Financial check-ins: Your pathway to success with your money goals

The mind-money connection

Figure out where you are financially—and chart a path to help you get where you want to be.

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Brian (00:12):

Welcome to Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian, the podcast that's all about helping you take charge of your finances and your well-being.


I'm Brian Ford, the Head of Financial Wellness at Truist. And I love helping people grow their confidence with money.


I'm joined, as always, by my co-host, Bright Dickson. She is a senior purpose advisor at Truist, an expert in positive psychology, and she's an all-around fantastic person to talk with about just about anything you can name.


How are you, Bright?

Bright (00:42):

I'm doing all right, Brian. How are you? I like that, "Almost anything," which is true. There are subjects that I'm just not going to talk about.

Brian (00:49):

That's funny.

Bright (00:51):

I'm well. I’m a little under the weather. Listeners may hear it in my voice. But all in all, I'm well. How are you?

Brian (00:57):

Yeah. I'm so glad that you're doing this even though you don't feel 100%. Thank you. I know our listeners appreciate that as well.


I'm good. As we get through the winter, I'm also starting to think about spring cleaning. I bet at least some of our listeners are doing the same. I think it's a good time of year to finally tidy up the garage or organize that crazy storage closet.


And it's an equally good time to make sure your finances are in order. Are you hitting your goals? And are you on track financially? Or, when you take a look at your money situation, do you see a few things that you want to change?


Whether you're just getting into your personal finances or you've been a dedicated money nerd for years, like me, we can all benefit from a financial check-in.

Bright (01:43):

I'm definitely excited about this episode. I mean, I'm excited about every episode, but I've got some skin in the game today, because I, Brian, am due for this financial check-in myself. So you're not just walking our listeners through this; it'll be me too.


I'm going to be honest; a financial check-in is not something that I am getting super excited about doing. So I'm excited about the episode, but I'm not super excited about the actual doing of this thing. And, Brian, I think I'm going to need some of that patented, trademarked Brian Ford energy to get me through this.

Brian (02:21):

Oh, don't you fret. I've got you, Bright.


One thing we're going to talk about today is calculating your net worth, which is a topic that definitely gets me fired up. I've got some energy around that. But we're also going to start with the simple stuff that can help all of us create a sort of financial checklist to take stock of our situation. Things like managing our savings, just simply starting with savings. Are we managing our debt? Setting goals for the future?


And, Bright, we both know that to truly benefit from a financial check-in, it takes a certain kind of mindset. And we're going to lean on you for some of the great insights that you always share on how this whole process can help our listeners find personal growth. So I've got plenty of questions for you, too.

Bright (03:03):

All right, I can't wait. Let's get into it.

Brian (03:09):

OK. Bright, so you mentioned you're feeling a little reluctant about checking in on your own finances. Can I ask, why is that?

Bright (03:17):

Yeah. A little reluctant would be the light way of saying it. I do not want to, and I want to be honest about that with our listeners. I don't want to because I get anxious, because I get sort of discombobulated, because sometimes an obstacle pops up, like I can't find a password and I just get too frustrated and then I quit. So I don't have a good track record, and I know the only way to get better is to get in and do it, but I also deeply don't want to.


And we're going to get into that a little bit more about how some of y'all listeners out there might be feeling the same way. And I want to tell our listeners, if you've been avoiding taking a closer look at your finances, I get it. I'm with you. I think it's normal for a lot of people. And, Brian, I bet you see this with people, that they put off putting their financial house in order, right?

Brian (04:14):

Yeah, absolutely.

Bright (04:14):

And maybe it's because you get intimidated, or feel like you don't know enough, or have enough money to sort of even get started on the financial stuff. Maybe you just hate it and feel like finances are boring. That's another part of it for me, is for whatever reason it's boring. That's all normal too, right?


I mean, maybe it's not normal, but it's definitely common.

Brian (04:34):

That hurts.

Bright (04:35):

Yeah, I know it hurt. I'm sorry, Brian, but that's the deal we made.

Brian (04:39):


Bright (04:39):

That's the Money and Mindset paradox.


But what I'm here to say and to do, too, is tell you that you really don't need to feel any guilt or shame here. It's not necessary, and it's also not helpful. And you can take steps to be more in control of your finances. It requires taking action, it requires being clear-eyed about your financial picture. It takes honesty with yourself, and sometimes that honesty can be tough.


But for my fellow beginners out there, we can do this; we're going to do this. And we've got Brian here to get us started. So, Brian, you have our backs on this?

Brian (05:13):

Totally got you, and everyone else listening. I love that attitude, Bright. Thank you.


And it's true, no matter where you're at in your financial journey, checking in with yourself, it's a great way to figure out where you want to go.

Bright (05:26):

Yeah. And later I want to circle back to some of the psychology around this to help our listeners as they get focused and start their check-in.


But first, let's talk money. Brian, what are we talking about when we say financial check-in anyway? What does that mean?

Brian (05:41):

So when we talk about doing a financial check-in or a financial check-up, or whatever you want to call it, we're really just talking about a review of your personal finances and your goals. And I think it's important to note that doing a check-in sometimes, it's for yourself. It's not for anybody else; you're not getting graded on it.


The idea is that when you get a good grasp of your current financial situation, you can start to plan and take steps toward the financial future you want.

Bright (06:10):

Mm-hmm. So where do I, and my fellow beginners, start? So, what specifically do we need to look at?

Brian (06:18):

I like the idea of creating a kind of financial checklist. I don't know about you, Bright, I love checklists.

Bright (06:26):

I do too.

Brian (06:27):

Yeah. I do a daily one, I usually keep them pretty simple. I have this feeling of satisfaction as I complete something and I cross it off or I check it off. So there's something about checklists, so let's start there. And I will say that once you've started taking a more hands-on role in growing your financial confidence, you can build a checklist that includes specific financial goals that are unique to you.


But for just a moment, let's say you're really just starting from scratch. And Bright, you asked what you need to take a look at, and the number one thing on that checklist is definitely going to be your emergency savings account. So first on that checklist is do you have enough saved to deal with a big, unexpected expense?


If you don't have an emergency savings account yet, that's OK. But if that's the case, then start one. And coming up with an automated savings plan to grow those emergency savings should be your top financial goal.

Bright (07:23):

OK. So first on the checklist, emergency savings, sublet, automate that. OK, got it. What's next on the checklist?

Brian (07:33):

Next is just making sure you're living within your means. So do you have a way to understand how much money you're saving relative to your income? In other words, find out whether you're spending less than you make. If you're not, it's time to start building a budget.


Number three is looking at your debt. And for all of you listening, if you missed our last episode, it's all about coming up with a plan for paying off your debt and staying positive along the way. That last episode's got a ton of great strategies and insights.


Generally speaking, though, the less consumer debt you have, the better. And no consumer debt might be the best of all. But you at least want to make sure you have a plan for keeping your debt under control and appropriate relative to your income.

Bright (08:15):

OK. Those are the top three items on our beginner checklist. Are you, one, saving for emergencies? Two, living with your means? And three, handling your debt?


So let's say the answer to all of those questions is yes, what's left?

Brian (08:31):

OK. First of all, I want to say, "Nice job." You're doing some good things if you can say yes to those, so that's fantastic. All right, so if you've said yes, give yourself a pat on the back, maybe splurge just a little bit, because you are doing great.


But next on this list is “Are you properly insured?” And you may want to meet with a good insurance agent to review your coverage and make sure you've got enough insurance, but also make sure you're not paying for more than you really need. Some people are actually over-insured.

Bright (09:02):


Brian (09:03):

Yeah. So after that, though, it's time to start thinking about investing. Do you have access to a 401(k) through your job? And are you participating in that? If you don't have access to a 401(k), have you considered an IRA, an individual retirement account?


So, Bright, I would say that covers the five basics. But I think an important part of doing this kind of financial check-in is to challenge yourself and create some goals that are specific to you. So along with those five basics, really ask yourself, what do you want to do to get better with your money?

Bright (09:39):

Mm-hmm, OK. So insurance and investing are the last two. I think also that question of “What do you want to do?” specific to you is really important.


OK, so that's the baseline for our financial beginners, like me. So let's take it a step further, maybe we call it intermediate. For our listeners who already have a handle on those things, on those basics, what should their financial check-in focus on?

Brian (10:06):

Yeah. Again, those five basics, if you're on track there, that is great. But also, even if you're off on a couple of those, that's OK. Let's set some things to do there, and then you can keep customizing.


And so I think that's the next step, so if you're feeling pretty good about those five basic points we just outlined, I think it's time for you to create a financial checklist that's really tailored to you and your goals. And again, you can go about that by asking yourself some questions and then giving yourself some specific objectives.


So let me give you an example. Let's say you sit down and start with the question, “Am I saving enough for retirement?” So you go and check your 401(k) and any other retirement savings you might have, then you use an online retirement calculator. By the way, Truist has a good retirement calculator. We'll be sure to link that in today's show notes.


But if that calculator shows you coming up a little short of where you want to be by the time you want to retire, maybe you can commit to upping your 401(k) contributions. And that might mean you have to adjust your budget a little, but scenarios like this are why we're doing the financial check-in in the first place.

Bright (11:14):

Mm-hmm. So I think I see where this is going. So in that example you've got a specific financial goal that's coming into shape, you want to save X amount by the time you retire, whatever that number is. And then using a retirement calculator, like you mentioned, you can just crunch those numbers to see whether you're on track.

Brian (11:33):

Yep, that's exactly right.


So when you do your next financial check-in, say in six months, you can turn to your personal financial checklist and you can just ask yourself, "Am I saving enough for retirement?" And then you take a look at your savings and use that retirement calculator to see if you're a little closer to where you want to be.


And you can do a version of that with all the goals on your checklist, whether you're saving for, I don't know, your next vacation, building your credit score, or maybe thinking about buying a home. Adding items to the checklist itself can be a part of that semi-annual check-in.

Bright (12:04):

So you said six months, Brian. So as a rule of thumb, is that about how often you should be doing this kind of financial check-in?

Brian (12:12):

Yeah. I think for this sort of intermediate level of financial management we're talking about, I'd say every six months is probably going to be right. Now, if you're at more of an advanced level, a little nerdier, I think quarterly is probably a good idea.


In fact, you probably shouldn't do it more than quarterly, no matter how advanced you are. Some people look at the market too much and overanalyze their investments, for example. I think it's really important, we should be able to develop a good system that is largely automated and able to keep us on track without having to do constant check-ins.

Bright (12:50):

OK. Well, now I'm curious about getting a little more advanced. In our next segment, let's break down the one number that can help you really take control of your financial check-in. We'll also get into the topic of self-efficacy, which is going to help you build some real lasting confidence.


Are you ready to take it to the next level, Brian?

Brian (13:09):

Let's go.

Bright (13:18):

So as we get into some of these deeper tips around how a financial check-in can help you set and achieve your goals, I think we needed to talk about the concept of net worth.

Brian (13:29):

Yes, we do. Oh my gosh, my microphone, I can't stand up with it, but I was raising my hands in the air. You know this is one of my favorite subjects, Bright, I love it, net worth.

Bright (13:42):

I do, I do. And I'm so excited you're excited, but I might need some help getting there from you, Brian. I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure some of our listeners might be with me on this, the idea of net worth might trigger a little bit of overwhelm as we even talk about it.

Brian (14:00):

Totally get it. You may be thinking that it's more complicated than it really is. Calculating your net worth, it actually can be pretty simple. So in short, it's your assets minus your liabilities. Or in other words, it's everything you own minus everything you owe. Your actual net worth, so the end result, is going to be a number. One simple number.


OK, so let's break it down. We want to start by adding up all your assets. Which is fun, it's cool to see. So add up the money that's in your checking and savings accounts, your investment accounts, the value of your car and your house, et cetera. Once you add up those, you'll get a number that is the sum of all your assets.


Next you add up all your liabilities, basically your debts. Your credit card balance, your car loan, your home loan, and any other debts. Add all those up.


Now you have two numbers, all your assets and all your debts. So let's go back to the original math, assets minus liabilities. For example, let's say all your assets add up to $100,000, and all your liabilities add up to $60,000. Then your net worth calculation would be 100,000 minus 60,000, and your net worth would equal $40,000.

Bright (15:29):

OK. I think that's going to help people feel less intimidated by the how, but what about the why? Why do we need to know our net worth at all?

Brian (15:38):

Mm-hmm. So this gets into the stuff that I love. The maths stuff, eh. This is why I love net worth. For one thing, it's the check-in of all check-ins. If you want one number that can help you measure your financial wellness, it's your net worth. Calculating this one number can help you wrap your head around all the other goals we've been talking about.


And a lot of people have specific goals around living within their means, around saving more, investing more, or paying off debt. Well, if you simply commit to growing this one number, your net worth, you will accomplish all of that.


If your net worth is going up, you'll know that you're moving in the right direction. And there are only two ways to grow your net worth: You can either save and invest more, or you can pay off debt. And if you really want to kick some butt, you'll be doing both at the same time.


As we get a little deeper into this, another thing the net worth calculation does is it lets you see a list of all of your assets, which is great. And what you'll quickly realize, Bright, is by looking at all of your assets there are two main types: There are assets that go down in value, like your car. These are called use assets, meaning that as you use them they go down in value.


And then there are performing assets. Which performing assets, they're going up in value over time, even while you're sleeping or hanging out with your friends. So investments in the stock market, in your 401(k), these are performing assets.


And knowing what kind of assets you have is important because if I'm looking at your net worth today and I see you've got a bunch of use assets, I'd be like, "Hey, your net worth may look OK now, but if you don't do anything different, it's going to slowly go down." Whereas if I'm looking at someone who has a bunch of performing assets, I'm going to say, "Look, good news, you don't have to do a whole lot different. And in a few years from now, you're probably going to have a higher net worth."

Bright (17:39):

So, Brian, as you're talking about net worth I noticed you didn't really mention income. Doesn't your income, how much money you're making, doesn't that matter a lot for your financial wellness?

Brian (17:48):

Mm-hmm, this is probably my favorite part of the net worth calculation. So, look, Bright, if I were helping you calculate your net worth and I could see all of your assets and all of your liabilities, would I be able to tell how much money you make for a living?

Bright (18:10):

I mean, that kind of feels like a trick question, but I'm going to go with no. Final answer is no.

Brian (18:16):

OK. It's not a trick question. And I'm not grading you, but if you did get graded just know that you got it right, so you get an A.

Bright (18:24):

Thank goodness.

Brian (18:24):

Yeah, oh my gosh. So something so cool about net worth, it is independent of income. I've looked at some people's net worth and I've been like, "Wow, for your age this is impressive. What do you do for a living?" And by the way, Bright, these are real stories, real conversations with people.


And I've heard people say, "Well, I'm a nurse," or, "I teach school." And I've been like, "Oh my gosh, this is great. But did you inherit any amount of money along the way?" And normally they're like, "No. I come from a very humble background, this is all money that I've worked for and saved."


And all I can say to that is, hot diggity dang. Way to go. I love when I hear that. And I hear that more often than you would think, Bright, it's pretty cool. There's a lot of folks out there doing good things with their money, and I love that.


On the flip side though, and this is another true story, once I looked at a dude's net worth and I'm like, "Hey man, this number is negative. So for your age, we want to work on this." And he was like, "Yeah, I know. I get it." And then I said, "Well, what do you do for a living?" And he said, "I'm an executive of a good-sized company." And in my head I was like, "Oh boy, hopefully this guy's not the CFO, because this is not good."


So the fact that it's independent of income I just think is super cool.

Bright (19:54):

Yeah. And I hope our listeners take that to heart, you don't have to have a huge income to be in a good place financially, in a stable place.

Brian (20:02):

Mm-hmm, yeah, I totally agree.


I was listening to this talk that I love, and he was talking about life in general. And he was getting kind of nerdy; he was talking about math. And he was talking about slopes and intercepts. I don't know if any of us remember that back in the day from high school math?


But where you start is kind of your intercept, and I wouldn't worry too much about that. Some of us start in a little better places, and some of us start a little lower. That's not that big of a deal. But what is the angle of your slope? Where are you going?


And I think net worth is such a wonderful way to determine that slope, as opposed to just our starting place or our intercept. Because there's people who can start kind of high with a nice intercept, but their slope is going the wrong way.


And then there's others that just maybe started out a little rough, got a late start, had some challenges in life, but when they calculate that net worth every six months and they see it going up, they know their slope is moving in the right direction.


All right, Bright, so one other thing, and this will kind of bring my nerding out about net worth to a close. So, Bright, you were talking earlier about the importance of being honest with yourself as you do this sort of financial check-in. And there's nothing more honest than the net worth calculation. It's one of the most important calculations in personal finance for getting an idea of where you're really at with your money.


I mean, you could look, you can have all the fancy new stuff and a cool car, big house, jewelry, technology, your net worth might be negative. So I love the fact that the net worth is honest, it's real. And if you want to get real about your finances, I'd encourage everyone to get to a place where they're calculating their net worth during these financial check-ins.


OK, time for a pulse check, Bright. How are you feeling about doing your own financial check-in now?

Bright (21:55):

So I'm feeling a little easier about it because you've told me what to do, which is always helpful. Sometimes for me the hardest part is just getting started. And I do feel, on the calculating my net worth question, if I've got all of that information in front of me already as part of my normal check-in, I might as well just do it, right? I think even mathematically, I feel like I can handle it. So that's motivating. And now I'm just curious what that number is.

Brian (22:26):

Yeah. I'm glad you are. That's what we want. What we want you to be thinking, "Well, what is that number?”


And by the way, Bright, I definitely get where you're coming at as far as getting at all those different numbers, and maybe some websites and so forth. But that's part of the check-in, calculating your net worth, going through that process, listing your assets and your debts. Believe it or not, that's really healthy to get a handle and a hold of everything.


I haven't talked about that a whole lot, but that's one of my sneaky little wonderful benefits of calculating net worth we just didn't really mention.


But as we both know, checking in with yourself is about more than calculations. So, Bright, what kind of mindset tips do you have for our listeners who are taking a close and honest look at their financial situations?

Bright (23:10):

As I say this, I'm very aware that in order to keep my integrity I'm going to have to take my own medicine here. So first thing is that you do not have to go it alone, and I mean that in a few ways.


So for one thing, and I mean, this is a little cheesy, but here it is, you've got Brian and me on your side, cheering you on. So listening to this podcast, checking out other trustworthy financial resources, all of that can help you get motivated. Don't stay in that too long, get to acting, but it can help do whatever you need to sort of help you get motivated.


If it fits your budget, a good financial advisor can definitely help you walk through a check-in like the one we've been talking about. That's part of the kind of work they do. Sometimes it just really helps to have a professional in so many cases.


Friends and family members can hold you accountable and cheer you on, so share with them that this is something you're working on now, and ask them to keep you accountable.


If you're in a serious relationship or if you're married, or any way in which you are sharing assets and liabilities with another person, you really shouldn't be doing this check-in alone. So this is something for you to do with that other person. Make sure you get with your partner so you can together take a look at your finances and talk about your goals.

Brian (24:32):

Yeah, that's a great point. Especially if you're in a relationship where maybe one person is more of a free spirit and one is a finance nerd, you can really help each other out.

Bright (24:43):

Mm-hmm. And when I think about goal setting more generally, I'm reminded of a two-part episode we did last year with Caroline Adams Miller, where we talked about how this idea of grit can help you achieve things. It was a pretty packed discussion, but a couple points that I think are worth reiterating in this context, so when we're talking about a financial check-in.


So number one, it's OK to fail. If you're going down your checklist and you can't put a check mark next to every box, don't be discouraged. That's part of the process. Change takes time. There's no quick fix.


Another thing is that your goals should be specific and achievable, and they should align with your purpose and the things that you value. Meaning, does what you're trying to accomplish financially support the way you want to live your life? And if the answer is yes, you're going to have just a lot more success on that.

Brian (25:37):

Yeah, I love those thoughts. We've talked about how doing a financial check-in can help us financially, but, Bright, how can it also help us mentally?

Bright (25:46):

Yeah. I mean, counting your wins feels good, right?

Brian (25:50):


Bright (25:51):

It can help you build even more momentum for future wins. So if you're doing a financial check-in and you see that your net worth has gone up again, that's going to make you feel pretty great. That's a little arm pump for you right there.


But even if your check-in reveals some things that aren't so great, that's also going to help you in the long run. And even that is going to feel good because it's part of you building self-efficacy.


And self-efficacy, which might be new to some of our listeners—it was new to me when I learned it the first time—self-efficacy is different than self-esteem. So self-esteem sort of is this belief like, "I'm good. I'm a good person." Self-efficacy gets more specific than that, and it says, "I am capable."


So self-efficacy is your own beliefs about your ability to adapt and overcome challenges in the future. So what self-efficacy is really about is, "Do I have the ability to learn what I need to learn in order to change how I need to change whenever the time comes?" So, "Am I going to be able to handle whatever is coming?"


And the way that you create and grow self-efficacy, it's not through affirmations, it's not through thinking your way, it's through doing. The way you grow self-efficacy is to do stuff. You grow self-efficacy through practice, by doing financial check-ins, and setting goals, and going after that.


Whatever it is that you're trying to build capability in, you've got to do it in order to build that capability. It is very simple.


Self-efficacy builds confidence, it builds optimism, it's connected to all those things, and to positive emotion too. So you're accomplishing a task, you're solving a problem, and you're growing your capability. And I find those to be three super compelling reasons to just do it.

Brian (27:52):

Yes. I love that. Look, I don't make my kids listen to this podcast, but that section, I love it. That was a solid pep talk for me and anyone else who just needs some motivation on getting going on the checklist thing.

Bright (28:07):

Yeah. I'm so glad. And self-efficacy, it gets me in the heart too. It's not about thinking; it's just about doing. And I hope that our listeners feel motivated to do that. So if you're like me and you're dragging your feet a little bit on some of this financial check-in stuff, remember that it can and will help you build self-efficacy.


That doesn't mean it's going to be pleasant, but you're going to be better after it. Building self-efficacy is pretty awesome. I'm pretty into it.

Brian (28:35):

It's got me motivated.


OK, before we wrap up this episode, I want to take a quick look at a question we got from one of our listeners. Are you good with that, Bright?

Bright (28:45):

Yeah. I was wondering when we'd get to that. Let's do it.

Brian (28:47):

All right, it's time to open up the inbox. Listeners, as a reminder, you can write to us. That email is We're always looking for questions that Bright and I can answer, suggestions for future episode topics, or requests for more info on something we've talked about on a past episode. We are here to help.

Bright (29:10):

You listen to us; we listen to you. We love getting those emails.


So today I want to read one from a listener who writes, and I quote, "Hello, Bright and Brian, long-time listener, first-time emailer here. Big fan of the show. Sometimes listening to an episode makes me want to do a deeper dive into a specific topic, like investing, but I don't always know where to go next. Are there any specific tools or resources you recommend for learning more about financial topics?"


So, Brian, you're the expert here, what do you think? Where would you point this listener?

Brian (29:41):

Yeah, great question. And I should issue a little spoiler alert here, but I think it's OK for me to say that in our next-month episode we're going to be talking a lot about the concept of financial literacy. What it means, why it's important, plus some ways that you can start to feel more like a pro when it comes to your personal finances. So stay tuned for that.


But as for the listener's question, there's a lot of good resources out there that can help you grow more confident with managing your finances. For one, we've got a lot of great stuff here at Truist. For example, we mentioned our retirement savings calculator earlier. Again, we'll put that in the notes for you.


But if you go to, or you can just Google Truist Money and Mindset. If you listeners didn't know, we have an entire companion Money and Mindset website where you'll find all kinds of free financial education.


There's calculators that can help you with everything from your mortgage payment to how much should you be saving for emergencies. We've also got articles and videos that can walk you through all kinds of different ways to help you budget, save, build your credit score, manage your debt, pay for school, and a whole lot more.


And, while I'm thinking of it, I know we spent a good chunk of time in this episode talking about net worth calculations. I've got a great tool that I use to help people calculate their net worth, and I'd be happy to share that with anyone who's interested. It's free. It's actually the spreadsheet that I use to calculate my net worth. And if that sounds cool to you, just send a simple email to, and we'd be happy to send it your way.


But, Bright, what do you think? What directions would you have for our listener?

Bright (31:28):

Well, I'd tell you that I will be emailing to get that spreadsheet shortly.

Brian (31:33):

Yes, you should, please.

Bright (31:37):

I think another thing is don't overwhelm yourself on social media. I know there's so much out there on social media around different people sharing financial information and tips. I would say find a couple people who work for you, who are really speaking to you, and from whom you feel likely that you will actually take action, you'll actually do something from what they've said.


But don't over-follow too many people and then get overwhelmed. Keep it chill.

Brian (32:06):

Totally. Yeah. I had this conversation with my kids over the break. They were like, "Dad, where do we go for good financial advice?" And I was first of all really offended by that, but once I-

Bright (32:17):

You're like, "Right here, buddy."

Brian (32:19):

Once I got past my own ego, I was like, "Guys, be careful of where you get your stuff. Find someone who you trust, a trusted source. Don't take advice from broke people." And there's a bunch of broke people on social media. So I agree with you, just be careful.


But once you find that individual on whatever platform you use, I think that's just fine.

Bright (32:37):

Yep, I agree. And just to tie this back to the discussion we had around self-efficacy, the best way to learn is really to do. I don't need more information at this point from someone else in order to calculate my net worth. I just need to do it. I've got the information. The next step is action. That's where I'm going to get the benefit, is just by doing it.

Brian (33:02):

Yes, totally agree. I'd say that's one of my top takeaways from this episode.


And, Bright, I'll say as a recap, our listeners can start by creating a simple checklist for their finances with the five basic items we gave them in the first segment. And then, if we want to get more advanced, let's start calculating our net worth and track it. If it's steadily going up, if your slope is going up, you are moving in the right direction.


What about you, Bright, what stuck out for you today on this episode?

Bright (33:36):

You know, Brian, I think one of the things that for me stuck out is sometimes when there's something I don't want to do I really build it up in my mind as a very, very hard thing, a big obstacle for Bright to overcome. And maybe I was building it up a little too much, and that it's not going to be as hard as my Brian sometimes wants me to think it will be. So thank you for that.

Brian (34:00):

Yeah, totally. I'm stoked you're going to do a little financial check-in.

Bright (34:03):

I am. I'm going to do it.

Brian (34:05):

Maybe even calculate net worth?

Bright (34:07):

I mean, if I've got it all there, I might as well just do it.

Brian (34:10):

Let's go.

Bright (34:16):

That's going to do it for another episode of Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian. If you enjoyed the show, please consider leaving us a rating or a review. You can also subscribe to the podcast on the platform of your choice to make sure you get new episodes while they're hot.


Thanks so much for listening, and thanks as always to my co-host, Brian Ford.

Brian (34:35):

Thank you, Bright Dickson. And a big thanks to everyone out there listening.


We'll be back next month with another episode. In the meantime, drop us a line. That email is Until then, see you.

Speaker 1 (34:56):

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


Doing a financial check-in can be a little like paying a routine visit to the doctor. It’s an opportunity to monitor how you’re doing, identify any issues, and set goals for your future.

While consulting a financial advisor can help with a check-in, you can also review your finances on your own. In this episode of Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian, our hosts share some tips that can help you get started or improve what you’re already doing. Tune in to learn:

  • The five items that should be on your financial checklist
  • How to calculate one number that can help you measure your financial progress
  • Why reviewing your finances can help you build self-efficacy—and why that’s even better than self-esteem

If you’re feeling inspired to kick off your own check-in, this companion article has more on how financial check-ins can help you crush your money goals. You can also use our retirement savings calculator and savings goal calculator to help plan your financial future. And be sure to check out these past episodes of the podcast for more insights and tips on pursuing your goals:

Send us your questions, stories, and ideas:

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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.