Financial Psychology

Myth: Women are Financially Dependent

By | Financial Psychology, Women and Wealth | No Comments

In this brief video, I bust the myth that women are financially dependent. Part of my work with financial advisors is to dispel the notion that women are not interested in finance and defer to the men in their lives to make and manage the money. The truth is many women create their own wealth and are the primary decision-makers for many couples.

Women are an economically powerful and growing segment of the client population. Offering to help women engage in healthy financial conversations is a wonderful service that will attract and retain these affluent and powerful consumers. So let go of the idea they all women are financially dependent and start getting curious about the unique client sitting in front of you – regardless of his or her gender.

How do you engage female clients in financial conversations?

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury (KBK) is an expert in financial psychology who is passionate about training financial services professionals on how to effectively communicate with women, couples, and families. Drawing on over two decades of experience in psychology and finance, Kathleen’s keynotes and workshops will inspire, educate, and entertain your audience while offering practical tips and tools that work in the real world. Every talk is customized to meet your organization’s meeting goals and objectives and is highly interactive to keep your audience engaged in the learning process. If you want a fun, engaging and thought-provoking speaker for your event, KBK is the right one for you.

Contact us for more information.

Are millennials more honest about money than their parents?

By | Family and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

A new research study by The and Bankrate found that individuals from the millennial generation are breaking money silence when it comes to their salaries. Their research finds that 63% of people 18 to 36 years of age have discussed their compensation with an immediate family member, compared to 41% of baby boomers.

In my opinion, the most significant finding is that 20% of millennials talk about their salaries with coworkers, whereas only 8% of baby boomers report having this type of open and honest dialogue at work. The increase in salary transparency among the younger generation will hold employers more accountable for their compensation practices and can be especially beneficial to women who are looking to close the gender wage gap.

If talking about money makes you cringe, here are three tips to help you break money silence at work and at home.

Tip #1: Examine your money talk mindset. What are your automatic thoughts and feelings about discussing finances at work or at home? What did your parents teach you about money talk? How might these attitudes impact your ability to discuss your compensation with your family, your friends, or your coworkers? By identifying these attitudes and beliefs, you can start to embrace the ones that serve you and let go of the part of your mindset that blocks you from receiving a fair and just salary.

Tip #2: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. A money conversation is not about winning an argument. It is about moving toward mutual understanding. Approach each dialogue with a healthy dose of curiosity, and focus on putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you are at work, this translates into spending time asking your boss questions so you can understand his or her perspective. Find out how you can demonstrate your value to the company and help your boss show upper management how you contribute to the firm. Remember, bosses suffer from money silence too.

Tip #3: Progress, not perfection. Talking about money is not easy. There is a longstanding tradition in our society that says discussing finances with others is rude and unnecessary. If you take the risk to engage in a financial conversation, reward yourself for a job well done. Learn from each interaction, and let go of any need to be perfect in your money conversations. Together, we can make progress toward breaking money silence for good—one money talk at a time.

What do you think about discussing salary at work? Does it make you uncomfortable, or do you believe it is important to be fairly compensated?

You can find more information on the study here.

The Upside of a Bad Money Behavior

By | Financial Psychology | No Comments

money habitsHave you ever wondered why you don’t always act in responsible ways when it comes to money? Or maybe you are financially fit and find it hard to understand why a loved one seems to spend or invest money in an irrational manner. The reason is simple. There is an upside to every bad money behavior. That is why it is so difficult to change poor habits, including unhealthy financial habits. The short-term gain keeps you coming back for more.

Dan is a great example. He loves to buy expensive gadgets but knows that he spends too much of his take-home pay on these toys. Dan knows that this spending behavior is getting in the way of his goal to save for a down payment for his first home. When asked, Dan tells me that he wants to stop overspending on electrics. But his actions tell a different story.

What Dan doesn’t realize is that buying something new gives him a rush, makes him feel good after a long week at work and boosts his self-esteem. All his friends fondly call him “the gadget guy.” There is a big upside to this unhealthy money behavior. Until Dan appreciates the benefits of this habit, it will be hard, if not impossible, to change.

Do you identify with Dan? Do you have a habit or behavior that you would love to stop but find it difficult to let go of? If so, here are some inquiries for you to consider.

What is the short-term benefit of this money behavior?
As a trained behavioral change specialist, I always look for the brilliance in the bad behavior. In other words, what are the benefits of staying stuck or not changing? In Dan’s case not changing his spending habits helped him feel good about himself and good in the moment.

What would it be like to not receive this short-term benefit?
The first step in changing an unhealthy habit is realizing how it serves you. In Dan’s case, the bad habit was paired with feeling good and special. If he is going to save more money and spend less money, he will have to grieve the loss of the excitement he feels each time he buys the latest gadget. This is not an easy task, but possible. It is easier to sit with uncomfortable feelings once you label them and know that feeling them is temporary and part of what will ultimately help you heal. 

What other coping strategies can I use to get these needs met?
Dan’s desire to feel good about himself is not unhealthy and in fact, is a good thing. It is just that how he is going about it is hurting him financially. When you want to change a habit make sure you find other ways of meeting your underlying need. In Dan’s case, he started a blog about gadgets. This way he didn’t have to buy every toy but could stay up on the latest trends in electronics. He also was still seen as the gadget guy by his friends and that was an important part of his identity.

Asking these three questions will help you identify the upside of any unwanted money habit. While the answers are not a magic wand, they do provide valuable data to aid in the change process. So the next time you are beating yourself up for a bad habit, instead wonder about the upside.

What is an upside of an unwanted money habit for you? What strategies help you change an unwanted money habit?

Check Out These Breaking Money Silence Revolutionaries

By | Advisor Education, Family and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

These individuals have joined the Breaking Money Silence Revolution and are doing great work with clients and/or advisors to empower them to talk more about the human side of finance.

Ellen Rogin Money Will Not Buy Happiness

Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP® – Prosperity on Purpose

Ellen has leveraged her expertise to develop prosperity strategies that work and is a speaker, money expert, and New York Times best-selling author. Her current book is a New York Times bestseller, Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality.

Ellen highlights my new book, Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life, in her list of books that will feed your mind and soul. Check out the entire list here:

5 Books to Kick Start Your Fall: Inspiration to Grow Your Influence, Open Communication, and Lead a Richer, Happier Life

Michael Kay, CFP® – President, Financial Life Focus

Michael F. Kay, CFP® is President of Financial Life Focus, a fee-only multi-advisor financial life planning firm and the author of The Feel Rich Project (Career Press, June 2016) and The Business of Life.

I was a guest author for Michael’s Forbes blog and I discuss how important it is to talk to your parents about finances. Check out the post: 3 Tips for Raising Financially Fit Parents

Susan B. Weiner, Investment Writing

Susan helps financial professionals increase the impact of their writing on clients and prospects. Her Investment Writing blog is popular with advisors who care about deepening their connections with clients and prospects. Susan and I talk about how important it is to communicate with your clients about their legacy in this expert interview. Read it here: Communicate with your clients about their legacy

Myth: Parents must protect their children from college financing decisions

By | Family and Money, Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

Ryan Lane, Senior Editor, American Student Assistance 

The college selection process is complex and stressful, and many parents fail to discuss the long-term financial ramifications of taking on student loan debt with their children. In today’s episode, Kathleen and Ryan discuss how many parents try to protect their children by not talking about money, but do the family a disservice by not engaging in this important and enlightening conversation. Ryan offers tips for involving your children in the college funding decision-making process and how doing so can help them avoid huge student loan debt when they graduate from school. 

Take Aways: 

  1. Start the college application process early by involving your children in the FAFSA process and talking about different ways to finance their education, such as loans, grants, scholarships, and good old hard work.
  2. Schedule a money talk with your children to discuss the FAFSA results, repayment schedule, how it may affect their college choice. Create a mock budget to demonstrate the long-term, real-life impact of each of the funding options.
  3. When discussing this topic with recent graduates, encourage them to pay down student loans faster by making an extra payment per year. Have your child calculate the amount of money saved by avoiding additional interest expenses. Then brainstorm all the other ways they could use this cash. For example, if you save $1000 in interest expense, what could you buy instead? A long weekend in Bermuda comes to mind?!

Guest Bio:

Ryan Lane is the Senior Editor, at the national nonprofit American Student Assistance. In his role, he oversees the development of articles, infographics, course materials for the organization’s free education finance support program: Salt. Working with internal and external subject matter experts, Ryan creates content that simplifies the world of college financing and helps families successfully plan for, pay for, and repay higher education expenses. Over the past three years, he has written about student loans as a co-author of the U.S. News & World Report Blog “The Student Loan Ranger.” For more information about Ryan and the ASA, visit

Breaking Money Silence Facebook Live Launch Party

By | Family and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

My 5th book, Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life was published Saturday, September 30, 2017, and I celebrated with my first Facebook Live event. It was great to celebrate with friends and colleagues and I even hosted a contest during the event.

If you missed the Live event, watch it below and enjoy! Make sure you ‘LIKE’ my Facebook Author page so you can be notified of upcoming Facebook Live events, contests, giveaways, and more. To learn more, visit the Breaking Money Silence website or order the book on Amazon.

Being quiet was never my strong suit

By | Financial Psychology | No Comments

My 5th book,  Breaking Money Silence®:  How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life has been published and I want to share with you how it all began. You can download the complete Introduction chapter here.

Introduction: Being Quiet Was Never My Strong Suit

From the time I could talk, I had something to say. As a young girl, I discovered that this trait was viewed as unattractive and unladylike. Words such as opinionated, loud, and stubborn were tossed around at my expense. My elementary school report card came home with a note stating, “She talks too much to her neighbors.” Even my father, who was my hero, wanted me to be quieter, and occasionally called me “the mouth.” If I had listened to all these influential adults, this book would never have been written.

You see, I think speaking up, especially if you are a woman, is a good thing. How else will people know what is on your mind? You need to use tact and consider how your words may resonate with your listener. But the act of voicing your opinion and asking questions is vital to your wellbeing, your relationships, and your future — especially when it comes to money. Finance is the one area of life that many adults find difficult to discuss. Society tells us it’s rude to ask how much someone is paid, even if he is your father or brother. You never inquire about the price of the neighbor’s house, as this would be in poor taste. And even if you want to know what your friend paid for her new sports car, you bite your tongue so as to not offend. Even intimate partners, who share everything, hide purchases from each other for fear their loved one might disapprove of how they spent their money.

For someone who was born highly verbal, I too struggled to openly discuss money for many years.

Download Introduction here.

Myth: Only male entrepreneurs are interested in growing their businesses

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

Ann Bradt, Capital Ready, Co-Founder

There are many myths about entrepreneurship that can reinforce stereotypes, one of which is that only men want to grow their businesses. Kathleen and Ann bust open this myth and teach listeners the facts about female entrepreneurs and their desire to compete with the big boys. Listen in to their discussion about how women entrepreneurs can position themselves for growth, obtain venture capital, and overcome roadblocks they may face in the process.

Key Take Aways:

Women entrepreneurs are interested in growing their businesses but typically approach the growth process differently than their male counterparts.

Research shows that venture capitalists and bankers ask business owners different questions based on gender and these inquiries influence how funding is provided.

Both women entrepreneurs and the financial services professional who work with them need to learn how to communicate in a more gender savvy manner and how doing so is a win for both their businesses and their clients.

Guest Bio:

Ann Bradt, co-founder of Capital Ready is an accomplished expert in the financial services industry, implementing progressive people strategies for over two decades as a human resources professional at a major Canadian bank. Her extensive experience includes talent planning, leadership development, executive succession, and developing learning strategies. Ann’s passion and drive have equipped her with a broad knowledge of the industry, with her career spanning Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Capital Ready work with established businesses to help them grow and offer strategic blueprints and action plans to assess barriers and identify opportunities to optimize human and financial capital. To learn more about Capital Ready, visit Follow us on twitter @CapitalReadyInc

Myth: Keeping business costs as low as possible maximizes profits.

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

Ken Lizotte, Author and Chief Imaginative Officer, emerson consulting, inc.

Many business owners believe they should maximize their profits by keeping their expenses as low as possible. In this episode, Ken Lizotte and Kathleen explore when, how, and why to invest in yourself and in your business and how that leads to sustainable profitability. As you find out, spending money to develop skills or expand your business can actually set you apart from the competition. It is what both these successful thought leaders have done, so listen in and find out how to bust this myth wide open.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Anticipate expenses. As Ken says, when you do your annual budget, set aside some resources for marketing and personal growth courses or coaching.
  2. Trust your gut. Not all investments, coaches or training programs are for all people. Do your research, and then trust your instincts.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. Part of being a business owner is taking risks and sometimes failing. When you realize that you have made a poor investment of your time or money, change course. It can be difficult to realize you have made a mistake, but the sooner you do and the quicker you change course, the better off you and your business will be.

Guest Bio:

Ken Lizotte is the author of seven books including his most recent The Speaker’s Edge: the Ultimate Go-To Guide for Locating and Landing Lots of Speaking Gigs and The Expert’s Edge: Become the Go-To Authority that People Turn to Every Time.  He is the Chief Imaginative Officer of emerson consulting group inc., a Concord, Massachusetts consulting firm that transforms speakers and consultants into “thought leaders” by helping them write and publish their ideas as articles and books. Kathleen has worked with Ken since 2010.

Ken lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife Barbara, daughter Chloe and Golden Retriever puppy Beckett.

Special Announcement: Check out Ken’s latest collaboration, What Would Henry Do? Essays for the 21st Century” with Introduction by Ken and featured essays by 40 scholars, activists, authors, celebrities including President Jimmy Carter. Published by Thoreau Farm, the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau as a fundraiser.

Breaking Money Silence® Website Launches Today!

By | Advisor Education, Couples and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

Selling is UndignifiedDid you know that money silence might be costing you a fortune? Whether you are an advisor, a woman, a couple, or a family, not talking about money is hurting you and your relationships. At KBK Wealth Connection, we have decided to put an end to money silence for good.

Check out the Breaking Money Silence® website and learn more about my new book, Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life to be published Sept. 30, 2017. Watch the video book trailer, listen to the podcast series and download free tips sheets that will help you talk more openly in your life.

Remember, together we can break money silence for good. (Click to Tweet)