This post is from Sunil of ExtraMoneyBlog.comThere is no doubt personal finance is a critical component of our lives.
But because the education of this topic is not required in schools, most of us grow up on our own in terms of how we view and manage our finances.
For many, personal finance habits are derived directly from their parents, while others catch it from a variety of experiences and exposures in life.
One thing is for certain that no two clouds are alike. This is my story about how I obtained my personal finance education and its importance in my life.
When I reflect on my current financial situation in life, I attribute most of my financial success to my investment in the education of personal finance. No one is born with this knowledge, and I for sure don’t have it in my DNA.
My parents certainly didn’t have a good understanding of personal finance. As a result, I experienced a wild roller coaster ride growing up, from rags to riches and then right back to rags. When I reflect back at this experience, I feel that my strong interest in personal finance is partly attributed to such unpleasant experiences earlier in life. I am sure many can relate, or at least agree that similar “trigger” events motivate us to avoid repeating history.
As a first generation high school, college and post graduate in my family’s history, I never imagined I’d be as financially successful as I am today in my early thirties, and that’s mainly because I took the initiative to learn and apply basic, and later more advanced personal finance principles in my own life.
My Personal Finance Development
As I have learned from developing my own financial understanding and discipline over the years, investing in this knowledge doesn’t necessarily require one to spend a lot of money. Rather, one needs the motivation and willingness to make an effort to learn about a topic that is not required as formal learning, at least in terms of our education system.
When I was starting out, I read some of the best personal finance books written by commercial personal finance experts. These books are widely available for free in libraries or bookstores for purchase. I attended seminars and even took classes such as “Money and Banking” to gain in depth knowledge about certain sub topics within personal finance.
I am not saying everyone needs to go this route, but the point is that resources are available and abundant for anyone who wants to learn. This is especially true today with the advent of personal finance blogs and tablet devices that enables us to access all sorts of quality information on demand. But just as years ago, because this information is not “required learning”, one has to have just as much interest and initiative today than what I needed years ago when I was getting started.
Impact of Sound Financial Education in My Life
A solid understanding of personal finance has enabled me to develop into a financially savvy individual who is successful in several entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as in growing, maintaining and protecting a healthy personal balance sheet.
- Because of my investment in financial education, I am able to insure my assets and my family’s interest and ensure that they will be taken care of adequately if something was to happen to me.
- Financial education has allowed me to save and invest prudently with solid results for me and my family’s future.
- Financial education has also enabled me to understand and apply to principles of leverage, whether in real estate or small business, thus allowing me to take advantage of certain opportunities and further progress financially.
What’s interesting to me is how simple succeeding financially becomes after one has invested in their education. What’s even more interesting is that the most basic personal finance principles, when talked about in casual conversation go over some people’s heads so easily. This often makes me wonder why such easy to understand concepts are beyond the understanding of many.
It is these kinds of instances that make me step back and reflect on the possibilities why many don’t understand what I consider simple principles, almost common sense in fact. But no matter how much we think some things are just common sense, these very same concepts make no sense to someone who hasn’t been exposed to that kind of material before when you come to think of it.
There are folks in my family and friend circles that sometimes cannot comprehend even the simplest concepts that I talk about. I don’t think this is because I am extra ordinarily smart, or make more money than all of them, but rather their lack of interest and investment in their own financial education. As a result, I often find these individuals asking me for advice ranging from investments, to buying a house, investment properties, starting a business and other similar topics.
A Different Perspective in Life
When we are equipped with adequate information about personal finance, it is easy to overlook the fact that most people are not nearly as educated about the topic as they should be, or as we are. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to feel as if even the simplest concepts which we may deem common sense are either not known or understood by those we communicate with sometimes.
In my opinion, this education is critical for one to be able to live a financially sound and disciplined life, and ensure that those who we are responsible for enjoy the best life we can reasonably provide for them without worrying much about what the future has in store for us.
It’s quite surprising that educational institutions still do not formally provide this information, but that’s ok. There are many “teachers” of personal finance. Pick one whose advice resonates most with you and apply it in your own life. Personal finance education doesn’t have to cost money, but one must have the interest and motivation to self-educate and apply the principles in their lives.
Personal finance education is such that sometimes it may start after one graduates from school. Unfortunately this is where learning ends for most people. I still actively indulge in personal finance material. There is always more to learn, and the more I learn, the more I apply and the more financial success I see in my own life.
And if our schools continue not to teach this subject in the future, by educating yourself as much as possible, you can pass on a healthy financial foundation to your children, both tangible and intangible, ensuring they too enjoy a financially abundant and satisfied life. I know I will.
How did you get your personal finance education?
About the author: Sunil owns over two dozen profitable niche websites, over 20 successfully selling eBooks, and is the author of “How to Go from $0 to $1,000 a month in Passive and Residual Income in Under 180 Days All in Your Spare Time”, a FREE report you can download instantly from his blog, where he discusses expedited wealth creation through solid personal finance, entrepreneurship and internet marketing. In 2007, he sold his ecommerce website for $250,000 to a top Ebay Power Seller and since then has sold several niche sites for five figures each. You can read more about him and his work on his blog.
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