Just like any other topic, personal finance is one subject that everyone has an opinion on. From your best friend to your grandmother, everyone will have different ideas on how you should spend, save, and invest your money. But who’s advice do you trust? With your hard earned money, the only person to trust 100% is yourself. With that being said, here are a couple quick ways to become your own financial pro.
Read A Variety Of Sources And Take Note Of The Commonalities
If you walk into your local bookstore, it will take you about two seconds to find finance books written by the top experts. While these money experts had different paths to riches, they all have similar common sense strategies.Among the commonalities you might notice that budgeting, emergency funds, and staying out of debt pop up quite often. These sorts of things are usually no surprise, but definitely take time to process the reasoning behind them. In doing this, you begin to see that there really are concrete steps you can take to being financially successful. Beginning your personal finance journey with some of these steps is a great way to build yourself a solid foundation for your future. As you become more financially literate, you will have more freedom to make your own choices with other pieces of advice.
Take Inventory Of Your Goals And Values
Everyone has different goals, dreams, and values, but you aren’t everyone else. You are your own person with your desires, and these desires have matching financial strategies. For example, if you value security and stability, investing conservatively is the way to go. Basically, every aspect of your personal finance should reflect who you are and what you care about. The best way to achieve this is by setting SMART goals. These goals have tangible metrics that can measure your success and can show you where you need to improve in order to reach those dreams. Also take some time to think about WHEN your goals are. When it comes to your goals, the timelines are crucial. If your goal has you opening your own business or retiring early, you bet you’ll have to adjust your finance strategy. By adjusting your budget and investing style, you can optimize your assets for stability or growth depending on your goals.
Make Your Own Opinions
It’s called personal finance for a reason- it’s personal! That being said, there should only be one person telling you what to do with your money, and that is you. When I first started learning more about personal finance, I had a real problem with this. Some experts convinced me that the only way to stay out of debt was to never use credit cards. Others told me that to retire early, I had to put every single cent I earned into my Roth IRA. The advice I was taking may have been bringing me closer to my goals, but it was also taking away my happiness. It took me a long time to realize that I can trust myself enough to make my own decisions. There is no room in your financial strategy for things that make you feel bad. Becoming your own money expert means that you are brave and smart enough to know when something does or doesn’t fit your needs.
Allow Yourself To Fail As Well As Succeed
Even after you take time to learn and make your own opinions, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to be perfect. You’ll bust your budget, you’ll pick a bad investment, and you’ll realize there is more to learn–and that’s okay! Personal finance is a lifelong game that takes practice. Even Dave Ramsey needed to declare bankruptcy before he created his empire. Instead of getting mad at yourself for your failures, take time to reflect on what you could’ve done better. Just remember, failing today means learning how to be successful tomorrow.