Hey, guys. It’s me. Today, I’m publishing a guest post written by Araminta from Financially Mint. I was planning on publishing this while I was traveling, but I didn’t have internet access while I was in Chittagong and wasn’t able to publish this awesome post she wrote for you all last month. I hope you find it helpful.
//Financial Education: Where To Start//
Financial education is important. In fact, it’s essential. Our universities will teach us to be amazing at maths, English literature and Physics, but they won’t prepare us for what’s out there when college is over (aka the real deal). Understanding money is what will get you out of debt, what will help you manage money and what will find you a job you enjoy (and get you rich). We’re always dealing with money, why not learn a bit about it?
There is so much info out there that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Hence this article to help you get started in a simple and non-overwhelming way. Finance doesn’t have to be boring and unappealing, you just have to know the right way to get started. The worst that can happen is that you know a bit more about why your money keeps disappearing. The best? You get rich. Not bad for education, I’d say.
I presented the methods to learning about finance in the best order as a beginner, starting with books and finishing with hands-on experience. You can even make your own little course based on the resource below. I know you’ll start to like it.
Books! Books are amazing. They’re what got me started with financial education. Books are all accepting: there are books for beginners, for experts and for people just getting by. Rich Dad Poor Dad is the book that changed my life, and there are other similar ones I recommend such as: The Millionaire Next Door, Broke Millennial and I Will Teach you To Be Rich.
//Personal Finance Courses
These can be very specific or more general in the finance world as well. Courses are a good way to actively learn after passively reading a book. Some paying courses are very helpful and well rounded (RiserFin) but if you’re like me the free courses are what work best (Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn have some great ones).
If you want to take it a step further and have a bit more fun (it’s all about the fun) do the Cashflow game: an online board game where the goal is to get out of the rat race as fast as possible (my record is 40 min!). Another educational game is a Stock Market simulator like Google Finance or Market Watch. They’re a great way to dip your toes in investing without risking any actual money.
//Podcasts and blogs
Personal Finance blogs are literally a lifesaver for me. Financial advice from actual people willing to talk about their expertise and experiences. Very cool stuff. Although many are in the older millennial generation (here’s a directory of them), there are a few directed towards college students: Financially Mint (shameless self-promo) The College Investor, Bitches get Riches and College Info Geek are just a few examples.
Podcasts are also an amazing way to do some financial learning while on the bus, in the gym or on a walk. It’s literally double productivity, something we all need when we spend half our lives studying. I now look forward to going to the gym just to listen to my cool podcasts (see that win-win there). My favorites are Listen Money Matters and YNAB, but you can find an entire directory of them here.
You’re now an educated financial student. It’s now time to explore what is beyond the books and podcasts: forums. Human interaction. Hop onto Reddit or social media and share your ideas. How do others budget? Has anyone else started investing in college? What are the best ways to earn money in college?
You might learn something new, help someone else or even make a new financial friend. I use Twitter a lot to ask questions and try to learn more, and I find that talking to people in older generations really helps put things in perspective (I can’t believe how much children cost!)
My tagline used to be ‘Experimenting to Financial Independence’. Experiments are my key to really learning about money and making it a hobby. What do I mean by experiments? Simply applying what you learn. Heard of a new side hustle? Try it out for a month or two (I did online selling). New way to invest? There’s no harm in trying.
The huge advantage we have as college students is that we have fewer responsibilities and we are flexible. College is a time to try things out and learn as much as we can, and hands-on experience is the best way to fully use those benefits. My Money Experiments include starting side hustles like Matched Betting, opening an online shop and even giving away money. I mean, what’s the harm in trying?
These simple steps to financial education will really make a difference in your life. Imagine not having to worry about money? Knowing you will graduate financially stable? Financial education is truly the key to financial freedom, and the sooner you start the better. Don’t hesitate to drop me an email or send me a message on social media if you have any questions about money, the richer we all are, the better!
Araminta is the creator of Financially Mint, a personal finance blog for college students written by a fellow student. Have no idea about tax, credit cards or investing? Neither does she, but she is determined to learn, experiment and explore all aspects of money possible. Through these experiences, she hopes to help other students graduate financially stable and conscious about money.