If you’re totally new to the personal finance world, Everyday Money may not be the first resource you checked out online. Don’t worry, we aren’t offended. We’re just being realistic; we know there are lots of other popular, famous money advice-givers making headlines out there.
Financial “experts” and gurus become famous because they know a lot about money, and they’re good at communicating their ideas about money, especially to people who don’t have much financial knowledge. However, that doesn’t mean their advice is totally sound, nor should it be blindly followed.
The upside of financial advice
We love that these popular figures have made it easier to talk about finances and made it less of a taboo topic. But remember that personal finance is personal. A money expert who’s known for their one philosophy—like getting rid of debt quick or saving money by ditching your daily latte purchases—doesn’t know you. So how can they know that their advice will work for you?
What’s worse is, if you listen to multiple “experts” at once, we guarantee their advice will conflict. Remember that they’re trying to share tips that will work for the broadest audience. And that’s not the best advice to follow when everyone’s finances are so unique.
Find better sources for advice
So, what can you do instead of listening to financial so-called “gurus”? For one thing, talk to a Certiﬁed Financial Planner™, because they have the education, training, and credentials to back up their advice. They’ll work with you one-one-one, which is the way it should be when it comes to your money.
Another thing you can do? Seek out financial knowledge on your own. Take everything with a grain of salt and be conscious of where you’re getting your info. Know that financial advice you do find won’t always apply to you, and that’s okay. As a general rule of thumb, if someone makes you feel guilty about your past or current financial decisions or situations… they’re not the right resource for you.
Another tip? If you’re looking for reputable sources for personal finance info, look for blogs or articles written by a Certiﬁed Financial Planner™, like this one!
Now that we’ve covered who you shouldn’t be listening to, here are a few money resources that can usher you into the world of personal finance.
Financial needs in a post-pandemic world
Those “unprecedented times” we experienced in 2020 haven’t completely faded. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, lifestyle changes big and small are here to stay. That includes your family needs and finances.
Some changes, like losing a job or forgoing child care, have heavily impacted your budget. Others, like ordering groceries online or buying less clothing, may have impacted your budget in less obvious ways. However your finances have changed, it’s a good idea to assess those changes so you can better manage them in the months to come.
Read Family Needs & Finances in a Post-COVID World to learn more.
Never made a budget before? Read this
Did the word “budget” in our last paragraph catch your eye because you’ve never made one before — or have never stuck to one? No judgment here! It’s never too late to start budgeting. If you’re new to the habit, maybe you’ve been recommended “budget percentages” to help you get started.
Budget percentages assign percentages to every category in your budget, like rent/mortgage, savings, utilities, and so on. These numbers are based on the average person, so they can give you an idea of how to get started. But there are better ways to think about your money. (Remember how we mentioned that each person’s finances are unique?)
Check out The Pros and Cons of Using Percentages in Your Budget to get started.
What’s your money personality?
If you’re like us and you love a creative personality quiz, we have a new one for ya. What’s your money personality? Are you an Emotional Spender or Anxious Saver? How about an Oblivious Avoider or Conscious Investor?
Knowing your money personality isn’t just for funsies. You can get to know your financial strengths, weaknesses, habits, and values. Understanding your relationship with money can help you figure out how to approach money going forward.
Going back to our spiel on financial “experts,” knowing your money personality can help you filter through advice from other people that may or may not work for you. Find out What’s Your Money Personality? on the blog.