Wondering how to improve financial literacy? Managing money can be overwhelming but here are 7 simple ways you can improve your finances. You’ll wish you knew these personal finance hacks yesterday. Start where you are and learn how to become a money pro!
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How to Improve Financial Literacy When You Were Never Taught Finances 101
Financial literacy is something I wish we were all taught in school starting from a young age.
Along with math and history and creative writing and (*shudder*) gym.
Me in gym class:
Or maybe this is more accurate:
Hand eye coordination – not my strong suit…
We aren’t all given the same beginnings at home and it would help level the playing field if we were all taught personal finance in school.
Since it’s not a big part of most schools, we can learn how to improve financial literacy when we’re adults.
Luckily, this is easier to do than me learning to make a lay-up or spike a ball (are those even the proper terms, sporty readers?)
Related reading: How to eliminate credit card debt while still enjoying your life
7 Ways to Improve Financial Literacy Now
1. Read personal finance books
I have read a handful of seriously life-changing personal finance books.
This is an easy way to improve your financial literacy. You can get most of these budgeting books in audiobook form too. You can listen while you’re driving or washing dishes or even as you drift off to sleep and become a money pro while you dream (I don’t think it works like that).
The 8th budgeting book in this list was a total life-changer for me. It changed the way I thought about money, my time, my working life, and how I buy things. I still think of the money tips in this book when I want to purchase something non-essential. Over the years that personal finance book has saved me thousands of dollars.
2. Subscribe to personal finance blogs
…like The Curious Frugal! Sign up here and I’ll send you a free budget worksheet that will help you get your money organized.
Posts related to how to improve financial literacy:
- 7 Money lessons you should have been taught (but probably weren’t)
- Struggling Financially? 15 Tips From People Who Are Never Broke
- 5 Important Money Habits You need to Have Good Finances
- Epic Tips You Need to Get Your Mortgage Paid Off Faster
- How to Spend Less Money in a Tough Economy
- No-fuss investment tips to grow your money
3. Ditch the fear surrounding talking about money
It’s such a taboo in mainstream society to talk about money. Personal finance blogs are not mainstream society so we talk lots about money here!
But one of the ways to learn more about something is to ask questions.
To talk to people who know more than you.
Most people would never talk about their salaries outside their own households. But it can be super useful to talk about, to see if what you are making or charging is in line with others in your job or business.
There are many times that women undercharge in their business or are underpaid in a job. One of the ways to combat this is to shed light on what other people are making or charging, and ask for what you deserve.
Related reading: 8 steps to fix a negative bank account FAST
4. Use personal finance apps to improve your finances
It can totally simplify improving your finances if you use apps where the functionality is built in for you.
Plugging in numbers and having the heavy lifting done for you to manage your money? Personal finance apps can make things much simpler.
Finance apps can help you budget, save money, track income and expenses, pay off debt, start an emergency fund, and lots more.
Here are the best budgeting apps to help you manage your money >>
And budgeting tools you need if you think you’re bad with money >>
5. Have family budget meetings to improve financial literacy
I know, ew. They sound so boring to me.
But it can be a really helpful way to improve financial literacy.
You and your partner will have different upbringings, different ideas about money and possibly different financial goals. You can learn from each other.
Make it fun. Open a bottle of wine, order a pizza.
Take a look at your debt if you have any (here are 10 things you can do to get out of debt), your emergency fund, income and expenses, retirement savings, all that good stuff.
If your kids are older, you can absolutely include them in family budget meetings. This will teach them good money habits, and working towards saving goals together like saving for a fun trip. It will normalize money talk and coming up with money plans together. I would personally only include your kids if your money meetings with your partner are not super heated.
- How Much Money Should You Save For An Emergency Fund?
- Allowance for Kids: Good Idea or Bad Idea?
- Budgeting for Kids: What To Teach Them Young
6. Improve finances by getting financial advice
In the businesses I have had, I always reach out and learn from people who are further ahead than me.
Same goes with finances.
Financial advisors can be super helpful to give you personalized information about your specific money situation. They can be a more hands-off way to help you get where you want to go.
An alternative to improving financial literacy with a financial advisor is using a robo advisor.
This isn’t a room full of robots that manage your money, though that picture does pop into my head when I read robo advisor. Robo advisors use algorithms to give you financial advice so there is more minimal human intervention. Which bottom line, can save you money.
Check out my post robo advisor vs financial advisor for the pros and cons of both to see what makes sense for you.
And here’s a deep-dive review of the best robo-advisors for investing.
7. Improve your finances with personal finance podcasts
In some stages of life it’s easier to listen to a podcast than read a book or an article. I’m more of a reader than a listener but when my daughter was a newborn? No way could my sleep-deprived brain focus on reading!
If you are a podcast person, they can be a great way to learn how to improve financial literacy.
Here are some money podcasts to add to your playlist:
- Planet Money
- Radical Personal Finance
- The Dave Ramsey Show
- Afford Anything
- Brown Ambition
Improving Financial Literacy is a Type of Self-Love
When people think of self-care, what usually comes to mind is a bubble bath, a cup of coffee or tea uninterrupted, getting a massage.
Setting up an emergency fund isn’t usually at the top of mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all those other self-care ideas.
But taking care of your finances is also part of taking care of yourself.
Why not show yourself some love by improving finances?
To recap, here are some ideas on how to improve financial literacy:
- Pay extra down on your debt
- Read a personal finance blog to educate yourself (ahem, mine is good: thecuriousfrugal.com)
- Do a no-spend challenge (day/weekend/week)
- Start a side hustle to make extra money
- Meal plan to save money on food and prevent food waste
Let me know in the comments your ideas for improving financial literacy.
Check out 10 Best Ways to Reduce Spending This Year (Without Feeling Deprived)