our brain called the amygdala, which is this little almond-shaped part of our brain that regulates our emotional responses to things. So it's really in charge of fight or flight and also basic attachment. Fear is one of the foundations of our emotional system, and it works that way for a really good reason. Part of the reason that we've survived as a species is because we have a really dialed in fear response.


We tend to talk about fear these days as a bad thing, have no fear, all of that, but fear is not a bad thing. It's a neutral thing. It's like a fact, right? It's about the subject of the fear, the stimulus that's causing the fear and what we do about it or don't do about it. And part of us kind of loves being afraid too, right? It's like elemental. That's why we have things like horror movies, because we do love being afraid, and we don't actually want to live a fear-free existence. That's not good for us because then we do really, really dumb stuff that ends up hurting us. Fear's helpful.

Brian (09:11):

Yeah. I mean, if you're walking through the woods and you come across a grizzly bear, and I have been hiking in Alaska and heard some bears in the distance, I mean, that fear response you described, it might just save your life.

Bright (09:23):

Totally. Absolutely. And what we've got to remember is that fear is just something we have to manage. So I think of fear similarly to the way I think of moving water. So, y'all are just going to have to hang with me on this analogy, but you know how I am. So I used to lead these canoe trips and they were way, way out in the wilderness, far, far away. Help was not near. And one of the things that I really worked with the kids on was cultivating a really healthy fear of water. So not extreme fear, but healthy fear and healthy risk-taking around water. We were on it all the time, and it was the thing that could kill us. So we had to learn and teach how to read the water, how to manage it, and how to move through it and with it rather than against it. And the key to that is taking control, taking specific actions to address the root cause of what's going on and making your way through it.


So Brian, thoughts on that? How can we apply some of this psychology when it comes to our money?

Brian (10:32):

Yeah, I mean, I like what you're saying, and I know in the past, Bright, you've shared this with me before, which stuck with me, that fear is information, and what matters is what we do with it. So when it comes to your finances, it's about identifying what's at the root of your fear. That's about facing the truth of your personal financial situation. And this requires your rational, unemotional side as well as good factual information from a reliable source or people that you can trust. So here's an example. If you meet with your financial planner, someone you trust when it comes to financial advice, and they tell you that you're not on track to hit your retirement goals, this might scare you a little bit. But if you respond to that anxiety by upping your 401(k) contributions, then you're using that little bit of fear to take control and put yourself in a better position for the future. So next thing you know, you're going to be feeling better about your money, and all those small financial wins, they're going to give you even more motivation to keep crushing your money goals.

Bright (11:36):

Right. And it wouldn't have happened if you didn't have that bit of fear, right? So that's a way in which fear can be really, really helpful as information.


And I think there's another "but" in here too. So, as useful as fear can be, it can also cause you to imagine irrational worst-case scenarios and stress too much about things that are really out of your control. So these are these monsters that come from our imagination and have not that much to do with reality.

Brian (12:07):

Yeah, totally. I think we see these monsters creep up when it comes to economic issues like inflation or recession. There are specific things you can do to shore up your finances and maybe put your mind at ease a little bit. But if you're worried about the economy, like having this generalized, nonspecific fear, this can cloud our judgment and it can cause us to act impulsively.


And we see this a lot with the stock market. So when investing and fear often mix in a bad way, this is during downturns, which is often when investors get scared into selling at the wrong time. So people get fearful and they want to sell their investments or stop investing altogether, which can lead to missing out on returns when the market recovers. And on the flip side of that, a fear of missing out when the stock market is booming, when it's going up, can lead you to make poor investment choices that aren't grounded in good advice and research.


So Bright, real quick here, I just want to give a shoutout to a past episode. Anyone who wants to know more about overcoming investing fears should go back and listen to our episode called "How to invest with confidence and overcome anxiety." It was with our guest, if you remember, Dr. Daniel Crosby. Good friend of mine. I love that one. But the main takeaway with these investing examples is that it's important to think long-term and stay the course without making short-term moves based on fear.

Bright (13:33):

And that takes me back to just being on the water in a canoe. When you're in moving water, and I'm talking about whitewater rapids here, you always want to be moving either faster than the water's going or slower than the water's going. You never want to be moving with the water because then the water's going to push you where it wants you to go, which is not necessarily the same place you want to go. So the water might want to broadside you and flip your canoe over. And in this analogy, fear is like the water, right? So you're moving through it, but you have to be the one in control. You can't let your fears push you around and tell you where to go.

Brian (14:08):

That's deep. Dropping canoeing and psychological financial bombs. I love it. And as you said earlier, Bright, that starts with taking action. So coming up, we're going to talk about specific steps you can take that can help you face your fears head on.

Bright (14:24):

Your financial fears at least. We'll have to deal with your shark fear or your snake fear or your skeleton fear in a different podcast.

Brian (14:31):

Yeah, maybe we start a new podcast and we call it "Monsters and Mayhem With Bright and Brian," what do you think?

Bright (14:39):

Yeah, I'm game. Maybe we'll workshop the name a little bit, but I'm game.

Brian (14:43):

I thought you'd be, ah, not so much. All right, stay tuned.

Bright (14:57):

Before we talk about developing an action plan to face your financial fears, it's time to answer a listener question. A reminder that you can email us anytime at AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com. We want to hear about any money or mindset challenges you're dealing with or any wins that you've made in your own personal journey, but also we just love getting questions about different topics that we can help answer for you. You can also email us to tell us which Halloween character resembles your financial state of mind. Speaking of, earlier I said that I felt like a bat because I'd rather sleep than think about my finances. Brian, we can't forget you. What Halloween character resembles your financial state of mind?

Brian (15:35):

Oh, I don't know if this was on the list, but I'm going to go with a mummy because I'm afraid my children's Mummy is going to spend all of our money.

Bright (15:44):

Oh no.

Brian (15:44):

OK. That was-

Bright (15:44):

Oh no.

Brian (15:50):

Oh, that was a little off the cuff. We may need to edit that part out if I want to stay married to that mummy, which I very much do. I love you. I love you, sweetheart. If you’re listening to this. OK, though, for real, going back to the survey, I would say a pirate because I love to save. I love having cash on hand. I mean, my family makes fun of me. They make fun of all my little hidden stashes of cash. I don’t know, maybe I’m more like a squirrel.

Bright (16:20):

Maybe you are. Maybe your Halloween costume this year is going to have a big bushy tail.


All right, so, on to the inbox. So a listener wrote, "My spouse is constantly worried about how much we have saved. I have a hard time getting them to enjoy what we have, even though I know our savings are in a good place. How do I convince my spouse that it's OK for us to occasionally spend on some non-necessities, like new clothes or jewelry, when I know we can afford it, but they're too scared to spend money?" Brian, what do you think?

Brian (16:48):

Oh, I like this. So when I teach my personal finance class, I always have a section about the importance of having an emergency savings account, which I call a financial confidence account. And when I teach this in person, I use a very simple object lesson. This is going to come back around to the listener's question, I promise. Stay with me.


But what I do when I'm teaching is I have a glass filled with ice on the table, and I set it next to a can of soda. And this is like a two-hour class with no breaks. And so at some point while I'm teaching, I begin to pour the soda into the glass, but I purposely pour too much, and it spills onto the table and sometimes it even will drip a little onto the carpet. And not a huge spill, but we're talking soda, so it's got sugar. And a lot of people just intuitively, they're like, "Oh boy, that's going to be sticky." So inevitably, there's always people who jump up and want to help clean, even as I keep teaching the class. And there are others who don't. They could care less. Maybe they're like, "What an idiot, what's he doing?" But they obviously don't think it's a big deal and they just want to keep listening without making the spill an even bigger deal in the middle of the class type of thing.


Well, about 10 minutes later, I bring up what happened, and I'll say something like, "Look, how many of you were really worried about the fact that I spilled, and it was difficult to focus on what I was saying because you just wanted to come up and clean the mess?" And normally, Bright, about half the room raises their hand. And then I'm like, "OK then. Well, how many of you thought it wasn't a big deal? Just keep talking. Who cares about a little spill? I want to hear what he's saying. We can deal with that later." And when I ask that, almost always, the other half of the room raises their hand.


And I share this because it's a little psychological experiment that speaks to what matters to people. And I equate it to financial spills. So when we're in a relationship and we have a financial spill, sometimes it's not a big deal for some of us, we're like, "It's OK, we'll deal with it in a couple of weeks. Who cares? We'll put it on the credit card or whatever." However, for the other person in the relationship, it might really bother them and they just can't function until that spill is cleaned up. They'll get derailed from work and family, and they need to get that thing fixed. And that speaks to people's fear. It speaks to people's need for security.

Bright (19:25):

That's a terrific demo, Brian, and I hope it's not too much of a spoiler for any listeners who may eventually wind up taking your class. But to bring it back to the listener's question, it sounds like this is a relationship where one person isn't too worried about the soda spilling, and one person is rushing over with napkins and isn't going to be able to really deal with anything else until it's mopped up.

Brian (19:48):

I think so. And ultimately, the point of that visual aid is that regardless of whether little financial spills bother you or not, or whether they bother your spouse or not, we all need an emergency savings account. So at the conclusion of the soda demonstration, I pull out a roll of paper towels and I basically say, here's your emergency savings account. With your emergency savings, your paper towels, you can clean up the financial spill and move on with your life.


So going back to our question from our listener, it may help to try to understand where your spouse's feelings are coming from. And if you and your spouse have an emergency savings account and a financial planner, maybe kind of a third party person can verify that it's in a good place, I really think that this will help your spouse have fewer fears around spending.

Bright (20:41):

And I think another point that I'm drawing from your story, Brian, is that none of the people in your demo, so the people who are scared of the spill and the ones who aren't too worried, neither side is wrong. They're just thinking about and fearing different things. And I think if you want good relationships with other human beings, and we all do, then you should be mindful of what scares other people. You can't just dismiss someone's fear because it's not your fear. It's there. It's going to be present. You've got to acknowledge it and sort of do what you need to do about it to help that person feel less fear. And especially if you're in any kind of financial partnership, you can't really dismiss their fear because you're really dismissing them.

Brian (21:27):

Yeah, that's a really important point, Bright. I appreciate that. And we appreciate our listeners for writing in with great questions. The email address again is AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com. OK, Bright, before one of us spills our soda here, we should get into the next segment and keep talking about overcoming our financial fears. What do you think?

Bright (21:48):

Let's do it, Squirrel Boy.

Brian (22:01):

Oh my gosh.

Bright (22:03):

I have a deep investment in getting you a squirrel costume, just so you know.

Brian (22:07):

Oh man, that would be fantastic. A squirrel onesie. I will rock it.

Bright (22:10):

Yeah, with a huge tail. Huge tail.

Brian (22:13):

Let's do it.

Bright (22:13):


Brian (22:14):

OK, Bright. We talked earlier in the show about the importance of identifying the root cause of our fears because when we get specific about what's scaring us, we can then set some specific targets and really tackle what's troubling us head on. So Bright, how can our listeners go about identifying just what it is that scares them?

Bright (22:32):

So off the top, I want to say that if you're suffering from any kind of generalized fear or serious anxiety, financial or otherwise, it's really good to seek professional help. It's important to take your mental health seriously, and in the same way that you would see a financial professional for financial help, you should seek out a mental health professional for support with your mental wellness. That's just baseline. There are also a lot of things that you can do on your own to deal with anxiety, and a lot of them we know already and just tend to dismiss, but eating well, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, socializing, all of that really makes a huge difference in your mental outlook. You can look into breathing techniques or journaling or some other daily practices that can help too. A lot of us tend to learn about them and not do them, and it's the doing of them that makes the difference, not the learning. So you've got to actually do them. And building healthy habits takes time, but getting into the practice will really help long-term. The best cure for anxiety is some kind of action.


So that said, to get back to your question, Brian, you need to identify what specifically is scaring you before you take specific action. Because I think that when we're in that fight, flight, freeze mode, we can get a little impulsive, and that tends to be a bad moment to make big decisions, take big actions. So it means being analytical with your emotions and the root cause of what's really going on here.


So remember, there are no bad emotions. Emotions are your body's response to your brain saying something's going on, and your emotions are something that you can use. So you've got to ask yourself, what am I scared of? What is it that's causing my anxiety? What's the thing under that that's causing the anxiety? And what's under that? And what in all of that, in that sort of soup, what can I control? And if you aren't able to control or influence, you've got to work on letting that go. You've got to work on all of those other techniques to just manage that anxiety if you don't have control or influence over it. If you do have control or influence over what's causing you that anxiety, then start coming up with a course of action, right? Take action to address it.

Brian (24:56):

Yeah, I think that definitely applies to one of the top financial fears that we talked about before, when you think about people who are worried about losing their job and their income.

Bright (25:07):

Yeah, that's such a great example. And I think when you think about that fear of losing your job, and I think all of us come up against that at some point in our lives, I think first of all, you have to decide whether that fear is really grounded in reality. So, have you spoken to your manager about the anxiety you're having? Is the industry you work in going through a difficult time? Is your company having some challenges? You want to make sure that you're not scaring yourself for no reason. And regardless, you can't really control whether your company is going through layoffs or whether the economy is down. We don't have control over that directly.


But you can build up skills that might help you find another position if you need it. Or proactively talk to people in your professional networks about other opportunities or even look within your own organization. There's all this stuff that we can do to sort of address what's going on. And if you're worried about losing your income or dealing with unexpected expenses, well, I think that's back to those paper towels and the emergency savings, right, Brian?

Brian (26:13):

Yes, that's exactly right. I love it. There is a reason I talk about building up your emergency savings as pillar one of the book that I wrote, "The Eight Pillars of Financial Greatness." Because what you're really doing is more than creating an emergency savings account, you're creating a financial confidence account. And if you want to talk about putting a lot of your financial fears to rest, this is it. That's the way to do it.


Another thing that I want to talk about that I love, I learned this a few years back, so it's worked with me, is setting up specific savings buckets for your money fears. So you ask yourself, like we talked about earlier in the show, what scares you financially? And you can do this today, maybe you're afraid of medical expenses. Well, let's go set up a health savings account. Maybe you are worried about staying afloat or if you ever lose your income, so let's set up a separate savings account that can help you overcome that. Whatever that fear is, you can nickname it and think of these different accounts. And I want you to nickname it in a positive way.


So if you're worried about not having enough money to pay for your kid's college, let's go set up an account for that today and call it "Children's education." That's a positive way to address that fear. If you're worried about retirement or about the cost of raising children or something else, let's dig in. Let's set up an account specifically for those things. Then once you've got that account set up, start to save and do it first and automatically. I haven't seen many things do more for overcoming people's fears than this simple step, and like you said, Bright, the best cure for really anxiety is taking just a little action.

Bright (27:58):

And preparation builds confidence too. So it's a net gain overall, and I think it's a really good way to sort of check out whether you're acting with purpose. We know that fear can cause us to make bad decisions, so it's important to think about what you're doing. Is it helping prepare you for a bad situation or alleviating a fear you're already experiencing, or are you just doing something without thinking because you're scared? So stick with me here, Brian, but you know when you're watching a horror movie or a scary movie, or even for me, a scary moment in any movie. I'm not a scary movie person. But they're running through the haunted house and the monster's chasing them, and they're just getting themselves deeper and deeper into trouble because they don't know what's going on. And you just want to scream at the screen and tell the person like, "Hey, watch out! The monster's behind that door!" You can see it happening, but they can't?

Brian (28:55):


Bright (28:56):

And I feel like that's what's happening when I see someone else or even myself acting out of fear and without purpose. You just kind of want to scream at them, like, wake up for a second, look around and see where you are.

Brian (29:08):

Yeah. No, I think that makes sense. And I'm with you, Bright, I actually am not a scary movie person either because I do like to sleep.

Bright (29:18):

I have a very active imagination.

Brian (29:20):

We know that what you're talking about here is that the character in the scary movie in that crazy situation, that they're operating with less information. We can see what's really going on. They don't know where the monster is. And I think of this as a problem of knowledge. And along with action, I want to emphasize the idea of knowledge. The more financial knowledge we have, the less fearful we are, and the more confidence we have, generally speaking. When we know a little bit more about a particular subject, whether it's credit scores or retirement accounts, things usually become a little less scary.

Bright (29:56):

Yeah. I feel like our listeners are a pretty knowledgeable bunch.

Brian (29:58):

Oh, yeah, no, for sure. I mean, look, if you're listening to this podcast or you're reading articles about personal finances, things like that, you're building up knowledge that's going to help you combat financial fears.


And Bright, we're talking about general knowledge and specific knowledge as well. I mean, learning about finances generally is great, but it's just as important, if not more important, to review your own finances. So regularly, give yourself a financial checkup, take a look at your goals, your budget, and your savings. Work with a financial advisor you trust who can help you figure out if you're on track. And again, this will alleviate a lot of those fears.


And Bright, the final thing that I want to talk about that comes to my mind when I think about facing your financial fears is experience. When I was 16 years old and I was learning to drive, I mean, I was a confident 16-year-old, but man, when I was behind the wheel early on going through a really busy intersection, I grew up in L.A., it freaked me out. My dad was teaching me how to drive, and he was telling me to pay attention to this and do that and so on, and I'm like, oh my gosh, so many cars, someone's going to hit us, and I'm freaking out a little bit internally. Well, fast-forward a year later, and I'm driving through Los Angeles through some of these busy intersections safely and responsibly, and I wasn't even giving it a whole lot of thought. I had done it so many times that driving safely and staying calm had just become totally natural. And it wasn't that the task itself had changed at all. It was my experience and my familiarity with the task that had changed, and therefore, my fear was reduced.

Bright (31:43):

So the idea is that you can apply that same thought to financial tasks as you gain more experience?

Brian (31:49):

That's exactly right. It's OK to be scared of some things financially, especially if you haven't experienced them before. I mean, buying your first home, it's a little scary. Having a child and wondering how you're going to afford all of it or coming up with a debt payment plan, all of this can be a little scary. But you can face your fears by acquiring knowledge and then taking action. And once you've started doing these financial tasks, you know what to look for, and they get less and less scary with experience.

Bright (32:21):

Knowledge, action, experience. I love that, Brian. I think that's such a great way to think about facing your financial fears. I'd add one more thing to that list, and it's connection. It's how you connect with other people. Ask the people you trust for their thoughts. Sometimes having someone just be like, "Oh, yeah, that's manageable. Let me show you how," can help so much. It's not just the advice, it's that it comes from another person who you know and who you trust, and it's a great way to get perspective.

Brian (32:51):

Totally agree.

Bright (32:52):

Because our own perspectives are limited by our own experience and knowledge. When we connect with other people who have different knowledge, different experiences, that can broaden our perspective and ultimately reduce fear because now you've got a backup and a little more knowledge. And I don't think it's a coincidence that the amygdala, so this part of the brain regulating fear and that fight or flight response, is also where connection and attachment come from, right? It's like our two primary emotional survival systems are attachment, meaning those emotional connections that we form with other people, and fear, and they're right in there together.

Brian (33:30):

I did not know that. We're going to have to talk about that a little more in the future. That is so interesting.

Bright (33:37):

Kind of mind-blowing, huh?

Brian (33:38):

Yeah. Oh, that was a pun.

Bright (33:41):

It was a pun.

Brian (33:42):

Oh, boy.

Bright (33:42):

I punned.

Brian (33:44):

I think I've had my mind blown a few times today, but yeah. Well look, as we wrap up, one of my top takeaways for today is, it's this idea that we can identify something that scares us financially, and then we can go set up a savings account specifically for that thing, but nickname it in a more positive way, and then begin to save first and automatic. All right, so what about you, Bright? What are some takeaways that you're going to really just use to overcome financial fears?

Bright (34:14):

I think for me, Brian, it's that rubric we just talked about, right? Knowledge, action, experience, connection. For me, that's a really good shorthand to sort of show me the way out, show me what to do that I can actually do and remember.

Brian (34:27):

Yeah, I like that.


OK. We've reached the end of another episode of "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian," thanks so much for joining us. Remember to write us, send that email to AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com. You can ask us a question or share your own stories and experiences so we can discuss them in future episodes. And thanks as always to my buddy, my co-host, Bright, appreciate you.

Bright (35:00):

Right back at you, Brian. To our listeners, if you're looking to dive deeper into some of the topics we discussed today, Brian already mentioned our episode with Dr. Daniel Crosby, which came out last year and is titled "How to invest with confidence and overcome anxiety." I'd also suggest checking out episode 30, where we explored some key principles in the field of behavioral finance and talked a little bit more about how our emotions affect our financial decisions. And if you enjoyed the show, subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice to make sure you never miss an episode. Maybe consider leaving us a rating or a review too, or sharing this episode with a friend who might need a little boost to take on the things that scare them. As always, thanks so much for joining us. We'll be back next month with more insights on caring for your money and your mindset. Until next time, my little ghosts and ghouls.

Speaker 3 (36:01):

This episode of "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian" is brought to you by Truist.


What scares you the most? Public speaking? Ghosts? What about credit card debt? Sometimes, money challenges can feel a bit frightening—but that’s OK. Because when you find the courage to face your financial fears, you’ll discover that with the right preparation, there’s often nothing to be afraid of.

In this episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian,” our hosts discuss ways to overcome the financial anxiety that many of us feel when we’re reviewing our financial situation or making money decisions that affect our future. Listen in to learn some strategies that can help you feel a little more fearless when it comes to money, including:

  • The root psychological causes behind many common financial worries.
  • Things you can do now to address specific financial fears.
  • How an action plan can help you build long-term confidence about money.
  • Bonus: Bright and Brian may or may not give you a little inspiration for your next Halloween costume.

And if you’re looking to take a deeper dive into some of the topics addressed here, be sure to check out these past episodes:

Send us your questions and stories: AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com

We love hearing your questions and stories, whether they’re about your money or your mindset. Email us at AskBrightAndBrian@truist.com to share with us (you can remain anonymous). We may talk about your question or give you a shoutout in an upcoming episode!

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This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, or mental health advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, or mental health professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.