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Access to Financial Education. Amy Marty Conrad
NEFE in November – Part 2.
Have you had the opportunity to take financial education courses or training during school, at the workplace, one-on-one or in another setting? And did you take it?
It’s more important than ever to be financially aware. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to learn about personal finance, whether it’s in school, at work, or even on your own. Taking advantage of opportunities that feel right for you, can set yourself up for future financial success, whatever that looks like for you.
This month we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the National Endowment for Financial Education. To honor this special event, I’ve invited some of the team from NEFE to discuss some of the most recent topics and statistics from polls they have conducted that are impacting the personal finance space. We’ll also talk about how financial literacy helped shape their personal lives.
I hope you enjoy part 2 in our 5-part series of “NEFE in NOVEMBER with our special Guest, Managing Director of Insights at NEFE: Amy Marty Conrad where we discuss a recent article regarding how individuals with financial education opportunities choose to take them in overwhelming numbers. To learn more about the article and “Financial Education access” visit NEFE.org
Amy Marty Conrad, M.S., AFC®, the NEFE Institute’s managing director of Insights, focuses on making scholarly research useful for the work of practitioners, advocates, policymakers and other audiences. She uses her experience to create a meaningful connection between thought leadership and practical application, especially by driving systemic change and collective impact in the field.
Amy joined NEFE in 2012, overseeing the K-12, college, and adult education programs, including the High School Financial Planning Program, the CashCourse program and the Smart About Money program, developing strategies to help educators and partners nationwide build more effective financial education classes and programs.
She loves exploring Colorado with her husband and daughter.
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[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Have you had the opportunity to take financial education courses or training during school at the workplace, one on one or another setting? It’s more important than ever to be financially aware. Fortunately, there are so many opportunities to learn about personal finance, whether it’s in school, at work, or even on your own.
[00:00:18] Taking advantage of opportunities that feel right for you can set yourself up for a future financial success, whatever that looks like for. This month we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the National Endowment from Financial Education. NEFE Champions effective financial education. They are an independent centralizing voice, providing leadership, research, and collaboration to advance financial wellbeing.
[00:00:40] NEFE envisions a nation where everyone has the knowledge, confidence, and opportunity to live their best financial life. To honor this special event, I’ve invited some staff members from NiFi to join me to discuss some of the most recent topics and statistics from polls they have conducted that are impacting the personal finance space.
[00:00:57] We also talk about how financial literacy helps shape their [00:01:00] personal lives, both the good times as well as tough moments. I hope you enjoy part two in our five part series of NEFE in November with our special guest managing director of Insights at NEFE, Amy Marty Conrad, where we discuss a recent article regarding how individuals with financial education opportunities chose to take part in them in overwhelming numbers.
[00:01:20] To learn more about the article and the poll financial education access, visit nfe.org or click on the link in the show notes. I’m Bob Wheeler and this is Money You Should Ask, where we explore why we do what we do when it comes to money.
[00:01:55] Amy Marty Conrad. Ms. Afc, the NEFE Institute’s [00:02:00] Managing Director of Insights, focuses on making scholarly research useful for the work of practitioners, advocates, policymakers, and other audiences. She uses her experience to create a meaningful connection between thought leadership and practical application, especially by driving systemic change and collective impact in the.
[00:02:18] Amy joined NEFE in 2012 overseeing the K through 12 college and adult education programs, including the high school financial planning program, the cash course program, and the SMART About Money program, developing strategies to help educators and partners nationwide build more effective financial education classes and programs.
[00:02:37] She loves exploring Colorado with her husband and daughter. Amy, it’s so great to have you on the show.
[00:02:42] Amy Marty Conrad: Thanks, Bob. I’m happy to be.
[00:02:44] Bob Wheeler: Right. So I’ve gotta ask, you’ve got a master’s in marketing, you’ve got a bachelor’s in journalism, then you got into finance. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey getting to managing director of insights at NEFE?
[00:02:57] Amy Marty Conrad: Sure. It was a series of very happy [00:03:00] right place, right time types of things. I had a personal interest in finance, personal finance, throughout my life, and actually when I was in journalism. I also took classes at the business college thinking maybe I’ll be a business writer. Worked a little bit in PR during that time, corporate communications, but I always was interested and invested in helping people navigate their lives more easily with more information.
[00:03:24] And journalism is one of those ways, you know, telling stories or revealing information, giving people tools. I see journalism as a tool of education in. But when I was finished with journalism school, you know, I thought maybe corporate communications was the path I wanted to take, and that took me to graduate school and marketing.
[00:03:39] But while I was a graduate student, I actually started at NFE as an intern. Oh. I was working in the corporate communications department with our consumer education tool. Smart about money and running social media there, writing a little bit personal finance articles. And then as I was finishing my graduate Educat.
[00:03:58] Luckily there was a new opening, a [00:04:00] new role to support our college financial education program, Cash course. So from all the writing I had done from the multimedia work that I was doing as a journalist and as a communications person, I was sort of a right place, right time to support this online education program.
[00:04:14] So I was so happy to be there because I’ve always wanted to work somewhere with a mission, a strong mission, and NEFE is definitely one of those places. And so over those years I’ve been. My fact finding my curiosity, wanting to give people information or tell them stories that they may not already have.
[00:04:30] And it’s escalated over the years into different types of roles. So I was on our programs, educational programs for a really long time, and then when, if you transitioned away from providing curriculum, I made the transition as well to work more on our thought leadership side. Right now my work is in research to practice convenings, partnerships.
[00:04:46] I do a little bit of everything, but it’s all in service of the mission of championing effective financial education and helping people get the information that they need to live their best financial lives.
[00:04:56] Bob Wheeler: That’s so awesome. I mean, I’ve had a couple insights, but nobody’s ever made me a [00:05:00] director.
[00:05:00] Nobody’s there like keep your insights to yourself, Bob . It
[00:05:03] Amy Marty Conrad: could be aspirational, but we all need to strive.
[00:05:06] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Now, was there pressure? I’m assuming because you work at nfe, every single person there has handed their financial situation perfectly since. Oh,
[00:05:18] Amy Marty Conrad: well that would be nice. We are all humans.
[00:05:22] Actually, no, definitely not the case. Not the case. For me, I was pretty fortunate. I think I had some good financial behaviors modeled to me as a kid, especially around saving. My parents are both savers. They’re small business owners, so you know, closely looking at their finances was always part of growing.
[00:05:39] I remember being a kid going to like JC Penn with my mom and wanting some like, I don’t know, headband or something in Herb going, Well, you know, you already have a couple headbands. Do you need another headband? So those kind of frugal and being smart with our shopping was something that was modeled to me as a kid, but.
[00:05:55] I would not say that I’m perfect when it comes to my own finances
[00:05:59] Bob Wheeler: and [00:06:00] people talk about financial wellbeing because maybe not everybody’s trying to get to a billion dollars, but if we could get to financial wellbeing, seems like a pretty good place to get. What does that mean to you?
[00:06:10] Amy Marty Conrad: I like some of the ways we talked about it as a field, a financial education field.
[00:06:15] To me, financial wellbeing is, do I feel good and satisfied with where I’m at with my money? And that doesn’t mean wealthy, doesn’t mean rich. It doesn’t have to mean one particular thing. But do I feel like secure and satisfied, knowledgeable, confident in my present situation? And then do I feel like some hope or like I’m on the right track for the future?
[00:06:33] That’s what that means to.
[00:06:34] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Maybe an absence of extreme anxiety,
[00:06:40] Amy Marty Conrad: perhaps, or confidence that the anxiety will pass and you know how to navigate it. You have people to turn to or sources to turn to for help, whether that’s informational help or money help, credit lines or whatever it may be.
[00:06:52] So yeah, I think it’s a state you get to define for yourself, which is really nice. There’s not one way to be financially.
[00:06:58] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And [00:07:00] I think the lesson that was sort of a bummer and then sort of great to me is that it’s an ongoing conversation. It’s an ongoing state of being because things change and we learn more or we get caught up in our emotions and we sort of take ourselves out for a moment.
[00:07:16] So it’s not like a one and done where, Oh, great, I’ve learned all these skills. Never have to employ them again. It’s a constant engage. Of reassessing finances, having difficult conversations, adjusting, pivoting, whatever that might be.
[00:07:32] Amy Marty Conrad: Absolutely. I think health is a really good parallel. You always have a state of health, right?
[00:07:36] You don’t not have health. It can look different, and your healthiest self is gonna look different from someone else’s healthiest self. And you get to kind of define what that is, and you have different tools to manage it through different life stages. And personal finance and financial wellbeing is largely the same in that way.
[00:07:52] Bob Wheeler: Now, when I was at FinCon, I talked to Dr. Billy. We were talking about NEFE had just done some polling [00:08:00] and over 80% of people really thought that mandatory financial literacy was a great thing. And you’ve got some numbers here and in the polls that we’re looking at. It’s about not quite half, but almost half.
[00:08:13] 45% of adults have had the opportunity to be exposed to financial education courses and trainings. Did that surprise you? Does that seem like a high number, a low number? What do we take from that data?
[00:08:26] Amy Marty Conrad: I’m happy to see that number. You’d love it to be higher, Of course. It would be great if this was a repeat poll that we had done a few years pre pandemic or pre 2008, because I do think that access to personal finance has changed a lot in the last five to 10 years, so I was a little surprised it was actually as high as half, but glad to see that and we still have room to grow for sure.
[00:08:46] Bob Wheeler: And now some people get financial literacy courses because they voluntarily decided to seek them out. Other people might have had to be mandated to take them, like we’re talking about for schools. 16% had [00:09:00] the opportunity to do it through employer based courses. Is this maybe a place where employers can start to offer.
[00:09:07] A service to actually empower and create healthier employees. It’s possible.
[00:09:13] Amy Marty Conrad: You know, I think this is seen as a benefit to some workplaces and employers to invest in their people, to give people a benefit that they don’t have already, or to maybe relieve some stress and keep folks feeling more secure in their personal situation and their employment situation.
[00:09:28] Hopefully retain. It’s really challenging, I think, to reach adults with any type of education. And so seeing workplaces as a potential avenue for this really critical information is great. And some of it is about who decides to opt in and who decides to opt out, and how can we tip it towards more people seeing financial education as a thing that can benefit them and serving people really well.
[00:09:50] So if you’ve got a small slice of your workforce who chooses to do whatever financial education you’ve. Who’s saying no? What would make them say [00:10:00] yes?
[00:10:00] Bob Wheeler: What would make them wanna show up? What would make it more relevant and useful to them? I think it’s an interesting question. Yeah, as you were just talking about that, I’m thinking, okay, management’s probably gonna opt in because they’re not hourly, It’s not gonna affect their pay.
[00:10:12] Mm-hmm. , if I’m hourly, am I gonna get paid for this? Or is it supposed to be after hours? Then maybe I don’t wanna do it cuz I feel like my time resources are limited. Right. So there’s a lot of different ways. So in the data there was 66% of Hispanic. More likely to not have access to financial education compared to non-Hispanic, white and non-Hispanic blacks.
[00:10:35] Does this data then help you to say, How do we bring in this community? Is that hopefully the point of some of this data to be able to say, how do we bring a wider welcome and what do we need to do to these communities to invite them? I think
[00:10:50] Amy Marty Conrad: it’s one indicator, and I think in this data we see trends outside of the financial education space that exist within it as well.
[00:10:59] So I [00:11:00] don’t wanna just make guesses on why these folks aren’t well represented in this data with, in terms of access. But it’s very striking to see that, you know, present in numbers that we’re not reaching, financial education isn’t reaching a big chunk of Americans. So NEFEs a huge champion of culturally competent education, relevant education, timely meeting people where they are.
[00:11:22] And I think this shows a gap in meeting people where they are. For sure.
[00:11:25] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. In a prior conversation and NEFE did the data on lgbtq plus community and people not feeling represented, like the financial advisors are all straight white males, right? Mm-hmm. and maybe not feeling represented or seeing somebody that looks like them or feeling like they’re actually being taken care of, that there might be a named or unnamed bias against them.
[00:11:50] Do you think that that may be the case in other communities as well? Like not that we can general. But when we don’t see somebody like ourselves [00:12:00] or we don’t see that being catered to, maybe we feel like, Oh, well, that’s just not for me. Or maybe that’s just not possible.
[00:12:08] Amy Marty Conrad: I think trust is a big part of it.
[00:12:10] Trusting that the person that is either delivering the education or the counseling or coaching gets the nuance of your situation and is willing to listen. I think that’s a huge thing. There’s a lot of vulnerability in talking about finances. I think that’s part of why you do these convers. It’s not just numbers, it’s not just math, it’s psychology, it’s culture.
[00:12:30] It’s a lot of like mental maps that you’ve built throughout your whole life and those things. It’s hard to represent that in a poll, right? But people are coming to the table with really complicated things, and even the desire to make a change in your financial situation or strive for a different type of financial wellbeing, you have to have trust that the folks that are like helping you get there have your best interest in.
[00:12:53] They’re gonna understand where you’re coming from, the limitations of your financial situation or your family situation, the systemic [00:13:00] barriers you may face. And all of that’s really hard to just unpack all of that, but I think that’s where trust and a good community of advisors really makes a difference.
[00:13:08] Bob Wheeler: I mean because not only do you need to trust them, if I’m on limited funds and I hand you over the excess, which may not be that much of my limited funds for you or somebody to go invest, and then I lose it. Not only have I lost trust, but I’ve lost my money or I’ve lost my investments. There’s just real cost there.
[00:13:30] It’s not just, you hurt my feelings, or I don’t trust you anymore. You also took my money. That has no consequence to the other person.
[00:13:38] Amy Marty Conrad: Yeah. Slim margins are meaningful. Margins and education is not gonna suddenly give someone a bunch of resources they don’t have. It’s not going to increase your pay overnight instantaneously if you need to make more money.
[00:13:50] So yeah, trusting that there’s something you can do with information is a big part of it.
[00:13:54] Bob Wheeler: When you’re talking about these different things and we have this different information and people start to get the [00:14:00] tools, then having that conversation to ask for a raise or to maybe start to understand that the system is working against you.
[00:14:09] So you might be crazy making cuz you’re like, I keep doing this, but if I don’t know, the systems not favoring me, I might take it. So where can someone go to start to unpack some of that stuff? Learning to ask for a raise. Learning to recognize where there are allies and people that will advocate for them.
[00:14:29] Are there some places that people can go?
[00:14:32] Amy Marty Conrad: I think community is a big one. I think in every neighborhood, in every social community, there are mentors or models to look to. And if you see someone in your extended network that you feel like has really got it, you know, that could be a good person to start with.
[00:14:47] And that’s not saying that those folks have all of the perfect information, but it’s a good starting point. You know it, it’s direction setting, it’s envisioning the next steps for whatever action you’re trying to take. And from there, seeking out. Sources of [00:15:00] information that are well researched, embedded, and created.
[00:15:03] It’s challenging. I think there’s just a huge surplus of financial information and advice out there, especially online. So knowing where to go is a challenge. Often ne points people to like government sources or their local credit union or bank or their, like a community financial institution. But I think starting with folks you trust is a natural thing.
[00:15:25] A lot of people do it already and then from there, trying to seek out additional education or information that’s rooted in something really high quality. So considering the source, considering the motivation behind that resource is really important. If I’m reading this really great article, should I consider, are they trying to sell me anything?
[00:15:43] Are they trying to push me in one direction over another? It does take a lot of skill, I think, or a lot of practice, at least to seek those out and notice the patterns, and when you start to see patterns of information or advice, I think that’s a helpful thing to nudge you in the right direction. Yeah,
[00:15:57] Bob Wheeler: it’s finding that balance between being [00:16:00] paranoid and cautiously skeptical or cautiously optimistic.
[00:16:05] You don’t wanna, like what do you, what do you, what’s going on? But like, Hmm, let me measure this. Are they, Yeah. Because even with a financial advisor, they could be fee based, they could be commission based, and if they’re commission based and they’re telling you to. Buy and sell stock every day. It may be because they’re actually just trying to rack up a commission, and so that trust piece does feel really, really important.
[00:16:28] Yeah. When you’ve been looking at this data and from the poll results that you did that NEFE did this year, what statistics stood out the most to you and
[00:16:37] Amy Marty Conrad: why? One of the things I thought was interesting was, When you dig down into people who, of all the people who said that, that half of people who said Yes, I had the opportunity to take a financial education class or engage in some kind of education, and how many of them decided to, and that’s really reassuring, but when you dig into like where those avenues are, there’s a big difference between your [00:17:00] high school or your college.
[00:17:01] Those numbers are really high. People who have the opportunity at an educational institution, even through their employer, People take that up at a really high level, but when it’s presented by their financial institutions, it’s a lot lower. You know, if my bank’s doing a workshop on mortgages, I’m way less likely to go to that than I would be if my employer was doing something.
[00:17:19] And I think that goes back to like, where do we place our trust? Or what communities do we see ourselves reflected in? Then we wanna go and then pursue more information or advice from those places.
[00:17:28] Bob Wheeler: That’s so interesting. Did you say that because I know one of the major banks is working to do some community no interest loans or low interest No down payment loans.
[00:17:38] Mm-hmm. in marginalized communities, and the skeptic in me says, How are they gonna pay for this? Is this really a bait and switch uhhuh? Like what’s the agenda? There’s that slightly paranoid part of me that goes, What’s the agenda here? Is this really good works? If NFE says, Here’s what we think and here’s what we can offer.
[00:17:58] Well, I’m more trusting it’s a [00:18:00] non-profit, right? Uhhuh, but a major bank. I’m thinking, what’s the unconscious marketing thing they’re trying to get me to do and do I trust it? It’s so important that trust piece is so I.
[00:18:11] Amy Marty Conrad: And I think there’s a lot of too good to be true sounding financial opportunities and it’s hard to shake that feeling even when you do your research or you feeling confident about something.
[00:18:21] If it feels really good or sounds too good to be true. There’s still that little red flag in your head that’s like, Oh my gosh, what if I mess up? Cuz the stakes can be really high, you know, if you get into a mortgage or something you can’t afford. That’s really high stakes. Which I realize is not constructive.
[00:18:33] It’s just, you know, illustrating what people go through when they’re making these big choices. Even small choices, but definitely big ones. So part of that I think, is knowledge of that history or knowledge of that environment. So you can operate with caution. And again, I think there are a lot of really strong local community institutions that do this well and they know the folks that they’re working with.
[00:18:52] If your local credit union or something is offering a workshop, you may react to that differently than if a big international bank is doing. [00:19:00] Yeah.
[00:19:00] Bob Wheeler: How much do you think banks, financial institutions, brokerage houses, financial advisors, are starting to factor in the other components, the other layers? I might have had a financial trauma when I was 18, or my family might have, or my parents experienced something that was traumatic or all of a sudden we had a huge influx of cash and we didn’t know how to handle it.
[00:19:23] Those are all pieces of the puzzle. Not only do I have to get the bank to gimme the mortgage, but if I have a belief that nobody ever pays off the mortgage, or at some point they’re gonna foreclose, there might be some self-fulfilling prophecies. Do you think banks and financial institutions are starting to address a little bit more of the history or the emotions or the layers that make it a little bit more complic?
[00:19:48] Amy Marty Conrad: You would hope so. I don’t work in the financial product space directly. What I see is, at least for the way they market their tools to people, it seems like there’s a building awareness. Where I really see a lot of awareness is in [00:20:00] the financial planning and coaching space. I think financial planners have grown a lot in, and probably this has been the case a long time, but seeing the humanity and some of those additional factors beyond just how you look on a balance sheet, you would hope that the entire financial system wants to build for something that works for everybody.
[00:20:17] And maybe that’s optimistic. That’s the future. I would like to see where good products are available to people given whatever situation they’re in, and you can actually productively move forward in the direction you want to. You’re not limited by geography or race or gender identity or anything like that.
[00:20:33] So that’s the future I would like to imagine and strive for, whether we’re getting there or not, at least we’re starting to have the convers.
[00:20:40] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And then sort of along those lines though, we can learn so much through the education stuff, but these other pieces and the emotions that come up from these experience are a big part of it from my perspective.
[00:20:53] Mm-hmm. , I’m not a doctor. How would you describe your emotional relationship with money? Just personally, [00:21:00] like now that you’ve been at Nefe, you’ve got a lot of tools, it’s all dialed in. How is it for.
[00:21:06] Amy Marty Conrad: I have come to find, I’m a person who really values security, financial security and other types of security.
[00:21:12] But you know, I feel good when I’m saving a lot of money. I’m even okay with taking some risk at investing. Although it’s an area I’m not as well versed, but I find that I’m much more aware of my risk awareness than I used to be. I just thought, this is how everybody is. But there’s people with vastly different levels of like willingness to accept financial risk, and I’m a pretty risk averse kind of.
[00:21:34] I don’t know if that’s indicative of people my age. I’m an older millennial, as you might say, so we’ve been through some stuff with the economy, but I know that I have blind spots and all the things I know about personal finance given my career and I still have these blind spots. It reminds me. This field exists for a reason.
[00:21:51] If me working at Nefe, I feel intimidated by some of the decisions I have to make or the information I’m trying to seek out about planning for my future. I have a lot of [00:22:00] empathy and sympathy for people who haven’t been working in this space, how challenging and what an uphill climate’s gotta be. So, yeah, I know.
[00:22:06] I don’t know everything and the fact that I still have so much to learn is like, well, we have a lot of work to do in this financial education field, Don.
[00:22:14] Bob Wheeler: We do. And I think it’s so important for people that are listening to realize, like we’re all still learning. Mm-hmm. , I don’t think any of us have all of the answers.
[00:22:22] Warren Buffet does not have all of the answers. Right. We’re all still figuring it out and I, even now, I’ll find a blind spot, I’ll, oh my God, I didn’t realize I had this strong belief that I’m still operating from. Ah, do I wanna let that go? Right. Cause sometimes we don’t, Cause I’m like, I’m really comfortable with that.
[00:22:41] Even if it doesn’t serve me. So it’s great to hear you say that for all of us, it’s a journey and new information comes, Financial situations change. Yeah, and what
[00:22:51] Amy Marty Conrad: I like about education generally, it’s a mindset, it’s a tool. It’s navigating new scenarios all the time. I think part of the point of education is like [00:23:00] teaching you to critically evaluate your situation, your landscape, all the time to know how to seek out information when you need it.
[00:23:06] That’s a skill that’s gonna live with folks. If they’re learning how like a credit score is made up, that’s like a thing you can put in a box, but when you’re learning how to like, Assess new information or how to find trusted sources or how to reach the next step of a goal. Those are all skills, and that’s all knowledge that you can take with you in a new situation.
[00:23:22] So I do feel like I have confidence in myself to like navigate new problems given all the financial education I’ve had. And that’s great, building that kind of confidence. It really is a lifelong thing. And so even as the financial marketplace gets more complex or we enter new life stages, having the intrinsic thing of confidence in yourself and the efficacy to seek out new information or help, that’s huge.
[00:23:44] It’s gonna benefit me, but it’s gonna benefit individuals who have that for a long time. Yeah.
[00:23:48] Bob Wheeler: That’s so awesome. And it’s not always fun. No. And it’s not always pleasant to self-evaluate. Sure. And it’s great information to keep us moving forward, so I so appreciate.[00:24:00]
[00:24:01] Amy, we are at the Fast Five and this month Fast Five is brought to you by NEFE, the amazing National Endowment for Financial Education. We love NEFE. NEFE in November. So Amy, these are gonna just be fast and down and dirty. We’ll just see where we go. All right. Okay. Sure. Are there any negative financial habits that your daughter has picked up from you?
[00:24:24] Amy Marty Conrad: Oh, she’s a blind spot. I see something at the Dollar Store and I want it, Man, it’s hard to say no. So I do spoil her and I have to slow myself down cause I’m like, I don’t want you to think every time you go to Target you need to get like new play dough or whatever. Even when it’s an expensive, that’s not a good habit.
[00:24:40] So I’m trying to be aware of that kind of. I need
[00:24:43] Bob Wheeler: it. I need it.
[00:24:45] Amy Marty Conrad: Mama, can I get this cute thing? Of course you can. You can have anything you want, but I can’t retire, so no, I buy too much Playto. That’s where all my money is vested in Playto.
[00:24:56] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. What’s one thing looking back, that you’re grateful that [00:25:00] you didn’t have the money for when you were a teenager?
[00:25:03] Oh gosh.
[00:25:04] Amy Marty Conrad: I didn’t go on a lot of trips as a teenager. I don’t know. I didn’t get into a lot of trouble. Maybe that’s just the best way to say, like I didn’t have too much money to get into trouble. There you go, , however you wanna define that. I feel like I, I was, had just the right of money to have fun, but not so much you could get into trouble now.
[00:25:19] Bob Wheeler: Perfect. Perfect. Are there any financial issues that you and your husband have a differing point of view on?
[00:25:27] Amy Marty Conrad: I think investing in property is one thing, like that’s a thing my family has done. My dad invested in some real estate when he was younger and his family, that’s not as much a thing. We don’t necessarily disagree on it, but it’s like different financial branches.
[00:25:40] So someday we’ll have to decide if that’s something we’re gonna try and do. Yeah.
[00:25:44] Bob Wheeler: Do you talk a lot about money with
[00:25:46] Amy Marty Conrad: your spouse? We do. But given that I work at NEFE, I think I get a lot of, he defers to me a lot. Okay. And that’s fine. But knowing what I know is open dialogue. Right. Even if he trusts me in the direction we [00:26:00] take, I always wanna feel like he knows all the information that I have.
[00:26:03] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. How would you rate your financial intelligence on a scale of one to 10? Ooh.
[00:26:11] Amy Marty Conrad: Seven plus. That’s good. That’s a good number. Seven and a half. Yeah, It’s a c plus,
[00:26:16] Bob Wheeler: you know? All right. I like it. It’s passing. It’s passing. Yeah. Yeah, That’s
[00:26:20] Amy Marty Conrad: good. It’s strong when I have room to
[00:26:22] Bob Wheeler: grow. Perfect, perfect, Perfect.
[00:26:24] Knowing what you know now, what is your biggest money mindset challenge?
[00:26:28] Amy Marty Conrad: Now? My biggest money mindset challenge now is being okay with an uncertain future. As much as you try. Save for the future and invest and do all the things that the textbooks say you should do. Nothing’s ever guaranteed and things are gonna change.
[00:26:44] So just being okay with that ambiguity. I think that it’s hard to keep both things. The confidence to keep going and the direction you wanna go, and knowing like it’s not guaranteed. That’s a challenging thing. I’m a planner, so it’d be nice to just know what’s the finish line. There isn’t really one.[00:27:00]
[00:27:00] Everything change.
[00:27:01] Bob Wheeler: No, I totally agree. It’s funny, I like to know the end of a book. Before I start it, I wanna know where I’m gonna end up . Sure. I’m a little bit of a control freak. So ,
[00:27:10] Amy Marty Conrad: I want to know, do they find the missing thing? Do they solve the crime they get together at the end? Sure. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:27:17] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. We’re at our m and m spot, our Sweet Spot, Money and Motivation. I’m wondering if you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that you yourself have used that you could share with our listeners. Sure.
[00:27:32] Amy Marty Conrad: So this is different for everybody. I like to check my budgets every day. I do keep a budget, but I like to check in with it every morning.
[00:27:39] Like I have my coffee and I see what did I spend over the last couple days? Is it tracking where I want it to? You know, they say Don’t check your retirement account every day. I don’t do that, but I check my spending like every day. Cuz I think if I wait too long, suddenly it’s like, Oh, I had that weekend where I did a bunch of activities and I haven’t.
[00:27:54] Sort of reconciled it. So for me, checking in every day works. I would say [00:28:00] check in on the schedule that works for you, but make sure you check in. If it’s weekly, if it’s monthly, that’s fine. For me it’s daily. But checking in is great and set that schedule and stick to
[00:28:08] Bob Wheeler: it. Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s such an important piece of being intentional and having awareness, and so the more we can look at that, I know some people will say, Well, if I have a budget, you’re limiting me.
[00:28:21] And to me it’s information, it’s resource so that I know where I wanna direct my money. Totally. And not necessarily that I’m being limited, so I love that. Well, Amy, we’re coming close to the end. I so appreciate what N’s out there doing. I love that. Financial education financial. Is the mission because there’s so much to learn and there are so many people that just don’t have access to this information, or they do now, but they don’t know where to find it.
[00:28:50] Mm-hmm. , like we’re all with the internet, with online stuff, there’s so much more information available, but starting to help people see that, how it will benefit them, how it actually [00:29:00] will pay dividends in the long run, if we can start to educate ourselves, educate our children. And be able to have honest conversations with our spouses and our partners and everybody in between.
[00:29:12] And that’s me being super hopeful. Yes. Where can people find you and find NEFE online and find out just more about NEFE or support NEFE or donate to NEFE? .
[00:29:23] Amy Marty Conrad: No need to donate. We’re lucky to be financially independent, but you can find email@example.com, N E ffe.org. It’s where we publish things like the public opinion polls we were talking about.
[00:29:34] Other research that we funded, as well as updates on all of our initiatives. And we’re really active on Twitter and LinkedIn. So if you wanna follow find NEFE, I think it’s at nfe org on Twitter, and then National Endowment for Financial Education on LinkedIn. And you’ll find me amongst those places.
[00:29:49] That’s where I spend my times.
[00:29:51] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Well, Amy, I so appreciate you coming on and sharing a little bit of the data and talking about your own money journey. It’s all welcomed [00:30:00] and appreciated and we wish you the best and hope NEFE keeps continuing to champion financial literacy.
[00:30:07] Amy Marty Conrad: Of course. This was super fun.
[00:30:08] Thanks for having me.
[00:30:16] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the rollercoaster Ride of Financial Fears and journey towards financial.
[00:30:32] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.[00:31:00]