When us adults become 100% responsible for our personal finances for the first time, we usually are in for a rude awakening, I know I was July first 2012. Financial literacy is rarely taught in school, and if your family is like mine we didn’t discuss credit scores, taxes and interest rates as we were growing up, as we become newly-minted members of the “Real World” we can easily get into debt and other financial trouble.
1. Take online courses.
Younger generations have a high thirst and passion for technology, I would like to suggest taking a few courses free or paid (i.e YouTube) to start learning basic economics, accounting and capital markets. The courses are affordable, simple, and well delivered and even fun. I can be the most efficient way to get updated on whatever topics you are interested in, including finance.
2. List out your expenses.
You are already quite bright; you simply don’t have the experience. Right away, I would like to recommend you make a list of everything you spend money on each month. After the amounts are added up, ask yourselves this question; How do I pay for all of this? This is the first step to improving financial literacy.
Expert tip: Buy a white board and get this in front of you at all times.
3. Learn passive income opportunities.
Sadly, there is not a proper financial education in schools, colleges or universities to prepare you to make it in the world economy. Many parents fail in this area, as well. Most people work for money all their lives, however, it is possible to learn how the money that you earn can work for you so you eventually can replace your J.O.B income with passive income from your investments.
4. Understand credit scores Business and Personal.
People looking to become entrepreneurs must understand that their credit might be the defining factor in their ability to access working capital. Now building and maintaining credit is simple, not easy. Getting approved for funding is challenging when the borrower’s credit score is low. It is important that you learn how to read a credit report, remain alert of their credit score and understand the factors that change it.
What I use Credit Karma & Nav (business credit)
5. Talk to a trusted mentor.
There is a ocean of information available on the internet to help a “self-help” approach. Although, Digging into the brain of someone you know and trust is far superior, it builds game changing experiences. Allowing them to teach most their most relevant insights are often tailored to your specific questions and desire at that time. Gain someone who you could look into as a mentor, and bounce questions or thoughts off of them.
6. Track everything to get your whole financial picture.
There are four basic things everyone should know about their finances: Expenses, Income, Assets and Liabilities. Companies manage their cash flow (Check out how to LLC here) , and individuals should, too. There are tools that connect your bank, credit card and other accounts to help you make sense of your finances — many of them free of charge. Mint, Quicken, Personal Capital are just some of the more popular ones.
7. Start saving.
If you get into the habit of saving money, will look for means to either invest or spend savings on something you always wanted. With today’s availability of information, and being so using to Google, you can start to learn and excel about various financial products. Also, you should not be worried about making mistakes and losing some savings, there is more insight to learn from failing, again simple but not easy.