Where did you learn most of what you know about finance, money and investing? Since financial literacy is barely taught in most public schools, many people learn about money from their parents, friends or coworkers. But very often the people who teach know very little themselves.
It is important to understand why financial literacy is so important and find reputable and cheap sources to get a financial education.
Why Do You Need to Be Financially Literate?
We deal with money on a daily basis. We work most of our lives earning and saving it so we can someday retire and live off our passive income. But money can work against you just as easily as it can work for you.
Understanding basic financial concepts such as budgeting, living below your means, saving for emergencies and large upcoming expenses, investing and planning for retirement is very important if you want to be financially successful. Once you learn how money works, you will be able to make it work for you, increase your wealth, retire earlier and create a better life for you and your family.
Getting a Cheap Financial Education
Contrary to what you may think, you don’t need to go to an expensive college or university, attend seminars or buy overpriced training programs to learn how to better manage your money and make smarter financial decisions.
Here is what you can do to learn more about personal finance and investing without spending much or any money at all:
- Read books. Books are an outstanding source of knowledge on any subject, including finance. They usually offer a comprehensive account of a particular topic from start to finish. There is a book on virtually every financial subject.
- Follow finance blogs. Blogs are very unique sources of financial education, since they offer financial advice from real people with real problems and real solutions. The authors may not be professional financial advisors (although some are), but share how regular people deal with money problems.
- Watch money-related TV channels. Watching CNBC or Bloomberg TV is probably not your favorite pastime, but there are tons of great television programs that can teach you about many different financial topics, from making your first budget to creating a diversified retirement portfolio.
- Attend free classes. Many colleges and universities offer free financial classes on a one-time or regular basis. These classes vary in their content and length, but can nevertheless be very helpful. Check with your local schools, colleges or universities to see if there are any that are coming up in your area.
You should never stop learning about finance, as well as all other areas of life. Education opens new doors, possibilities and opportunities. And since most of the above methods are very cheap or free, you have nothing to lose!