One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn personal finance.
Personal finance is such an essential skill for your well-being.
Having healthy financial habits is not just good for your wallet and bottom line. It helps you direct your spending to what’s meaningful and adds value to your life.
This often results in less waste. It’s more environmentally friendly.
Because you’re not just spending for the sake of spending. You’re not just buying what’s popular or trending. You’re intentional with your spending.
Even though personal finance is such an important skill, it’s often not taught in school. Your financial education usually comes from your parents.
If your parents are struggling with their finances or if they’re hoarders, they’re likely not the best teachers on the subject.
In this day and age with the abundance of information available online, there’s so much you can do to teach yourself a high quality personal finance education.
It starts with learning from the experts. The people who have successful personal finances.
Here are 6 tips on how to teach yourself personal finance.
1) Read Personal Finance Books
Personal finance books not only offer tangible best practices like how to save and make more money. There are often examples on how to put these tips into action. There are real life stories so you can learn mistakes and draw inspiration from successes.
Here’s a list of the best personal finance books as noted by experts and avid readers. On this list are popular bestsellers like Rich Dad Poor Dad. There are also books that are under the radar, but just as worthwhile like A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
If you’re a novice to personal finance, here’s a list of the best financial books for beginners. They’re suitable for students or anyone who’s new to the world of personal finance. They’re easy to read and have step by step solutions.
2) Take a course
During my MBA, there was a well-attended personal finance course available. It cost around $3500.
You certainly don’t have to pay thousands to take a personal finance course.
There are many platforms like Skillshare and Udemy that have free and cheap personal finance courses available online. You can learn in the comfort of your own home.
If you Google “personal finance bloggers”, you’ll likely find a bunch that are offering finance courses for similar low prices.
You could also listen to personal finance podcasts. I love listening to finance podcasts in the car! I get to learn something doing an act I have to do anyways!
3) Talk to a Professional Financial Advisor
These can be financial advisors at banks and financial institutions. You should be mindful of their intentions and how they get paid. When you invest your money with them, commissions can be steep.
If you have CPAs, CFAs or successful entrepreneurs among your family and friends, they could be your best resource for free financial advice.
Really anyone you know that has a passion for personal finance can be a great source of knowledge. Ask around – you’ll never know what your friends and family do regarding their finances unless you ask!
4) Look at your numbers
You can also just look at your own finances. There’s a lot you could learn by taking a detailed look at what you spent money on in the last few months. You’ll see where the cash is going – how it flows in and comes out. You’ll see how much you’re saving.
You can see what the necessary and discretionary expenses are on your statements to see where you could save money. It can be an enlightening and eye-opening experience.
5) Set Financial Goals
After you’ve looked at your numbers, you’ll want to set financial goals.
The act of putting pencil to paper on what your financial goals are is a motivating and educational experience.
You’ll get to know your why whether it’s saving money for a vacation or early retirement.