Financial Literacy The Key to Excellent Financial Health

A recent study revealed that two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate. Financial literacy revolves around being informed about money and building a solid capacity to be in charge of finances in each area of your life.

Insufficient knowledge about money is the main reason why most people make wrong money decisions. Normally, it’s also the cause of bad financial habits that are detrimental to a healthy financial health. Financial knowledge helps you not only live within your means but also plan for the future.

With a rapidly evolving economy, it’s your responsibility to learn more about money. There are numerous ways to improve your knowledge and this article will explore some actionable approaches.

Take action today

Money is a broad subject and you won’t learn and master in a few minutes. Taking a more targeted approach will be a strategic move in attaining mastery in the long run. With topics ranging from budgets, credit cards, insurance, emergency funds, retirement, and taxes you can easily decide a starting point. Find out the areas that interest you most and start there.

To keep the motivation alive, always aim for progress, not perfection. Track progress by using the many resources found online that can provide a benchmark for assessment.

Master the Rich Dad’s financial approach and the cash flow quadrant

This is a clever approach to finances that has been well outlined by Kiyosaki, a financial expert and New York best seller. Most people don’t know there are four facets to income generation. This will help in a paradigm shift that is necessary for revolutionizing your finances. The insight that is found here can inspire action and reveal an intrinsic motivation that can act as your anchor to developing life transforming habits.

Grab all the free professional advice you can get

Most Americans today have confessed that they don’t understand their debt. That is sad considering all the free information resources scattered around. The next time you walk into a bank take a moment to ask a few questions to the staff. These are professionals with careers they have formed around finances and they have dedicated their life to that. It will serve your interests to talk with someone who understands money.

Make use of online literature

You will be startled to learn that there are tons of online platforms that offer a wealth of information on money. The best thing is that you get to learn almost any topic for free. Most financial blogs are updated on the current financial knowledge and well laid out in simple language.

If budgeting it the target topic, there are blogs that will go as far as providing templates and suggest workable ideas on budgeting. In addition, becoming part of a budgeting community on the platform provides the moral support necessary for success.

There are also some experienced journalists that are dedicated to educating the public on the recent trends. Also, it will be great to follow them online and the lessons you can learn will be worth it.

Enroll in a course

We are in the digital age and that means you can learn just about anything in the comfort of your home. Platforms like Udemy are never short of resourceful courses that you can take anytime. If you want a different approach, there are comprehensive books on personal finance and most will come with worksheets to track your progress.

The government has partnered with local institutions and you can get educated for free. All that is required is to commit some time and the journey begins.

Start reading financial news and reports

In the business world, trends are changing every day and it is very easy to be left behind. To stay updated on the current trends, financial news should become a priority. Scanning through the pages only requires a few minutes but the insight can be priceless.

Determine what motivates your financial advancement

The world is full of useful advice and insight about money. While most people do listen, almost all of them ignore the lessons learned. In short, every great advice received is utterly useless until it is acted upon.

You must realize that there is a similarity between money matters and dieting. They both involve a change of habits that are deeply woven in a lifestyle. No matter how simple the implementation appears, habits are comfortable beds that are difficult to get out of.

If you will ever make any meaningful adjustments to your financial habits, you need some advice and action plans that anchor on your deepest motivations about money. It’s the only way to inspire a deeply rooted action that can stand the test of time.

Conclusion

Becoming smarter about money doesn’t require complicated approaches with long hours per session. Instead, taking a few moments regularly will lead to accumulation of a significant knowledge in finances. Every day ask yourself how much you know about a topic and work relentlessly towards mastery.

All that is needed is the right motivation and the process becomes effortless.

Free Online Tools That Can Help Your Personal Finances

You’ve had enough. You’re officially tired of having what financial writer and expert Dave Ramsey calls “too much month at the end of the money.” You want (a lot) more discretionary income, as well as more money to put towards savings, investments, and other goals such as travel and debt repayment.

The problem? You don’t have enough as it is. Therefore, you don’t want to spend money you don’t have on fancy budgeting apps and software. Fortunately, the good news for you is that you have access to plenty of free online tools that will help you manage your finances. This blog post will discuss four of them.

  1. Mint – This particular budgeting tool allows you to link your own checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and debts such as student loans to Mint’s website. Mint.com updates your information automatically right when it shows up in your own account. Mint.com also allows you to track your retirement savings goals as well as create a debt repayment plan. The website features tools such as reports and graphs which let you see your unique situation in a visual format. All of these tools allow users to chart a course that will create their own version of financial freedom.
  2. Personal Capital – If you want to track both your savings and your financial investments, one option you have at your disposal is Personal Capital. The website features a video review and walkthrough, where you can watch their video to see what it would be like to use the tools on Personal Capital’s website. The website also has a written review report for people who prefer to learn through reading.Personal Capital’s financial dashboard gives you a valuable glimpse into your financial life. You can use this tool to track your progress towards financial goals such as student loan repayment, investments, and your child’s future tuition. This tool will not track your investments. You can also get investment advice if you want. If you choose to get investment advice from the folks at Personal Capital, you can do so for 1 percent of your investment portfolio. If you choose not to pay for investment advice from Personal Capital, every other part of the website is 100 percent free.
  3. BudgetPulse – Maybe you like the idea of using online budgeting tools like Mint, but you don’t want to give these websites your account IDs and passwords. If this describes you, consider BudgetPulse. BudgetPulse doesn’t require you to give them your account names and passwords. But they do track your spending and allow you to set goals such as a car title loans repayment schedule. You can even share your money goals with your loved ones. Not only will sharing your money goals keep you accountable, but your nearest and dearest can also contribute to your objectives through Amazon Payments or PayPal.
  4. Buxfer – The Buxfer tool allows you to watch your spending and keep an eye on your monthly bills. Buxfer’s main customers are 20-somethings who are just getting started with their career and other adult responsibilities. What sets Buxfer apart from the other free tools is that you can set projections for future earnings and use those to make financial plans. Another unique feature is that you can break down your biggest financial goals into short-term targets and work towards those on the way to accessing the larger plans. Lastly, you can use Buxfer to take care of expenses involving groups. Use the tool to split a bill up, figure out which person owes what amount, and make online payments.
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