I recently wrote a post titled, “How to Save Money Like a Madman“, in which I listed the ways you could begin acting like a madman in regards to your savings. One of the tips I listed was to “Get Intense!”
I thought it might be good to build upon that point a bit and share some of the ways I use to get intense about personal finance.
I want start by referencing a nice article that was written on this subject over at Think Your Way to Wealth, Ways To Educate Yourself about Personal Finance and Money. This is an excellent collection of ways to learn more about personal finance. Be sure and read this one and I’ll try and build upon it a bit.
Read Personal Finance Blogs
First off, I subscribe to a lot of personal finance and money related blogs. Check out my blogroll to see who I’m currently subscribed to. Now, you don’t have to subscribe to all of these. Just pick a few that stand out to you as motivating and useful for your needs. As an example, if you’re focused on getting rid of some debt, maybe try following following someone else who’s doing the same. You’re likely to find someone you can relate to even within the Money Life Network.
Don’t want to subscribe to any one blog? Check out the massive aggregator PFBlogs.org or the personal finance social site PF Buzz. There you’ll get to pick and choose from literally thousands of great articles.
Browse the Personal Finance Sections of Your Local Paper and Online News
Your local paper likely has a personal finance section tucked away somewhere in the “business” or “money” sections. It’s good to check these columns out routinely as you’ll likely find some information relevant to your specific area. After you’ve gone local, check out the big personal finance websites:
Head to the Library and Check Out a Few Personal Finance Books
There’s no reason to spend money for basic personal finance information. What you can’t find online on the blogs, you’re sure to find in one of the many personal finance related books at your local library. Some books I’d recommend that I’ve read: The Automatic Millionaire and Easy Money. Both cover all the personal finance topics from beginning to end.
Just grab a few books and start pouring over them till you find one that relates to you and has a personality that sticks. Some of these can be pretty dry so stick with the one’s that really interest you and read well.
Learn About Other People Who’ve Had Success With Their Money
I round-a-bout way to increase your knowledge about personal finance is to read about others who’ve had success managing their money and who’ve found peace with their financial lives. I’ve got a ton of real stories listed here on the site at my Millionaires feature. There’s more in there than just real-estate millionaires too, so dig in and find the profiles that motivate and inspire.
Find a Money Mentor
Take the profile thing one step further and find someone in your life who’s had or is having success with handling their money. This doesn’t have to be a millionaire mogul. It can just be a friend or relative who you see having success. Make it a point to occasionally discuss financial issues with them. It doesn’t have to include specific personal details. Just stick to concepts. It can be something like, “what’s the best place to put your money” or “how should I approach buying my next car.” Most people love talking a little about money and finance and how they do things, especially if they are good at it.
Analyze the Details of Your Own Finances
I wasn’t sure if this fit here, but I think a big motivator towards intensity for me is being able to see where all my money is going and where it’s coming from. Use something like my one-sheet, dashboard style view to see the whole picture of your financial situation.
I’m sure I left off plenty of ways to get intense about your finances. Help me fill in the blanks by leaving your own suggestions for what helps you get intense.