Whether you are just starting your first job or have a well established career, it’s never too early or too late to learn about managing your finances. From budgeting to investing, there are plenty of resources to help you travel the path toward a brighter financial future.
Sometimes it is difficult to get started when you don’t even know what questions to ask. TeachMeFinance.com uses basic videos to walk you through difficult concepts such as annuities and refinancing. The site is for beginners to finance and breaks down important concepts, which makes it a good place to start.
Another site with basic concepts and a lot of resources is Kiplinger.com™. Besides articles and videos, the site also offers quizzes, tools, and a newsletter. The store offers finance-related books and magazines, as well as several free publications for download.
If you want to learn how to develop a working budget, try MoneyInstructor.com®. It offers budget planning tools, such as budget worksheets and online classes. There are several other resources, such as a grocery estimator, budget word problems game, and a mortgage calculator, just to name a few.
FeedThePig.org™ offers many ways to spend less so that you can save more, and then gives you tips on what to do with your savings. It is run by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The site offers podcasts, videos, news, coupons, and relevant articles for women, teens, and other specific groups. You may sign up with your mobile number to get financial tips texted to you. The 5% challenge helps you map your savings based on your household income and current debt. You plug in your income and debt, and it creates an actual map on screen – complete with various routes you may take to retirement.
Related to Feed the Pig is 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, also run by the American Institute of CPAs. This is a daily program catered to individuals in different stages of life. From tweens to retirees, the site offers tools, advice, and articles relevant to wherever you may be in life.
Save for Retirement
Once you have your savings and budgeting in order, you may want to learn a little more about investing to grow your nest egg. The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) has articles, a blog, financial planning resources, and a page dedicated to model portfolios, all aimed at the individual. AAII provides local programs to its chapters nationwide. AAII is a nonprofit organization, and each chapter is led by volunteers. Click on the “Chapters” tab and find your state. There, you will discover meeting information for the chapter closest to you.
Another source that provides articles, tutorials, and even an investment dictionary is Investopedia®. If you scroll down the first page, you will find the current exchange rates by FOREX, stock market stats, and a finance-related dictionary term of the day.
Now that you are educated, saving, and investing, you may want to keep up to date with financial news worldwide. Try CNN Money, where you can read the day’s top finance-related article, check out what the market is doing, and get current headlines that relate to personal finance. The site is connected to both Twitter and Facebook so that you may comment on and share what you’ve learned.
If you are interested in business finance, check out BusinessWeek. There are resources, news, and blogs for small businesses as well as the most current technology updates. It also offers a free app for your iPad® to keep you updated on the go. The app is an interactive version of the printed magazine.
Another business resource to look into is the Small Business Account Guide. It helps you with every financial aspect of your small business from the business plan to the bookkeeping. You may follow the site via Google+, Twitter, or on an RSS feed, among others. It also offers a free finance and business practices e-newsletter.
Managing it All
If you need help juggling all of your accounts, check out Mint.com. Mint can help you create a personal budget by listing all of your checking, savings, and credit card accounts together so that you may really see where your money goes. The free mobile app is available on iPad®, iPhone®, and Android™ devices.
There are plenty of resources on YouTube as well. For instance, if you’d like to learn how to use Excel to create some basic finance tools, watch the Finance Basics series (lesson #1 here). CBS News Online has several videos on finance, too, like this one with Suze Orman: Money Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make.
No matter what your financial state may be, you do not have to feel helpless or alone. Tap these resources, and you will find that there is a whole world of financial education and free tools at your fingertips.*The company, product and service names used in this article are for identification purposes only. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.