How To Acquire Financial Education
Is financial education really necessary?
Our modern economy is extremely complex, and there are many ways that you can use your money beyond simply exchanging it for goods and services. In fact, learning about all the options and opportunities that are available can be an incredibly daunting task. However, taking the time to acquire a financial education can – and frequently does – pay very real, tangible rewards to those who go to the trouble.
Knowing how to use you money for maximum benefit and how to make it grow is truly one of the primary differentiating factors between successful people and others. The old maxim “knowledge is power” is fully applicable to money management regardless of your financial situation. Effective money management and taking advantage of the opportunities available can benefit people in any financial position, from someone making minimum wage to the extremely wealthy.
Where to look to get financial education
Many people get their first introduction to the concept of money management from school. Both high schools and colleges usually offer a wide array of courses that focus on various aspects of how the economy works and how you can both manage and invest your money to achieve desirable results. However, this is just an introduction to the concept. Students who go on to major in business or finance obviously learn a lot more about financial opportunities than other students do, but this is not the only way to acquire a financial education. Today there are many resources available to help anyone and everyone learn more about how money works and how to use your money more effectively, whether or not you have a background in business or finance. This is even more common today, in the current economic climate, where many people are looking for ways to make every dollar go further.
There is an enormous number of government resources available to the general public that can help people learn about various aspects of money management as well as various opportunities and government programs that might be helpful. In fact, virtually every government agency – both federal and state – that deals with financial matters offer consumer tips and resources to the general public. There are so many resources available from the government that frequently they have to create special divisions that serve as a portal to educational resources. For example, the federal government has the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission (mymoney.gov) that attempts to put many of the federal government’s education resources under a single umbrella. Further, if there are specific ideas or concerns – for example, taxes or securities – one can look at the websites of the government agency that oversees these topics and one is bound to find a lot of educational resources available.
Beyond government resources, there are also many local, state, regional, and national level non-profit organizations that specialize in helping average Americans acquire financial literacy. Some of these focus on broad, general topics such as the National Endowment for Financial Education or the Foundation for Financial Planning. There are also many more specialized non-profits that help people learn more about particular aspects of financial literacy, such as issues related to buying a home or credit card debt. Almost every metropolitan area in the United States has one or more of these non-profit organizations and local ones are particularly helpful because they have a better understanding of local conditions and local opportunities that may not be available to people living elsewhere. Many of these non-profits have brick and mortar offices that you can visit and even run free – or inexpensive – classes and seminars for people wanting to learn more about effective money management.
Both the government and non-profit organizations provide much of their information to the public via the Internet, but there are also many other resources to be found online. Many of these include free tools and resources that you can use to help make more prudent financial decisions, such as the famous mint.com. You can also find a lot of interactive resources online that you can use to get very specific information about various topics related to money management and prudent financial decision making. However, when looking online one has to be careful about the information that you find. There is a lot of mistaken, outdated, or outright false information online, so if you come across resources or advice that you would like to use, it is essential that you take the time to determine whether this material is valid or not.