When it comes to achieving what we want in life, knowledge is power, and our finances are no exception. Financial literacy (our personal understanding of how to manage, protect, and grow our wealth) is crucial to developing the skills to make intelligent financial decisions.
Despite this importance, a study by the Investor Education Foundation found that only 34% of Americans can answer four of the five basic financial literacy questions.
Whether you’re planning for retirement or saving for your first apartment, brushing up on your financial literacy skills is a lifelong journey that requires constant maintenance and growth—but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep reading for simple ways you can build your financial literacy.
Learning to set and stick to a budget is one of the most critical steps to improving your financial literacy and ultimately reaching your financial goals. Keeping track of every dollar you earn and spend gives you a holistic view of the habits that serve you while highlighting the ones that need to change.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, budgeting is a skill that improves with experience and creates a solid foundation to serve you throughout your financial journey. For example, memories of penny-pinching for take-out in your college days can help you master (and better appreciate) your future family’s monthly grocery budget.
Thanks to the thousands of fully-featured apps available for download, it’s never been easier to track a budget. For a list of our top picks, check out our previous blog post on 4 Budgeting Apps to Look Out for This Spring.
When it comes to improving your financial knowledge, the world is your oyster. With limitless resources available, you’re bound to find the perfect summer read covering anything from money psychology to investment trends. Two of our top picks include The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness, How to Adult: Personal Finance for the Real World.
Alternatively, if you prefer to unwind with a good podcast, tune into So Money with Farnoosh Torabi, named one of the best financial podcasts by the New York Times, Time Magazine, and MSNBC, or Millennial Investing with Robert Leonard for weekly updates on the ever-changing world of finance.
While improving your financial literacy is a personal journey requiring inner work and self-reflection, reaching out to a trusted financial professional can be a great way to start on the right foot. Whether you are looking to make a few minor adjustments to your current budgeting strategy or looking for a long-term transformation, professionals can steer you in the right direction and help ensure you follow the best practices to lead you to success.
Check out our previous blog post on Managing Your Money as a Freelancer. In addition, if you need personalized financial advice, our team is always here to help—contact us today to book an appointment!