A recent CNN story reported that 42% of people learned their financial smarts from their parents. That means over half of those surveyed felt they received the majority of their financial education from outside of their home. If people aren’t learning from their parents, it begs the question: Where are people learning about money?
It’s no question that others constantly influence us when it comes to spending and saving money. We watch stories of successful millionaires and read articles about successful business people, soaking up small tidbits of how they got there. But we don’t have to go very far to learn about money. In fact, I’d say that while 42% of people said they got their money smarts from their parents, the remaining 58% of people may have had to break some bad habits learned form their parents.
Ask anyone growing up in a home where finances were always tight and saving money wasn’t the main focus and they’ll probably agree that their financial education from their parents was limited at best. Growing up in a family of ten and often one income, our finances were tight and savings echoed that as well. While we learned how to live frugally, our financial smarts ended there, leaving the concepts of investing, long-term savings, and emergency savings unaddressed.
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Learning About Money Outside of the Family
Blogs and Online Resources
You know firsthand how easy it is to go online to learn about saving, spending, and investing money. There are quite a few established finance blogs on the web today that do a great job explaining basic topics like budgeting, frugality, investing, retirement and taxes.
If you’re in college, take advantage of the business courses available to you and add a personal finance course. If you don’t want to sit through another course, you can find out what book they’re using and go through it on your own time.
There certainly aren’t a shortage of business and finance books today. There’s an entire section at Barnes and Noble dedicated to business and finance, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding a book that you can really learn from. Some of the most popular books on personal finance today are Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
Your children might be learning more at school than they are at home when it comes to finances. Ask them about what they’re learning. Help reinforce the importance of what they’re learning by encouraging them to learn more through age appropriate books and shows about money.
While it’s true that the majority of those surveyed didn’t learn about money from their family, it can be argued that the resources to learn about personal finance are quite numerous. I personally have grown in knowledge through independent research and by subscribing to sites (like this one :).
So where did you get your money smarts? What other resources are out there for learning about money?