Are you eager to become more financially literate? If so, you’re making a wise decision for your future. Enhancing your financial knowledge is the ticket to making better-informed decisions about how you can use and grow your money.
10 Simple Ways to Become More Financially Literate
Curious to learn more? Keep reading to find out 10 ways that you can improve your financial literacy!
To Become Financially Literate, Get Educated
The truth is you can’t become financially literate without putting in a little effort. You’ll want to devote time to learning the key terminology related to finances and understanding what it all means. After all, it’s hard to know how to manage your money without knowing your options.
Find books on personal finance or use online calculators to gauge your budget. Read about the latest investment news and bookmark websites that you can check a few times each week. If you can commit to doing some research over time, you’ll be better prepared to manage your money.
Use Digital Tools to Your Advantage
There are many digital tools that can help you gain some financial know-how. Financial guru Dave Ramsey has created a number of apps that can help you maintain a budget from the comfort of your phone, for instance. Other good choices include Mint and YNAB, both of which explain the ins and outs of budgeting in ways that are clear to the average person.
By having these apps on your phone or computer, you’ll be able to hold yourself accountable and set some savings goals.
Ask the Experts
Do you have a friend who works as a financial planner or estate planner? If so, you have a goldmine of knowledge within your friend circle. Take advantage of it and schedule a coffee date to pick their brains.
If you aren’t so lucky, you can still take advantage of firsthand knowledge. It may be worth investing in a financial planner who can walk you through the investment process, assess your budget, and help you keep your money in order.
Tune In and Learn
Do you have a long commute to work? If you do, use that time to your advantage. You can listen to one of the many fine financial podcasts and make the most of that twenty-minute drive each morning.
Or if you take a walk every evening, swap out the music for a podcast every so often, and you’ll be on your way to financial literacy.
Take a Class
You don’t need to redo college in order to learn how to be more financially sound, but you would be smart to take a class. You can look into personal finance classes at your local community college. These tend to be inexpensive and more manageable from a scheduling standpoint.
For even more convenience, try an online option. You can find great classes on sites like Coursera or Udemy that cater to a beginner-level student. Some are even free.
Evaluate Your Budget
One of the first actionable steps when it comes to developing financial literacy is setting up a budget. If you’re spending money without considering your bottom line, you could be wasting a lot of money each month. Step back and dissect your spending habits.
Use a table or chart to stay organized, and look at where your money is going. Ideally, you’ll be socking away 15% of your income for retirement. If you’re not able to do that, cinch in your spending on take-out or clothes so you have a little more leftover.
Address Your Debt
Having piles of debt could be a thorn in your side, so make a point of addressing any debt right away. It’s important to understand what your debt means, what the interest rates are, and how long it will take to pay it off.
Talk to your lenders so that you know all the details. It might be tedious and frustrating, but if you get on the phone and spend some time learning, you might find that you can consolidate or pay off some of your loans.
Join an Investment Club
Do you have a few friends who might be interested in learning alongside you? Then set up an investment club. An investment club is a great way to join together your minds and resources toward better financial understanding.
Typically, members of a club will invest their money together as a means of learning about the investment process. If you’re not ready for that, you can create a mock investment together to see how your money could grow or decline depending on your investment choices.
Set Up Emergency Savings
Another easy and quick step is to start setting aside part of your paycheck for emergency savings. Most experts recommend having 3 to 6 months of income stashed away in case you lose your job.
If you can siphon off some of your income each month toward that cause, you’ll be doing good work for your future before you’ve even cracked open a book on financial literacy.
Understand Your Workplace’s Retirement Options
An easy way to build financial literacy is by taking advantage of what is already in front of you. If your employer has a retirement account, contribute to it. Many organizations will match contributions to a certain amount, so this is a simple way to start building a retirement nest egg.
Get Started Now
It’s never too late to become financially literate. And the earlier you get started, the more money you’ll be able to save toward a new house, vacation, or early retirement. Set aside the time and use the resources available to notch up your knowledge base when it comes to money.
And when you’re ready to find new tips to improve your lifestyle, check back with us for more fresh and informative articles!