How to Improve your Financial Skills Today

The importance of crucial financial skills increases manifolds considering that 78% of adults in America live paycheck to paycheck.

Improve your Financial Skills

Being financially literate includes knowing how to manage debt, budgeting, investment, doing taxes, and a retirement plan. Possessing these essential financial skills gives you confidence while making critical decisions such as managing money, saving, and investing for your family. That’s exactly why we have compiled a list of ways that will help you put your money to the correct use.

1. Subscribe To Financial Newsletters And Magazines

Reading newspapers and magazines geared towards financial news, capital markets, and the economy is a great way to enhance financial literacy. The first thing you should do is subscribe to credible and trusted financial newsletters if you have not already and make a daily habit of reading them.

Wall Street Journal & Financial Times are two newspapers considered the gold standard for the finance and business world and provides insights into both, global and regional level. The Kiplinger started in 1947, and it has the distinction of being the longest continually published personal finance newsletter in the US. Additionally, some magazines and newsletters like Fortune, Forbes and Barron’s, and Yahoo Finance are worth considering.

2. Enroll In A Financial Literacy Class

Taking a financial literacy class at a nearby college or education center is undoubtedly a great option as it will help you learn essential financial skills and how to manage finances. In recent years, the rise of distant learning programs has eliminated those barriers that kept working people away from pursuing the education or certifications necessary to shift to a new career or promotion in their current role.

For professionals who may be concerned about not having a background in accounting and finance, they can choose online masters in accounting for non-accounting majors from the University of North Dakota, which is specially designed for those not having an accounting background.

3. Use Resources From The US Government

Congress has declared April as “Financial Literacy Month,” and both, private and public sectors, have been offering help and programs on the subject. Check out the following two websites for more information:

Financial Literacy and Education Commission has the mission to impart financial skills and improve financial literacy in the country and is affiliated with the US Treasury department. MyMoney.Gov is another important resource that provides education about financial education. Moreover, you will also find advice on matters like investing in a 401(K) plan, purchasing a house, and balancing a checkbook, etc.

4. Watch Financial News Channels

Watching television programs offering insights into financial markets and financial information is a helpful method for understanding capital markets and becoming familiar with the industry jargon. However, you must not waste your time on infomercials and shows selling get-rich-quick schemes. The general rule is that anything about making lots of money in a short period is either infomercial or a Ponzi scheme. Some channels that are respected in the industry for offering financial news are:

  • CNBC TV
  • Bloomberg TV
  • The Suze Orman show (2002)
  • Nightly Business Report
  • CNN and Fox Business

5. Buy Financial Tools

Buying financial tools like a financial calculator from HP, Casio, or Canon can be very useful in performing various calculations. A financial calculator performs loan payment calculations, amortizations schedules, interest rates, cash flow, and percentages. One can also do typical time value of money calculations like mortgage & leases, annuities, and leases. Investing in a financial dictionary is also recommended, such as:

  • Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Dictionary of Financial Terms
  • Wall Street Lingo
  • Barron’s Financial Guide: Dictionary for Finance and Investment Terms
  • New World Finance and Investment Dictionary from Webster

6. Listen to Podcasts

Listening to podcasts can be a useful way to soak up some financial news while working or driving. The popularity of Podcasts has grown immensely in recent years, with now 78% of Americans are now familiar with podcasts, i.e., approximately 222 million people in the country. Some of the best podcasts for financial news are:

  • Moneytalk with Bob Brinker
  • The Side Hustle
  • The Dave Ramsey Show
  • The Clark Howard Show.

To find out more about these podcasts, search online for the top financial podcasts for 2021. Listening to them will give you an idea of what the financial experts are doing and how you can align your actions with theirs.

A major financial news outlet recently posted that the “Era of Wealth Accumulation” is now over. In short, people in the future are increasingly living paycheck to paycheck and have no savings at all. We live in an era where the margins for error are meager, especially when it comes to making financial decisions that will have a significant impact on our future. Thus, it is incumbent upon everyone to learn vital financial skills that help make financial decisions, plan accordingly, and avoid a financial misstep that can put them under debt for life.

Photo credit – freepik.com

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