How to Get Started with Financial Literacy

Most people said they wanted to be more knowledgeable about money, how it works, and how to manage it. Unfortunately, while most Americans acknowledge the importance of financial education and want more knowledge around money management and investing, we are seeing that the pandemic has not been enough to motivate people to take action.

According to an April 2019 survey by TD Ameritrade: While many people recognize this gap and want to take action on it, they do not necessarily know where or how to start. They may even have preconceived ideas around certain topics like retirement savings (e.g., you can't start until you're in your 50s).

So what are some ways we can change these misconceptions? We can start by filling in these gaps with some basic financial education. This could be as simple as reading an article or watching a short video.

For example: You may be surprised by the fact that you can start saving for retirement in your 20s.

Image courtesy Stanislov Petrov

The point is that financial education can provide clarity around common misconceptions and this can help motivate people to take action. Another reason people may not be taking action on their financial education goals could be because they think it will require a lot of work. As noted above, many people think they need to attend a course or go back to college in order to achieve their goals. But this isn't necessarily the case.

For example: You could just read one article or watch one short video per day and see what happens over time when you've eliminated that gap and have more clarity around money management and investing topics.

It's important to remember that there are no easy answers with these topics, but we can help ourselves along by making small changes in our everyday lives. It might not seem like much at first, but small actions over time will lead us down a path toward greater knowledge, more confidence, and ultimately better control over our finances. We should always remember that there is no right or wrong way to educate yourself on personal finance topics; every individual will have different interests around topics like budgeting, savings rates, investing potentials, etc., so it's up to them to decide how they want to learn about these topics -- whether it's reading articles or watching videos -- the key is being active instead of passive when it comes to your financial education journey. Financial education can be beneficial for everyone regardless of their stage in life (yes, even five years old).

The key is figuring out what works best for you as an individual and building from there (because it isn't an overnight process). So what has worked for you? Share in the comments below.

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