Finances & Money

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Financial Knowledge

cleverdude_genericnamebrandcomparisonpicWhen you were young, your parents probably warned you that “money doesn’t grow on trees” when you were tempted to splurge on an unnecessary item. And unfortunately, for many people, their financial education hasn’t extended much further than that.

Fortunately, there’s no reason to fret if you feel you’re lacking in reliable financial insight. The fact that you’re open to expanding your knowledge is a great start, and you can depend on numerous finance-related resources to learn knowledge that will last you a lifetime.

1. Read Finance Magazines and Newspapers

Spend 10 minutes in a bookstore and you’ll notice that there are several worthy publications that discuss recent financial trends. You’ll also likely spot several niche magazines related to money, from focusing on everyday spending habits, to budgeting for a remodel, or what’s needed to plan for that dream vacation.

Before you become a subscriber to one or more of the publications, read each periodical or paper for at least a couple of months, insuring the content meets your needs. If your budget doesn’t allow for subscribing to newspapers and magazines, spend time in your library. Your local librarian can point you in the right direction for financial periodicals.

Depending on library rules, you may be able to check out the newspapers and magazines and take them home to enjoy a more in-depth study of relevant happenings. Otherwise, libraries usually have a lounge area where you can devote spend time digesting the information without checking the articles out from the library.

2. Enroll in Free Financial Classes

It’s also a good idea to consider taking complimentary finance classes. You may find they’re available locally from a community college, or even offered as a perk through your bank. If your schedule is full, do something different and learn about finances without ever getting out of your pajamas.

There are various websites offering free personal finance classes online. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve enrolled in a class or it may be a brand new experience. Whatever your situation, it’s never too late to start learning about financial tips and concepts that make it easier to manage your spending.

3. Listen to the Radio and Podcasts

Together, the internet and traditional radio airwaves offer a multitude of accessible opportunities to increase financial know how. You can listen to them anywhere, from driving to work to taking your kids to school. In addition to locally based radio shows featuring commentary about money, there are many syndicated shows that offer podcasts, such as “The Clark Howard Show” and “Moneytalk with Bob Brinker.” By downloading the podcast, you can listen to them at your convenience.

4. Download an App

There are many finance-related apps on iTunes, from offering opinions and commentary to real-time market quotes. The Fisher Investments app on iTunes pulls together current headlines, as well as providing financial commentary. Stocks Tracker is a highly-rated app for tracking real-time stock quotes as well as tracking individual stocks and mutual funds.

5. Chat With a Trustworthy Person

As suggested earlier, maybe a parent gave you some of your earliest financial advice. If you still have the option of discussing finances with your parents and feel they’d provide feasible tips, now is a great time to let ask. Let them know you’re trying to become more informed about finances and would welcome their input.

Alternatively, perhaps you have a friend who you’ve always wondered how they’ve been able to live comfortably while planning for the future. Think about reaching out to them and talking about how they’ve been able to become financial stable.

Everyone has to start somewhere when learning more about money. Use all the tools available to you and know you’re on your way to becoming wiser about finances and financial topics.

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