You don’t have to be a trained professional to know how to create a budget for your family, or set realistic financial goals. There are many free resources which makes gaining a solid financial education easier than ever before.
In celebration of National Financial Literacy Month, here are five free ways to improve your financial literacy.
1. Develop a financial plan. Clearly identify your financial goals and write them out. Some questions to ask yourself when developing this plan are:
a. What are the financial goals I hope to achieve?
b. What is the timeframe in which I’d like to reach each goal?
c. What changes will I make to ensure I reach my financial goals by the specified timeframe?
Be sure to make the plan realistic! Start by making a short-term goal and make small adjustments as needed to ensure the plan is solid enough to be followed through in the long-term.
And, don’t ditch your financial plan if a small problem arises and affects your current money situation. Be flexible!
If you need a little further assistance in coordinating a plan, use a free calculators like WealthRuler. It can be a big help when devising a financial plan to pursue your goals.
2. Take advantage of free education. Visit your local public library and gain access to their collection of financial educational materials. Many locations offer more than simply a selection of financial magazines and books. Personal finance workshops are often available that can teach you everything from balancing a checkbook to managing your money.
3. Follow finance websites. There are a variety of blogs and financial sites easily accessible through the internet. Follow those sites and pay close attention to the tips that are offered daily related to getting financially prepared for your future. You can also follow financial news outlets and your favorite finance gurus on social media to get their up-to-the minute updates. And don’t forget about the free government resources available online. Sites like the US Dept. of Treasury’s Office of the Controller of the Currency and The US Federal Reserve are full of information, from basic financial literacy to advice and educational information for kids and teens.
4. Know your credit rating. It’s important to keep an eye on your credit score so you know where you stand when you apply for things, such as a mortgage, credit card, etc. There are a number of services that offer credit reports without charging fees.
5. Commit to learning. Financial education should be a continuous learning opportunity! Make it an ongoing priority each year to learn more about financial literacy.
How do you continue to improve your financial knowledge? Share with us in the comments!