Don’t think you are the one to blame if you have a limited knowledge about your finances. The majority of Americans are not too savvy on finances. The reason is because basic personal finances classes are not offered on any level of education. Nor in schools, high schools, nor even in the top colleges and graduate schools.
There are common mistakes people keep making one time after another such as not planning their spending, not doing a proper due diligence and investigation before making any important financial decision, falling for any hyped financial product an smart salesperson is offering, etc.
We all have heard or read about the consequences of bad given financial advice, and believe it or not, a lot of the errors people make are committed when they seek for financial advice in the first place. This is because a good number of financial counselors are filled with biased information for their own benefit.
I’ve seen too many times the only financial advice given is to invest. But the correct approach must help you define your goals and discover your problems so you can link them to the rest of your life. All aspects of your financial life such as taxes, investing, saving, spending, buying a house, retirement, education, must be understood.
I understand you may be full of your occupations and don’t have enough time to take care of your finances and that’s why you need a quick and easy way to analyze your finances and determine your action plan. The problem is that there is too much information and thousands options to pick from.
And even worse, your main source of information for financial products is undoubtedly the advertising you read on papers, watch on TV, or hear on the radio. Although there are ethical and helpful financial companies on the media, there are also a lot of trash companies that only want to take your hard earned money and run with their profits.
You should seek for financial advice that gives you comprehensive recommendations for products that have been tested and proven. That advice can be in the form of a financial counselor or on the web. And if you want to start right now to educate on your finances here are a couple of general tips you should start with:
- First you have to analyze and discover how your actual financial condition is and what parts of your financial knowledge you have to reinforce. And the most important thing after you know where you are failing is to set your goals and have them in writing. Those must be specific measures of your aspirations, how much you need to save for your retirement or the education of your kids, etc.
- Now that you have your goals, you need to realize where and when you are spending your money and how to reduce it. Are you aware of the high interest rates of cred cards? Are you paying too much in taxes? Do you know how to reduce it?