money management

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We use social media to keep up with the latest in the worlds of pop culture, politics, fashion, and music, so why not the world of finance? Whether you want to keep up with financial trends or get some quick money advice, we've gathered a list of five of the best personal finance influencers you need to follow.

1. J Money, Budgets Are Sexy

J. Money is a Mohawk rockin' husband and father who has been in the blogging business since 2008. His casual and easy to comprehend writing style makes learning about the financial world easy for anyone. J has received 12 industry awards and recently posted about his achievement of reaching a net worth over $1 million. If nothing else, you should at least follow him for his "dad worthy" money jokes!

Website / Twitter

2. Michele Schroeder-Gardner, Making Sense of Cents

Michele Schroeder-Gardner has been writing for her blog, Making Sense of Cents, since 2011 and has over 20 awards to show for it. She started her blog sharing how she paid off $38,000 in student loan debt in only 7 months. She now travels full-time. She's currently living on a sailboat with her husband. She shares best practices for paying off student loan debt along with some great tips for making money online. Plus, following her travel journeys is worth the follow alone!

Website / Twitter / Instagram

3. Erin Lowry, Broke Millennial

When I discovered Erin on Twitter, the first thing I noticed was her coined hashtag, #GYFLT (get your financial life together), which I naturally thought meant get your f***ing life together. The author of two books in the financial industry, Erin graduated from college debt-free and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC, and Fox and Friends. Upfront and hilarious, she breaks down the often confusing and scary finance world for Millennials.

Website / Twitter / Instagram

4. Tina Hay, Napkin Finance

What better way to guide you through the financial world than through pictures drawn on napkins? Tina is the founder and CEO of Napkin Finance, a site that makes money easy to understand through visualizations drawn on yes, you heard right, napkins! As their website so bluntly puts it, Napkin Finance is "everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less." Napkin Finance has collaborated with companies like JP Morgan, UBS, Michele Obama's Better Make Room Initiative, and the United States Olympic Committee. These bite-sized lessons make learning about money fun and quick.

Website / Twitter / Instagram

5. Lily, The Frugal Gene

Lily and her husband write for their blog, The Frugal Gene. She is a first-generation immigrant from China who was raised in San Francisco. Lily shares how her journey out of a life of poverty was the key motivator in attaining FIRE (financially independent, retiring early). Lily was able to pay off all of her student loan debt with only a part-time job in eight months! She shares interesting and unique tips on saving money, and she has been featured on The Cut, Rockstar Finance, Tiller Money, and Money.

Website / Twitter / Instagram

From Your Site Articles

With finances being one of the most common sources of stress, anxiety-induced habits of negative self-talk and pessimistic thinking can affect how you deal with your money situation. As common as budgeting problems are, how you approach your personal finances can have a powerful effect on your money money management. From second-guessing your expenses to internalizing shame about spending money, these are the signs of negative self-talk and how you can improve your financial skills.

1. Identify what negative self-talk is to you

For some, it's a sense of creeping doubt that you don't have as strong a handle on your finances as you think. For others, it's pressure to live a lifestyle that isn't realistically feasible for you yet. In whatever form it takes, having an inner voice in your head that denigrates your own money instincts and abilities to learn better habits is a serious deterrent to your financial growth. Even if you were raised by a guardian who instilled in you anxieties over money, assess your own situation and your own habits realistically. Acknowledging your natural strengths is just as important as acknowledging your limitations.

2. Know your triggers

Psychology Today emphasizes the importance of triggers of self-criticism, writing, "The critic is a voice that you have internalized based on outside influences and learning such as other people's criticism, expectations, or standards." Maybe you're more prone to question your financial skills around bills' due dates or in certain environments, like work or the bank. Keeping track of your negative thinking by jotting down notes in your phone or in a journal can identify the patterns that trigger the habit, which is the first step to changing your environment and controlling your responses to certain situations.

3. Talk about money

Speaking about your finances may feel Iike a social faux pas, but when it comes to your partner, close friends, or family members, you should be willing to open up and break the taboo. But as The New York Time details, "It's hard to learn about something when you're discouraged from talking about it. In that way, silence becomes a tool for oppression." Embarrassment and insecurity are common feelings everyone shares about money; discussing them in the open is more likely to relieve those fears than actualize them.

4. Think positively (and create a budget!)

After you've identified your patterns of negative thinking and you're willing to open up about your insecurities about money management, the final and most important step is to make positive change. Staying educated about the economy can help you stay affirmative about what you've achieved, which boosts your confidence when you sit down to plan for your realistic goals. Experts spoke to The New York Times about using budgeting apps to track and plan your spending. Looking to the future with a firm grasp on your bad habits and room to grow is the best anyone can hope for. As author and financial expert Kristin Wong says, "Even the 'experts' slip up every now and then, because to be bad with money is to be human. So don't be too hard on yourself."