How financial literacy can change your life

The mind-money connection

Learning about personal finances can help change your life and lift up the people around you.

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Bright (00:11):

Welcome to Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian, where we get together every month to talk through insights that can help you improve your financial wellness and find more joy in life. I'm Bright Dickson, a senior purpose advisor at Truist, and I study happiness. I'm here with my partner in podcasting, Brian Ford, the head of financial wellness at Truist, and a total pro at all this money stuff. How's it going, Brian?

Brian (00:33):

I'm doing great, Bright. How are you?

Bright (00:35):

I'm great. I'm really excited about the show. So April is Financial Literacy Month.

Brian (00:41):


Bright (00:41):

So it's fitting that we're going to be talking about why financial literacy is important. Now, in a way, this is something that we talk about every episode, right? I don't think we'd be doing this podcast in the first place if we didn't already know that financial literacy can change lives for the better. But what we want to do today is talk more about how it changes lives, right, Brian?

Brian (01:02):

Yeah, that's totally right. And beyond that, we're going to explore how financial literacy has an impact that goes beyond an individual level. It's also a tool for building better families, communities, and lifting basically everyone around us. Plus, as always, we're going to share some tips that can help you take more control of your money and feel more confident with your finances.

Bright (01:23):

Before we get going, I want to give a big shout-out to all of the great educational resources that we have here at Truist for all our listeners. If this episode gets you fired up about financial literacy, and we hope it will, you can always go out to to find articles, videos, and tools that can help support you on your financial journey.

Brian (01:45):

Yeah, that's a great call-out, Bright. Later in the show, we're going to talk about some specific tools and resources on the site that can really help you out, and we'll include some links in the episode notes for you today too. But if you're looking to explore a little more on your own, a good place to start is, or just Google Truist Money and Mindset to find our site.

Bright (02:06):

Thanks, Brian. Should we get this show-dash-podcast on the road?

Brian (02:12):

Let's do it.

Bright (02:19):

So I mentioned in the intro that April is Financial Literacy Month. If you've listened to the show before, you've probably heard us use terms like financial wellness and financial confidence. I don't want to get too bogged down in terminology because we're basically talking about the same thing in all of these cases, and that's how learning about money can help you feel more control in your finances and in your life.

Brian (02:41):

Yeah, for sure. Financial wellness, financial confidence, financial literacy, they're all ways of addressing the same topic. We'll probably say financial literacy more frequently on today's episode, as that's the term used by policymakers and educators in this area. But when we talk about financial literacy, what we're talking about is an understanding of financial concepts that can help you manage your money and achieve your life goals, knowing how to save for emergencies, how to build a budget, how to invest. These are basic concepts and financial literacy that can help you live the good life. And that idea is at the heart of what we do here on Money and Mindset.

Bright (03:18):

I've got some data I want to throw at you, Brian.

Brian (03:21):

OK, I love it.

Bright (03:22):

So this survey is from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. They gave people a financial literacy quiz, and then they surveyed them on their personal finances. Respondents who scored higher on the quiz were much more likely to have money saved for emergencies to plan their retirements and to spend less money than they make. I've got another survey that just came out from the National Financial Educators Council, which found that people said a lack of financial knowledge had led them to overlook on average about $1,500 last year. So a lack of financial literacy is actually costing people money. And to me, the takeaway from these surveys is pretty straightforward, right? Financial literacy makes a big difference when it comes to managing your money.

Brian (04:15):

Absolutely. And that's not just what it means for you individually. Let me add a little more data to help us build our case here that financial literacy is a big deal. Operation Hope, it's a nonprofit that Truist works with to bring financial education and credit counseling to local communities. A little over a year ago, they launched a tool that looks at average credit scores neighborhood by neighborhood across the U.S. It's called the Hope Community Credit Score Index. And it found a strong correlation between a neighborhood's average credit score and other markers of community health like education, employment, homeownership, income, and crime. And generally speaking, the neighborhoods with higher credit scores had better outcomes in those areas, like higher education rates, higher rates of homeownership, less crime, and so on. Now, what that says to me is that there's an important connection between a neighborhood's financial health and its overall health. Its overall quality of life. So greater financial literacy doesn't just make a big difference for you and, really, your money, it can make a big difference for entire communities.

Bright (05:23):

Shout out to Operation Hope on that. That's really interesting research. So we've got a lot of evidence that financial literacy is ... to put it simply, pretty awesome and really, really important. And yet, I've got another number here from the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance that says only 25 states required some kind of personal finance course for high school students in 2023. Now that's way up from 2020 when it was just eight states. So that's great growth. But that leads me to my question. So if we know for a fact that financial literacy is so important, shouldn't we be teaching it everywhere, and why aren't we?

Brian (06:03):

Well, Bright, it is a good question, and I know that most financial experts would say, "Absolutely, we should be." It is a nice trend that financial literacy education is growing in high schools. I can remember when it was only just a handful, and then you mentioned eight in 2020, and we're certainly going up from there. But I would say that it's still not taught enough. And that's one big reason why you see all these kinds of alarming statistics around financial literacy and how many of us struggle with our personal finances. I think another reason is that really parents aren't necessarily talking with their kids about money as well, and there's a whole host of reasons for that. Often parents don't feel like they're equipped to have those conversations. Maybe some feel like they're not the best examples themselves. Sometimes it just doesn't even occur to them that it's something you should be talking about, right? We know that our feelings about money are often formed at an early age, and those feelings stay with us into our adult lives in ways that we're not always conscious of.

Bright (07:03):

Absolutely. And to your point, Brian, I know the dominant attitude or process or stance around money in my household growing up was silence, right? We just didn't talk about it. I knew we had some money, more than most people, less than others. I never lacked anything. And in fact, I was given a whole lot, but it was just never on my radar as something that I personally needed to learn about in any way. And that kind of stuck for a long time, just like this void, this absence. And for all of us, our financial literacy journeys begin when we're children, just like our educational journeys of all types, right? Whether we're getting good information, bad information, or any information at all.

Brian (07:46):

Yeah, I don't think your story is unusual at all, Bright. A lot of families just aren't talking about money. My parents grew up working-class folks. My dad was the first Ford to go to college, and he ended up doing well for himself and our family. But what I didn't quite realize when I was young is that while my dad made a good living, we weren't saving enough. And because my parents were not saving and investing, they were stressed out about money, mostly behind closed doors, to their credit, and it's not my dad's fault at all. He just didn't have any grounding in good financial habits. It wasn't until I got to high school and then college that I saw others around me and their parents talking about savings and investments and these solid financial concepts.


And it was eye-opening to me to realize that good money management is way more important than income when it comes to your personal finances. And, Bright, it also showed me firsthand that every aspect of our lives is made better when we are more financially literate. And research backs this up. It shows that financial literacy helps us be healthier, both physically and mentally. We have better relationships. We typically have more of an opportunity to focus on our faith or things of a spiritual nature. We're more capable of giving back and helping others around us. All of that's a big part of the reason I dedicated really a good portion of my career to helping people improve their financial wellness.

Bright (09:10):

I love that story, Brian. Thank you for sharing that. And I want to reiterate that when we talk about this, and we talk about this fairly often, right? We're not picking on your parents. We're not picking on my parents. We're not picking on anybody's parents here. I firmly believe that most of us, I mean really all of us, our parents included, we're all just doing the best we can with the resources we have, right? That's just one of my basic life assumptions. But in one of our first episodes we ever recorded, so it's way back in the time machine, it's called “Your Relationship With Money.” We talked more about this idea of money scripts, little habits that we subconsciously pick up at an early age and hang on to. So they're really like beliefs that turn into habits, and I'd encourage our listeners to go back to that one for some more on this topic.


It's always good to kind of remember this kind of stuff. We won't go too much deeper into it here, but for today's conversation about financial literacy, I do want to say that it's important for you to explore your own attitude about money and where that came from. Your emotions about money came from somewhere. Your beliefs about money came from somewhere. It's hard to go anywhere, right? It's hard to improve if you're not really sort of reckoning with where you are. You're living your life, and you can create your own beliefs about money that will be helpful for your finances regardless of your parents' beliefs about money. And, Brian, just like you were saying a minute ago, that's going to have an impact that goes way beyond just your relationship with money.

Brian (10:43):

Yes. I want to put an exclamation point on everything you just shared, Bright. I think we said in the intro that financial literacy can change lives, and that's not an exaggeration. There's a good reason I get so pumped about this.

Bright (10:59):

Yeah. This really is one way that we can live better lives because when we're not taking care of our finances, it causes stress. When we feel like we can't do what we need to do because we're in debt or struggling with money, it causes stress. It can cause chronic stress, and that's bad for us in so many ways that I think people are already familiar with. When you're carrying that from place to place, right? When you're sort of carrying that burden all the time, it affects your health, it affects your relationships, it affects all of the things that matter to us. And to say it a little differently, financial literacy is a pathway to experience less stress. It takes effort like everything else, but getting a hold on your finances and feeling that kind of financial confidence is one of the most effective ways to live a better life.

Brian (11:51):

I love that, Bright. Financial literacy is a way to empower yourself, and when we look at the bigger picture, at a societal level, it can go a long way towards advancing the success and well-being of everyone.

Bright (12:04):

Yeah, I want to echo that. Just to take another example. You'll occasionally find studies on an apparent gender gap in financial literacy, with men getting slightly better results on financial literacy surveys than women do. Now, here's some recent research from the Federal Reserve system showing that women are much more likely than men to select “don't know” as an option on these surveys, and that when you remove “don't know” as a multiple choice option, men and women tend to select the correct and incorrect responses at similar rates. So there may be more of a confidence gap than a real financial literacy gap between men and women, but we can talk about that in another episode. But I do find that interesting.


And one gap that is very real, is that American women typically earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. That's according to the Pew Research Center. And if you're already starting out on your back foot in terms of earnings potential, it literally pays, literally pays to learn what you can do with what you have. So partly because of that and the way a lot of things are set up, women can face higher consequences if we don't take it upon ourselves to get financially literate, right? I've actually gotten fairly passionate about this. So for women and others who face these kinds of disadvantages at a societal level, financial literacy is a way to reclaim power and get yourself where you want to be.

Brian (13:33):

And, Bright, this is anecdotal, but I've got three daughters. Two are adults, and I genuinely believe that they are much less likely to fall in love with a dingbat because they understand personal finances.

Bright (13:46):

Yeah, absolutely. And you've got to add that to the list of positives, right? Money is such a huge issue in relationships, right? And financial literacy can help you stress less, live better. It can empower your community, and it can keep you from falling in love with a dingbat and getting into a lot of trouble with money.

Brian (14:07):

It's funny, but it's definitely a lesson I try to impart to my kids. Knowledge is power. Most people would agree that education leads to better outcomes in life, and that is absolutely true relative to financial literacy. It might even be compounded. I mean, if general knowledge leads to a better life, financial knowledge, I would say is two to three times as powerful. I tell my children, "Look, school is important." In fact, one of our culture statements as a family is we're curious learners and good book readers. Education is important, but I'm not shy about telling my kiddos what the two most important classes they'll take in high school and college are. They’re physical wellness and financial literacy, period. All the other information is good. However, physical and financial wellness is directly going to impact their overall well-being, their relationships, their day-to-day life.

Bright (15:02):

Their confidence.

Brian (15:03):

Yeah, exactly, their confidence. Hopefully they can help close that confidence gap you were talking about, Bright.

Bright (15:08):

Yeah, I hope so. OK, so, Brian, I don't know about you, but I feel like we've made a pretty strong case for why financial literacy is important, and I think it's clear that for most of us, financial literacy is a journey we travel on our own to a certain extent, at least, right? Other people are involved, but we’ve got to do this on our own. So if we're not learning financial literacy in school or at home growing up, Brian, what do we do?

Brian (15:32):

Well, that sounds like a segue to me. We'll come back to that. First, in our next segment, let's take a question from a listener. OK, time to go to our inbox. Listeners, as a reminder, you can write to us directly; that email address is We're always looking for feedback on past episodes, suggestions for future episodes, and questions that we can answer in a segment of our show. In today's email, this listener writes, "Hi, Bright and Brian. I've seen some people on social media talking about loud budgeting. Is this a good way to spend less and stick to my budget or a social media trend to avoid?"

Bright (16:25):

So this is a really interesting question, and I've seen a little of this on social media myself. So for our listeners who aren't spending a ton of time on social media and haven't come across this ... I mean, first of all, write in and tell us your tips for staying off your phone. I think we could all use them, but for those listeners who haven't heard of loud budgeting, I think I can bring it down. So it's this idea that by talking openly about your money goals with the people in your life, you can save money. It's being super transparent about your financial priorities.


So it's in many ways the opposite of silence. So for example, if a friend invites you out to dinner, you can say no and explain that it's because you're saving up money to put down on credit card debt, right? So it's that transparency. It's kind of like the opposite of that quiet luxury trend where you're sort of spending a lot on luxurious things and you don't talk about it. Loud budgeting is conspicuous non-consumption. So what do you think, Brian? Like, yay or nay on loud budgeting as a strategy?

Brian (17:29):

Yeah. Well, I'll tell you a few things I like about it and then a few I'm not crazy about. First, I love that loud budgeting is helping us to see that money is not a taboo subject. It's getting us to talk more about money with friends and family. I also like that it's an outward rejection of overconsumption and helping people save more. I like that it's giving us a vocal forum to be more accountable with our financial goals. The only thing I'm not crazy about is this idea of oversharing and being awkward just for the sake of maybe getting attention on social media.


I'm not sure I would say no to an invite to dinner and then publicly let everyone know the reason is that I want to invest that money and retire early. That's not really my style. I'm a little more private about my goals. So if you're going to be loud about your good financial behavior, I dig it. Just do it for the right reasons, and truly put your money where your social media mouth is by backing it up with more saving and investing. What about you, Bright? What do you make of loud budgeting?

Bright (18:35):

Yeah, I agree with everything you said. The way I think about it is if I'm going to do a pro and con list, number one, I'd say a pro here is being honest with yourself and others. And honestly, when we speak something out loud to others or even to ourselves, it makes it more real for us that it's then not existing only in our own minds. I also like that it's sort of this celebration of prioritizing your own goals, your own values over fitting in.


Cons, I mean, I think there's some danger in using social media as a source for financial expertise. I think you've got to take it with a grain of salt, see how it fits into your lifestyle, who you are, your goals, that kind of thing. It could come off if you're doing it sort of on social media as some kind of bragging maybe. I think that's kind of like a lesser worry, but it's something to be aware of. And I think there's a danger too, in whenever we're budgeting, taking it too far and sort of not also prioritizing the things that you value that do bring you joy. It's OK to have joy, right?

Brian (19:49):

Yeah. Balance.

Bright (19:50):

Yeah, there's balance. Those are my thoughts. And I think a little financial literacy tie-in. If you're developing your own financial literacy and you're getting better at that discernment piece, especially around advice that people are giving you. And let's be real, there is no shortage of internet financial advice. But if you're working on your financial literacy, you understand these concepts, you're going to be better at judging the trustworthiness of trends like loud budgeting or quiet luxury or any of these things that sort of go around.

Brian (20:24):

Yeah, some great points Bright, and thanks so much to the listener who wrote in with that great question for today. Again, the email address is OK. In our third and final segment, we're going to share some tips on how you can start learning more about financial literacy. That's coming right up.

Bright (20:55):

Before we get into how our listeners can start accumulating some powerful financial knowledge, I think we need to address one more potential barrier to people wanting to learn more about financial literacy. And that a lot of people, myself occasionally included, find personal finances super boring. And I hope that doesn't offend you, Brian, but we've talked about it before.

Brian (21:20):

Yes, I'm offended.


No, I get it. I think it's pretty common. Even my wife is in the finances are boring camp, and I also think that some people find it complicated, but I do worry that people use this as a reason not to learn at least the basics of money.

Bright (21:41):

Yeah. I think that boredom and the overwhelm can go hand in hand, right? So sometimes, I might find a particular part of personal finances boring or complicated, but that boredom can really quickly shift into feeling overwhelmed and then I'll just shut down, right? I'll just sort of quit.

Brian (22:01):

Yeah. So let me level with you and our listeners, Bright. I love this stuff. I genuinely do. But when I was younger and I was getting my master's degree in personal finance, some classes had me saying, like, "Oh, my gosh, this stuff is so boring. It's too detailed." Insurance and estate planning in particular, there are some complexities when you really get into those areas, the ins and the outs, the ever-changing tax code, and blah, blah, blah.

Bright (22:31):

I cannot believe my ears, Brian, there was a financial subject that you weren't interested in?

Brian (22:37):

Believe it, yeah. For some super advanced in-the-weeds topics like estate planning, I think it's OK to say, “There are parts of this that are just way too detailed for me. I should back up, stay at a high level overall, and get help from an expert.” And I think it's always good to have a team of experts helping us, whether that's a financial planner, an estate planning attorney, insurance agent, or just a CPA. But, and this is an important but, you're still going to want to have at least a high-level understanding of financial literacy yourself. There's a great author, his name's Andy Andrews, and he always says, "The quality of your answers depends on the quality of your questions." And that totally applies here. When you have more financial confidence and you know more about your own finances, you're going to get more effective and valuable input from qualified money advisors.


You'll go into these meetings knowing what you don't know, which is OK, and you'll be ready to ask the right questions. I think that's one way to avoid boredom or the fear of complexity and financial literacy. You just don't have to spend three years getting a master's degree in personal finance to confidently manage your money, and you don't have to keep up on the latest stock market trends or keep up on changes to the tax code, for goodness’ sake. Experts are there to help with the complicated stuff, but just learning the simple basics, which anyone can do, will take you a long, long way. What do you think, Bright? We've been doing this podcast for more than three years now. You can't be that bored by talking about personal finances.

Bright (24:18):

Well, I'm never bored talking to you, Brian. And while generally speaking, I usually like to talk about things other than financial literacy and money, the more that I've talked about it and the more I've learned, the more interesting it's gotten. And I want to add one more thing here, like, what we're talking about is financial literacy. So if you think about literacy in terms of reading, if you can read, you can read, right? You don't have to be a genius. You don't have to be an expert. You have to be literate, right? And that's what we're going for here.

Brian (24:50):

Yeah, I like that idea. And the fact that you're not bored when you talk to me, that makes me happy.

Bright (24:57):

Right? I thought you'd be proud of that. That's a good thing. And a big part of it, and sort of what I'm trying to say here, I'm not bored because what I'm learning is about finances, but it's not really just about finances, right? It's about me, and I'm interested in me for sure, right? I want to learn how to be a better me and to live a better life. And I hope that other people are similarly interested in themselves because you need to be interested in yourself. Your life in many ways goes the way that you make it go. Not all the time, stuff happens. Circumstances are circumstances. Life is going to life, but when we focus on controlling what we can control, you're more optimistic, you're happier, you're healthier. All these things fall into line, and you can control your finances.

Brian (25:46):

Yes, that was so well said, and I agree. We can control our finances. It's not just about learning financial literacy; it's about being a better you. And really, it makes everything easier. Bright, this one time when my daughter was young, she wasn't buckling up in her little car seat, and we had to get driving, and I was like, "Look, sweetie, we can do this the easy way or the hard way." And she looked me right in the eyes and said, "Hard way." So I grabbed her little hips and forced her into the car seat, and it was not fun for either of us. She's screaming, I feel like a terrible parent, and it sucked. Life can be a little like that, but choosing financial literacy is choosing the easy way. It's choosing the better, happier path for you.

Bright (26:41):

I love that. I mean, I think it's a great analogy because you're going to have to learn either way. You might as well learn the easy way, and there you have it. So with that in mind, let's help our listeners choose the easy way. What are some good ways you can start growing your financial literacy?

Brian (26:57):

Well, if you're interested enough in your personal finances to listen to this podcast, you're already doing pretty great. Nice job. Keep it up. And I'll say that our most recent episode, which is called “How Financial Check-Ins Can Help You Crush Your Money Goals,” that episode has some good instructions for anyone trying to take a little more control of their own finances. Stuff like if you're just starting with the basics, learning more about emergency savings and insurance and retirement, or as you get a little more advanced, you can learn to calculate your net worth. We mentioned it earlier, Bright, but our website is, again, or you can just Google Truist Money and Mindset. You can poke around there. There's some really cool articles. If you're a reader, those are one of my favorite things. They're very well written, but you can poke around, see what specific topics interest you.


But I'm going to name two things in particular that can be useful for anyone wanting to become more financially literate. And we'll link both of these in the notes for this episode. So check out the notes. One is just the Money and Mindset guide to budgeting, which includes four ways to get started. The first way is just a short and simple guide to basic budgeting principles. You can download it as a PDF, and it includes an interactive budget that you can fill out yourself. The second tool I want to call out specifically is our savings goal calculator.


To use it, you just need to know the total amount of whatever you're saving for, a vacation, a car, whatever the case may be. You can use the calculator to see how much you need to save each month to hit your goal in a certain timeframe. And the reason I call these particular things out is because they all encourage you to take action. The best way to learn something is by doing. In this case, you're learning financial literacy by actively creating a budget and a savings plan. If needs be, you can pay down credit card debt by creating a debt reduction plan. From there, you can start automating your savings and investing in your 401(k) if your employer offers one. These are some good solid foundational actions. Practicing those basics will begin teaching you a whole lot about money management.

Bright (29:16):

It goes without saying that our podcast and all the good stuff on the Money and Mindset website is going to be solid. But how do you vet everything else that's out there? I know I see a lot of self-proclaimed financial experts on social media, sometimes on TV. How do you vet them?

Brian (29:33):

Yeah, for sure. When it comes to financial experts you see online or in the media, I think a good question that we have to ask is are they credentialed? Are they a financial planner? Are they a CFP? CFP just stands for Certified Financial Planner. Those things matter. That means that they've really put in the time to learn what's right and what's good for all of us. Another thing to ask if you're listening to someone is, what is this individual's motive? And we need to always be asking ourselves, are they selling something? Another thing to think about is do they just appear successful? Are they only looking to make money as a social media influencer, or are they really successful? And not just successful with money, but do they share your values? We talked earlier in the show about how we pick up money beliefs, whether we realize it or not, from our family. The same thing can happen with TV and social media, and we have to be careful about what we're absorbing. You're looking for someone with the heart of an educator, not just the polish of a salesperson.

Bright (30:39):

You know what? I think when it comes to these social media personas, maybe this is a case of boring is better. Look for someone maybe a little square. So maybe the guy with a 20-pound gold necklace and a pet tiger talking about NFTs and cryptocurrency, it might be very entertaining and make fun social media videos, but you're probably better off learning about financial literacy from a certified financial planner who talks about making steady investments in an index fund, right? If it's super flashy, that might be a little red flag.

Brian (31:18):

No, for sure. Although I've got to say, I'm a little curious about these dudes with gold chains and tiger NFT videos you mentioned. Regardless, there are a ton of good books and other online resources out there that can help you grow in financial literacy. And following some of the tips we just shared can help you vet those sources if you're interested in studying up. But, Bright, as we're on the subject of learning, I have a question for you. So, mentally, how can our listeners approach learning in a way that can lead to real progress?

Bright (31:51):

Yeah, so I think this brings us back to the idea of growth mindset versus fixed mindset. And this is the Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck's suggestion and research that there are two ways of approaching learning. And really, in order to learn anything, you need a growth mindset. And so a growth mindset, or when we're talking about mindset in this case, it's really your internal belief about how capable you are of learning. So growth mindset, when we have a growth mindset, it's basically this stance of “I can learn and grow and change, and the way that I can do that is through effort.” So it says that learning is malleable, it's changeable. I can do it. And the way to do it is through trying to do it, an effort, right? A fixed mindset tends to say, "I am what I am, and effort won't get me anywhere."


So there are these two sort of different sets. And while most of us tend to believe that we have a growth mindset, sometimes we don't. And it helps to identify that. And if you've got a fixed mindset around your finances, you should ask yourself why. And a fixed mindset around finances might not look like I am what I am, and I won't get me anywhere. If you find yourself saying, "I'm bad with money," right? That's a fixed mindset about money. And sometimes it sort of sounds more like that in our own minds. A fixed mindset could be preventing you from feeling what I think of as an acute negative emotion. So that mindset's preventing you from the feeling that you get when you fail. What it's creating around your finances is actually going to be a chronic negative emotion, right? So if you're not learning, because financial literacy takes hard work and effort, it can feel a little risky.


It can put us at risk of understanding that we don't know something and then feeling bad about it, right? Like maybe feeling anxious or guilty or ashamed or whatever. But it's so worth it to be able to cultivate a growth mindset in yourself. So even if you don't really believe that you can learn and grow, mindset is one of those things that you can fake it till you make it, but you've got to do the faking. You’ve got to actively do the faking. So when I tell people who are like, "Look, I've got a fixed mindset. I feel like I can't change it. I feel stuck around it." The thing that I sort of coach them on is I say, "OK, well, what would you do if you did have a growth mindset? So if you did believe that you can grow and change, what are the actions that you would take?"


And they'll say, "Oh, well, I guess I would do X and Y and Z." And I say, "OK, great. Go do that."

Brian (34:51):


Bright (34:53):

You know that that's what you would do, so just go do that, because then you'd get the same outcome as if you did have a growth mindset. So the way to get a growth mindset is to try. The way to do it is to go after it and practice it. It's not a status. You don't either have it or you don't, right? That's having a fixed mindset about growth mindset. It's a practice, and you have to go out and do it. And I'm going to say that's kind of what I've done, and that's what honestly doing this podcast is helping me with. Do I still have some fixed mindset around finances? Yeah, probably.


There's still some stuff in there. I think probably around investments. There's probably around insurance, and it's just like, oh, I don't want to, and I'm still not like, "Ooh, it's budget day. Can't wait to go through that this month." That never happens. I'm never like, "Ooh, let's do this early, because I just can't wait to do it." But I do it because I know it's going to get me what I want in the end, and I'm capable of it. It's not that hard, honestly. You don't need a master's in personal finance to do your own stuff to get started. You can do it. It's not that hard.

Brian (35:58):

Totally agree with that, Bright. I appreciate that too. I love that idea of growth mindset versus fixed mindset. And I agree. It's not as complicated as people think. If you understand the basics and simply apply those basics, good things can happen. In fact, one of my biggest takeaways today is that anyone can grow their financial literacy. Personal finances don't have to be some big, scary, complicated thing. You have the power to take control of your money. Better financial literacy, it won't just improve your life, it will improve the lives of everyone around you. So what about you, Bright? What stands out to you from everything we talked about today?

Bright (36:44):

Brian, it's your car seat story. Like, do it the easy way, right? Don't look life in the eye and say, "Give me the hard way." Do it the easy way. Go ahead and learn about what you need to learn about. Go ahead and take the actions you need to take, and it'll be easier in the short term and most likely in the long term.

Brian (37:02):

Love it.


OK. That's all for another episode of Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave us a five-star rating and write us a review on the podcast platform of your choice by giving us a solid rating or writing us a review. It will encourage others to listen, thus continuing to spread good financial literacy and good old word of mouth, that's nice too. And we always appreciate it when our listeners share the podcast with a friend or family member. Thanks as always for listening, and thanks to my wonderful co-host, Bright Dickson.

Bright (37:42):

Thank you, Brian. And thanks to all our listeners. For Financial Literacy Month and every other month, you'll find great resources supporting your financial education at We'll be back next month with another episode of Money and Mindset. If you miss us in the meantime, send us any questions or suggestions for future episodes to Until then, see you later.

Speaker 3 (38:20):

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

The more you know about money, the better you can use it to make a difference in your life. But the importance of financial literacy goes way beyond your wallet. Research shows that financial education can help individuals lead happier lives while creating opportunities that benefit entire communities.Disclosure 1

In this episode of Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian, you’ll learn exactly why financial literacy is so important, plus:

  • How learning about finances can help you feel less stress
  • What “loud budgeting” can teach you about saving more money
  • Why you shouldn’t always trust advice from social media influencers

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