When I was a kid, I grew up with very hard working parents that struggled financially due to job layoffs and not knowing a lot about investing and other financial principles. As a young adult, I realized that most people aren’t taught about finances through high school and college, and they don’t always learn what they need from family. This is why people get into cycles of staying at the same income level as the people around them.
If you have the desire of wanting to do better but don’t know where to start, there are things you can do that won’t cost you money.
Read a Variety of Financial Books to Increase Your Personal Knowledge
Most public libraries have a personal finance and business section, and I’ve found that reading a lot on the subject is the best place to start before taking action in some random direction. When my husband and I were in college, we used to browse the same section of retail bookstores (though that sometimes resulted in us buying a book or two if we really liked them). In the beginning however, investing some time and money into yourself is a good decision.
Websites of Financial Advisers
One of my favorite people on personal finance is a man named Dave Ramsey. He has a website, radio show, and now a TV show on Fox Business Channel. If you’re already paying for access to cable and the Internet, he’s a good person to check out. Obviously radio is still free unless you have satellite radio. There’s also a free podcast on the site. His advice has helped my husband and I on this topic more than any other person I’ve read or heard about. He’s practical and isn’t afraid to tell people what they need to hear.
As far as getting your income up higher, Robert Kiyosaki (author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”) and Dan Miller (author of “48 Days to the Work You Love”) both have websites in addition to their books. Dan Miller’s site has more free resources of the two, but their books are both really good.
A Good Financial Mentor
Especially if you’re around my age in Generation Y, try to find someone in your life that’s older and does know what they’re doing as far as finances. Through college and working in small business settings, I’ve found several people that were good role models. Sometimes you can learn a lot just talking with people, both on what to do and what not to do. It takes time, but if you’re willing to listen to good advice and do the work that’s required, you really can turn your finances around for the better.