One of my New Year’s resolutions was to find ways to learn better financial skills. I am happy to say that I have been able to do so and am pleased with how much this has helped me. There are a variety of ways to learn better financial skills. This is just a little list of the things that have helped me or others that I know who are working toward the same goal.
1. Learn from the Best
If you are blessed enough to know someone who is very savvy with money then you have an advantage at your disposal. Ask them if they have some time when they could sit down and talk with you. Tell them you admire them for their financial skills and would love to learn from them. That sincere compliment will flatter them and make most anyone willing to help you. This is one of the easiest and best ways to learn better financial skills.
2. Watch Where Your Money Goes
If you want to spend your money differently, first you have to figure out where your money is going. A lot of us spend money on things that we don’t even think about. Little purchases can add up. To find out where your money goes, keep a detailed record of everything that you spend for a two to four week period and evaluate it. There will most likely be some surprises in there that reveal a lot about your spending habits.
3. Listen to Your Accountant
Your accountant is more than someone you see once a year to have your taxes done. They can also offer you some wise advice on how to handle your finances and especially how to handle your taxes better to get a better return in the future. It makes sense to listen to them. After all, money is their business. We have certainly benefited from the wise counsel of our accountant.
4. Read up on the Subject
You know, you can learn a lot of wisdom about finances if you will just read about it. I have really become a fan of Dave Ramsey. He has a common sense approach that is easy for me to understand and relate to. There are also other financial experts you can learn from. Search it out on Amazon and go with some of the other writers on this subject with great ratings if Dave is not your style.
5. Learn from Experience
Experience is the best teacher. It can also be a painful teacher, but that is usually why we learn our lessons well from experience. There are few of us that haven’t made a financial mistake in our time. The key is to think about where you went wrong and how you can learn from it. Usually we won’t repeat the same mistake twice.
6. Challenge Yourself
I like to challenge myself. It is a great way of making goals. Maybe you want to challenge yourself to keep your extra spending under a hundred dollars this month. You might want to challenge yourself to eat strictly at home for a couple of weeks rather than eating out. Whatever way you challenge yourself, there is a great satisfaction in reaching that goal.
7. See a Financial Counselor
A lot of people are embarrassed to see a financial counselor but you really shouldn’t be. Just like any type of counseling, it speaks well of you that you are admitting you need help with something. Financial counseling can help you to see your finances in a whole new light. If you are too embarrassed to make an appointment with a financial counselor or there are not any available in your area, there are financial counselors that you can speak with over the phone. This is a good option for most people.
I think it is wonderful to learn about financial wisdom and am always open to learning more. What are the best ways you have learned financial skills? What tidbits of advice can you share?