Dealing with your finances is a pain but it’s something that we all have to do. It’s so complicated and it seems like you’ll never get your head around it. Nobody teaches you all that stuff when you’re younger, you just have to work it out for yourself when you get older. Making mistakes with your finances can land you in some serious trouble so it’s important that you know what you’re doing. One option is to seek professional advice but that comes with a hefty price tag a lot of the time and it just isn’t feasible for some of us. If you can’t afford professional advice then you’re just going to have to do things for yourself. There are so many great learning resources out there that can help you get to grips with all of that financial jargon and learn exactly what’s going on with your own money. If you’re clueless about finance, try some of these places to learn a bit more.
Friends And Family
Now that you’re an adult, you probably don’t want to ask your parents for help with your finances but if you swallow your pride you could learn a lot. They’ve been through exactly the same thing as you but, now that they’re older, they’ve learned everything that they need to know about finance. Whatever issue you’re having, you can bet that they had the same problems when they were your age so they can give you good advice on how to deal with it. Any friends that you have will also be trying to tackle the same financial hurdles that you are, so if you talk to them you could try to learn about them together. That way, you can all protect your family finances and ensure that you don’t get into debt.
Your first port of call when you’re trying to learn about finance is books. There are loads of great ones out there that can lay out all of the basics of personal finance in easy to understand language. ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ is one of the best-known books on finance and even though it is a few years old, it is still a trusted source for anybody that is starting to learn about finance. The bulk of the book charts how some of the richest people in the country got to where they are now. You’re probably not reading these books in the hope of building a business empire, but it’s still valuable because it starts by explaining all of the need-to-know information.
‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’ is a more recent book that lots of young people are turning to for help. Author Ramit Sethi guides you through a six-week plan, aimed at twenty to thirty year olds, which promises to sort out all of your finances and leave you in a position to continue your financial life with ease. It’s become so popular because a lot of people have found that it works, and it gives simple step by step instructions on every aspect of personal finance.
‘You’re So Money’ is particularly popular amongst recent college graduates but it works for anybody. It focuses particularly on people that are in entry-level jobs that don’t pay particularly well. Farnoosh Torabi teaches uses her book to teach you how you can manage your money in such a way that you can still live a comfortable lifestyle and do everything that you want to do. With more and more people struggling with low wages, this book is a good one to have on the shelf.
‘Debt-Free By 30’ is a pretty obvious one. Focussing specifically on debt and how to quickly wipe it, this should be the first step in financial education for anybody that is struggling with loans. Once you have removed your debts, you can use the other books to start building a solid financial base.
The internet is an endless pool of information so if you’re trying to learn anything, it’s a great place to look. However, you should always be aware that anybody can put things up online and a lot of the people that are claiming to be experts don’t really have a clue what they are talking about. As a starting point, do some basic Google searches on whatever topic it is that you’re struggling with and see what comes up. Don’t just take what you read as gospel, try to back it up first. If a piece of information appears on trusted websites like the Fortunate Investor then you can act on that advice but if it is an unknown website then you’ll need to check more places to verify it.
Forums are also a good resource because they can put you in touch with a lot of other people that are experiencing the same financial issues. Hearing their account of how they dealt with those problems and whether their methods were successful or not can help you to avoid making bad decisions. Again, be careful when you are looking at this information because, more often than not, there’s no way to know if it’s reliable or not.
TV And Radio
There are still plenty of resources on TV and radio that can help you to become a finance expert. ‘Mad Money’ airs on weeknights on CNBC and host Jim Cramer focuses mainly on helping you to learn how to invest your money properly. This is something you should be watching once you’ve got the basics down, so you can take your financial skills to the next level.
‘Your Money’ on CNN is a show that you should be watching every week if you want to keep up with the financial world. It gives you a weekly breakdown of the latest business news and, more importantly, how it is going to affect you day to day. That means you can preempt any financial developments that might cause you trouble and learn to combat them before it’s too late.
‘Squawk Box’ is a great way to get the advice of experts without having to pay for expensive consultations. It’s hosted by people that have worked in the business and each week sees new guests from the financial world sharing their stories and advice. In the past, the show has featured interviews with some of the biggest names in the business world including Bill Gates.
As well as watching these shows each week, you can also find backdated episodes online so if there’s anything that you’ve missed you can catch up easily.
Radio Podcasts are also a great resource for anybody looking to improve their finances. Podcasts started out as a pretty niche format and people didn’t tend to trust them as much but don’t worry, they’re a lot more reliable these days since becoming very popular. ‘The Clark Howard Show’ is a brilliant podcast for anybody that wants to learn how to save money better. He also as some great tips on avoiding getting ripped off by stores.
‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is another great show about clearing debt and making yourself more financially stable. His great advice and his books have made him something of a celebrity in the finance world. You can also call in and ask for advice on any financial problems that you’re having so instead of paying an advisor, you can get help from the best in the business for free.
Using a combination of these resources, you can make yourself an expert in personal finance in no time.