So, you want to learn more about your money and make moves with it. Go you.
“That’s a moment of self-awareness that requires celebration,” says San Francisco-based financial coach Saundra Davis. And your timing is perfect, as April is Financial Literacy Month. This designation wouldn't exist unless many
people needed help understanding their money.
“You’re not the one person out there that hasn’t got their finances together,” says Orlando-based certified financial planner Angela Moore.
It’s OK if you don’t save much or have a clue what IRA stands for. Aim to avoid negative self-talk and give yourself grace, says Moore, who’s also the founder of Modern Money Education, a platform offering personal finance courses.
Start with “baby steps,” she adds.
As you try the following advice, “think about how you learn best,” says Davis, who’s also the founder of Sage Financial Solutions, a nonprofit specializing in financial education and planning for low-wealth and underrepresented communities.
For example, while group discussions may be motivating for some people, others would much rather read a book. So try a few strategies to find what works for you.
A financial coach, counselor or other expert can help you figure out where to start and what to prioritize.
The Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education is offering free virtual sessions. The AFCPE website says its certified financial counselors and coaches “can help you manage immediate expenses, build savings, create a plan
to pay off debt or navigate financial assistance benefits.”
You have other options, too. The Financial Planning Association provides pro bono financial support to low-income individuals and those considered to be “underserved,” including veterans, people affected by natural disasters and others.
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies typically offer free financial advice, too, and cover budgeting, debt and other topics. Look for agencies that are members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Financial Counseling Association
Or chat with friends and community members
If you’re not up for counseling, simply chatting can help you think and learn about money in a casual way. You can learn how peers manage money, voice your financial concerns and brainstorm solutions. Just remember that you’re
participating in an informal conversation — not receiving professional guidance. Do your best to verify advice on your own. For example, look for webpages on the topic that include sources for the information, such as professional
experts or studies.
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