When it’s time to take charge of your personal finances, one of the most important things to do is to educate yourself. This is actually something you can do fairly easily these days, both at home and with the help of educational institutions and financial advisors.
Here are 7 ways you can start developing a financial education for yourself:
1. Money Tools
The biggest name in web-based money tools is Mint. Mint bills itself as an all-in-one money hub for your personal finances, from checking account balances and budgeting to credit scores and bill payments.
Smartphone apps are go-to money management tools because they’re easy to use, “live” on your phone for great accessibility, and can integrate with your financial accounts when appropriate.
Some good apps to check out? Try Level Money and Good Budget, which help you track your spending and saving. To dip a toe into investing waters, check out Acorns, which rounds up every purchase you make and puts that spare change into an investment.
3. Websites and Blogs
There are countless websites and blogs to help you learn about managing your money. If you’d like to see some suggestions, check out the list of our favorite personal financial blogs here.
In addition, many of the financial advisors who are members of XYPN maintain their own blogs designed to help provide education on a number of important topics. Each week, we round up a few of our favorites and publish them here on our own blog.
5. Nonprofit Programs and Organizations
Financial literacy strengthens communities, and many nonprofits work to that end. You can look into some of these groups and make the most of the resources they offer.
Operation HOPE has a wide array of programs for youth, and their Hope Inside program also offers critical financial literacy services for adults in cities across the U.S.
6. Local Events
Sometimes an in-person event is the best way to learn. CFP Board’s Financial Planning Days is a nationwide event that features classroom-style workshops on important financial topics as well as one-on-one slots with financial advisors to address your specific questions.
7. Financial Planners
While financial education is something you can certainly do on your own, sometimes it’s better to work one-on-one with a professional. If you’d like to start a relationships with a financial advisor, there’s no better place to look than our Find an Advisor portal.
All financial planners in our organization are fee-only who offer advice on a monthly subscription basis -- which means you pay one flat, transparent fee for professional services, and you pay monthly just like you would your cell phone or gym membership bill.
They can can meet in person or virtually so you’re not limited by physical location, and our portal includes search terms to help you find the right person for your situation.
Financial literacy isn’t a once-and-done thing, and there’s no limit to the many ways you can learn about your finances. Research on your own, connect with others online and in your community, and turn to an advisor when you’re ready for targeted expert advice. No matter what, don’t hesitate to take action!
About the Author: Ashley Gainer is a writer and coach who makes great content for entrepreneurs and small businesses and teaches other writers how to do the same. You can find her online at ashleygainer.com or on Twitter @ageditorial.