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I recently presented an overview of financial planning at my local library. It was my first on the library circuit. For a late summer evening, a turnout of a dozen people was pretty good, I thought. I wondered what aspect of finance would be the focus of their curiosity as the crowd was a variety of ages. I started off with some basic concepts, as in understanding your money mindset. This sequed into playing CEO in your own life. I like to use the analogy of mimicking the responsibility of a corporate CEO, where one would keep a close watch on income, expenses, and net profit.
As I rambled on about how I worked these concepts into my book, How Ally Found Her Financial Freedom, I realized how truly engaged the group was, taking notes, and hanging on every shard of information. Now, I’ve taught taxation courses on Monday nights, Tuesday nights, and Friday nights. I’m used to the glazed eyes of confusion or immediate zoning out, conveying that they’ve mentally transported themselves to anywhere else, like maybe a Caribbean island. Some participants were hard to read, but overall, everyone was soaking up my messages.
I broke my monologue to address specific questions. I didn’t expect what happened next. There was a deluge of questions on a variety of topics. From basics on savings to “free” investing seminars, they wanted my opinion on areas such as dollar-cost-averaging, and asked for suggestions on stocks.
The session didn’t end until we were asked to leave because the library was closing. One woman didn’t hang around until the end but took my cell phone number and called me later with a specific question. She admitted to having no knowledge of financial matters.
What I realized is that people need information and guidance more than ever.
Some of my innate skills lie in breaking down difficult topics and conveying them to a blank slate, therefore, I’ve decided to devote my blog to mini-lessons in financial planning.
Checklists work for me so I’m using that format. Over the next several weeks, I’ll create a checklist of suggested learning tasks and my favorite resources, including books, websites; maybe even attached spreadsheets. If you’re new to money management, start off with one item on the list, then move on. If you’re not new, try to implement something that you didn’t know before. I always find something new to learn. For example, I just read something about utilizing Amazon’s Prime Subscribe & Save for main household goods. I have been a Prime member for two years and have never tried that. The writer claims to save $1,000 a year. I missed the boat on that one, glad I got the memo now.
The more mental and visual focus that one applies to financial issues, the better chance of the information sinking in. For that reason, I will also include my Pinterest board links.
Check out my Blogroll to expand on Internet information. Compare how each website expresses topics. It’s always good to read similar information from different writers.
Get yourself a new notebook (from a back-to-school sale) and start educating yourself. Pay attention to your weak areas. It’s better to learn what you don’t know, not revisit what you know.
Here’s a topic list I intend to follow and will probably add more as I move along:
Money Learning Checklist 1 Earning/Saving
Money Learning Checklist 2 Spending
Money Learning Checklist 3 Credit
Money Learning Checklist 4 IRAs
Money Learning Checklist 5 Retirement
Money Learning Checklist 6 Self-employed individuals
Money Learning Checklist 7 Basic investing
Money Learning Checklist 8 Insurance
For Money Learning Checklist 1 Earning/Saving, this is the learning task list and related resources.
|Tasks||Choose a lucrative career or improve skills|
|Create financial goals|
|Understand your money behavior|
|Spend less than you earn|
|Pay yourself first|
|Learn the envelope method|
|Bring lunch to work|
|Start an emergency fund|
|Get a side hustle|
|Create a financial vision board|
|Books/Magazines||Wired For Wealth by Brad Klontz Psy.D. and Ted Klontz Ph.D.|
|Websites to follow||NerdWallet|
|Online tools||Feed The Pig|
|Attachments||Sample Budget File|
Let me know what you think and if you have questions. Ask questions in the comments or on my Facebook page (click on FB icon). I’m here to help.