The Best Tricks & Resources to Jump-Start Your Financial LiteracyAugust 15, 2022
Searching through the vast bounty of financial resources can feel a bit like gazing across a ripe fruit orchard. There’s so much opportunity to uncover, yet so much fruit past its prime – so where to start? In honor of National Financial Awareness Day, we plucked some of the juiciest financial literacy tricks, reads, and podcasts for your late summer learning.
In this blog, you’ll find:
- How to boost your financial literacy using 4 key learning hacks
- Our 4 favorite finance reads
- Our 3 favorite finance podcasts
Boost your financial literacy with these 4 learning hacks
Financial literacy is just like any other skill. It can take time, practice, and patience to learn, but the rewards are worth the effort. To speed up the learning process and translate your motivation into sustainable knowledge, try these 4 brain boosts:
- Get motivated. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to improve my financial literacy?” Your answers can include specific goals, like saving for a big ticket item. Your goals can also be more general, like feeling a sense of financial stability. By establishing your goals from the get-go, you create an internal compass. If you start to feel demotivated, you can pause to reorient, remember your goals, and get back on track.
- Be the teacher. When you sit down to learn a new skill, imagine that you’ll later teach this skill to a friend or colleague. Better yet, make a plan to actually teach them! When we teach others, we access a deeper understanding of the subject and solidify our understanding through repetition.
- Learn in short bursts. A little goes a long way. Rather than exhausting yourself with long study sessions, dedicate 30-50 minutes per session when learning something new. If you feel ready to continue your studies, take a 5-10 minute break before beginning a new session.
- Space it out. Learn and practice your skill for small sessions throughout the week. Benedict Carey, author of How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens says it best: “You can water a lawn once a week for 90 minutes or three times a week for 30 minutes,” he says. “Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time.”
For the Readers: Our 4 Favorite Finance Reads
From bite-sized guides to full deep dives, there are a ton of ways to add financial education to your reading rotation. Here are some of our favorite books and websites for developing your financial literacy.
1. Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole, by Tiffany Aliche (aka The Budgetnista)
What it is: Get Good with Money is a book of financial wisdom drawn from educator Tiffany Aliche’s personal experience.
Why we love it: Whether you’re setting up a trust or signing up for your first credit card, Tiffany shares approachable, straight-up advice for managing your finances. Her helpful checklists, worksheets, and resource tool-kit offer clear ways to meet long-term plans with short-term actions.
2. Spend Well, Live Rich, by Michelle Singletary
What it is: Spend Well, Live Rich is a book of 7 money mantras by Michelle Singletary, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post.
Why we love it: Michelle is just as funny as she is knowledgeable. As she dishes out countless chuckle-worthy examples, you’ll find yourself itching to pick up her financial lessons – how to teach children the value of money; how to address money issues in a relationship or marriage; household saving tips; getting the best loans; and much more.
What it is: Investopedia is an educational website that covers investing, economics, and personal finance.
Why we love it: When you find yourself wondering, “What are futures, again?” or “What’s a bear market?”, Investopedia answers with clear and concise definitions.
What it is: MarketWatch is a website that provides financial information, business news, analysis, and stock market data.
Why we love it: MarketWatch offers timely, well-researched articles for investors interested in staying on top of the market. Investors focused on specific industries can sort the news according to their interests, like “Technology” or “Healthcare.”
For the Listeners: Our 3 Favorite Finance Podcasts
Whether you’re cooking up dinner or kicking back on the beach, podcasts are a great way to learn on the go. Here are our 3 favorite finance podcasts.
1. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
What it is: A podcast hosted by Farnoosh Torabi, CNET Money’s Editor at Large, who shares candid conversations about money with the world’s top business minds, authors and influencers.
Why we love it: Farnoosh’s conversations range from high-level economic assessments (“What’s going on in the job market?”) to finance and lifestyle insights from major figureheads like Arianna Huffington. Along the way, she offers her sharp answers to listeners’ personal finance questions with her series #AskFarnoosh.
What it is: A radio show that makes sense of the economy through creative, relevant storytelling.
Why we love it: With stories like “Recessions & Rap Battles” and “The strange underground economy of tree poaching,” NPR’s Planet Money makes surprising connections that are both entertaining and relevant. Their 10-30 minute episodes pack a punch, giving you quick and compelling stories to share with friends, colleagues, and kids.
3. The His & Her Money Show with Talaat and Tai McNeely
What it is: The His & Her Money Show show covers the central questions that couples should ask before and after tying the knot. From home finances to personal debt reduction, this show shares key insights on what to expect when conjoining finances as a couple, how to manage family finances, and how to climb out of debt.
Why we love it: Talaat and Tai McNeely share their authentic stories and discuss family financial advice with a range of compelling guest speakers. Talaat and Tai care about both the why (like why we should set financial goals) and the how (like how to create a great family budget).
Prefer to watch rather than listen? Check out the His & Her Money Youtube Channel.
Taking Small Steps to Great Financial Freedom
It’s always worth investing a little energy into developing your financial education. Learning is like investing. If we add just a little every week, we can build a great deal of wealth over time.
But that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. At SWM, we’re passionate about helping diverse communities of incredible people discover their own financial empowerment. That means building wealth on your terms.