One of the biggest components of understanding the basics of personal finance is learning, otherwise known as developing financial literacy. Gaining financial literacy is not hard – after all, I’d like to think you’re doing it just by exploring sites like mine.
Although I made a strong case for personal finance blogging last week, learning doesn’t stop here. A well-rounded personal finance knowledge is the result of a well-rounded education.
Here are 5 places, other than blogs, to find such an education and develop your relationship with money:
- Mainstream News Sites – Mainstream financial websites, like Bankrate and MSN Money, can be a great source of breaking money news that affects your bottom line, and general tips and educational material about money. They are also chock full of investment advice and other specialized information. (Bankrate, for example, is the source for current loan and savings rates).
- Personal Finance Magazines – Publications like Money, Kiplinger, and SmartMoney all have their place in our financial education. They will keep you updated with broad-stroke changes in the economy, law and the markets that affect your finances, and will give enough variety in the discussion that you’ll actually stay interested and engaged in the learning process.
- Special Organizations – There are a number of government and professional organizations dedicated to teaching you more about the basics of money. Take advantage of websites like 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, MyMoney.gov, and Money Management International’s Financial Literacy Month.
- Personal Finance Classes – Local high schools in my area offer a personal finance class every “semester” for continuing education students (i.e. adults). The course is usually composed of about six after-hours classes and teaches you the basics about money. There are plenty of other equivalents to this as well, put on by many organizations in your own local area.
- Observation and Reflection – Don’t ever doubt the power of your own mind to teach you timeless principles about everything in this world. I recently wrote a guest post for Money Energy about things you can learn from nature about money. It’s no coincidence that not one of those things was something I read in a book, or heard from a friend. It was the result of peaceful observation of how things naturally behave in the world and the application of that knowledge to problems at hand.
By expanding where you look for sources of money knowledge, you can reach new heights of financial literacy.
The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be to act in your best interests when the time comes to make an important choice.