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7 Ways to Improve Financial Literacy for Students

Personal_Finance / Student Finances Sep 20, 2022 - 10:23 PM GMT

By: Sumeet_Manhas


What student doesn’t struggle with their finances at some point? After all, it’s your first time living truly on your own. You’re in charge of paying your rent and bills, shopping for groceries, and managing your bank account. And, you’re probably making a living yourself, too. All of those are firsts for you!

So, you might be under the impression your hard-earned money just vaporizes within a week after you get your paycheck. Or, you might fail to avoid going into debt just to pay all of your bills. Whatever it is, you surely need to boost your financial literacy and management skills.

Since you’re reading this, you already know you need to improve those skills, be it to afford to hire a reliable essay writing service like EssayPro or start saving. You simply don’t have any idea how to do it or where to start. But you can consider your wandering online over: here are seven real ways you can become a financially savvy student. Take your pick!

  1. Find a Great Financial Literacy Podcast

If you’re always on the move (like most students are), you must be a podcast fan. In this case, good news: there are plenty of podcasts dedicated to financial literacy. Just be careful when choosing the ones you’ll be listening to!

In case you don’t know which podcasts are worth your time, here are the five top ones you can start with:

  • Wall Street Journal’s Your Money Briefing;

  • NPR’s Planet Money;

  • The College Investor;

  • Smart Passive Income;

  • The Dave Ramsey Show.

Tip. Avoid forcing your brain to multitask between listening to a podcast and another mentally-demanding task. If you don’t, you won’t retain most of the information you hear. That said, you can combine it with commuting or mindless tasks like washing the dishes or cleaning up the room.

  1. Get Acquainted with Personal Finance Tools

Budgeting and tracking your income and expenses are at the heart of financial literacy. So, if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of financial management as soon as possible, this is the skill you should acquire.

Good news: you won’t need a notebook or a spreadsheet to manage your finances. Now, you have tons of tools that can help you keep track of everything in a couple of taps or clicks. Here are the five best of the best among them:

  • You Need a Budget/YNAB;

  • Monefy;

  • Expensify;

  • Spendee;

  • EveryDollar.

Tip. Don’t call it quits if you can’t stick with the first app you try. That just means it’s not a good fit for you. Don’t hesitate to try other tools – this is the only way you can find the one.

  1. Subscribe to Financial Newsletters

If you prefer to read articles instead of listening to podcasts, signing up for a newsletter or two is the way to go. The beauty of it is that you get all the latest tips right into your email inbox. No need to remember to visit a website every day or every week!

Don’t know where to start looking? Here are five world-class newsletters worthy of your attention:

  • Your Money from the New York Times;

  • The Penny Hoarder Daily;

  • The Balance Daily;

  • Money Under 30;

  • The Payoff from Mic.

Tip. It’s easy to leave those newsletters just sitting in your inbox unopened. To avoid that, come up with a specific ritual for reading them. You can make it a habit to read a newsletter before you go to bed or while you commute. Just be sure to stick with it!

  1. Take a Finance Class, No Matter Your Major

Since you’re a student, you’re at an advantage: your college or university must have a finance class you can sign up for. And no, this class isn’t good only for future student entrepreneurs – anyone can learn a great deal from attending one!

For example, microeconomics can teach you a lot about how you make your purchasing decisions. So, knowing its basics is a must for tweaking your consumer behavior.

Microeconomics can also introduce you to concepts like opportunity costs, supply and demand, and game theory. Those are invaluable for understanding the markets that drive industries and the economy – and making financial decisions, too.

  1. Pick Up a Book on Personal Finances

Can’t dedicate enough time to a class but still want to have all the personal finance knowledge brought together in one place? That’s how you know that it’s time to pick up a book!

Books on managing your money aren’t scarce these days, though. So, how do you pick just one or two – and be sure you can trust their advice?

Here are five acclaimed (and rigorously reviewed) books that can be a good start for you:

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki);

  • Your Money or Your Life (Vicki Robin);

  • Broke Millennial Takes On Investing (Erin Lowry);

  • The Financial Diet (Chelsea Fagan, Lauren Ver Hage);

  • The Psychology of Money (Morgan Housel).

Tip. Don’t want (or can’t afford) to spend your money on a new book? Here’s another perk of being a student: your college or university must have a library! Go there and ask if they have one of the books listed above.

  1. Refocus Your Social Media Feed

“If you want to get better at anything, surround yourself with information from the field.” This applies when you want to improve your financial literacy, too. And since you probably spend hours on social media, reshaping your feed is one way to do so.

So, subscribe to people that shed light on personal finance management and/or the financial industry. It won’t just help you get motivated to follow all those finance tips. You’ll also get a peek behind the curtain and learn from the first-hand experience of investors and finance gurus.

Here are the five influencers that deserve to be on your subscription list:

  • ;@HeyBerna (Instagram, YouTube);

  • ;@PersonalFinanceClub (Instagram, TikTok);

  • ;@MrsDowJones (Instagram, TikTok, YouTube);

  • ;@PariiBafna (TikTok, YouTube);

  • ;@HumphreyTalks (TikTok, YouTube, Instagram).

  1. Make Sure You Cover These 9 Bases

So, you’ve chosen your sources of information. You’ve subscribed to a newsletter, started listening to a podcast, or signed up for a course. But how will you know that what you learn will be enough to turn your life around?

Don’t worry! You can use this list of nine financial literacy basics as your guide:

  1. Setting financial goals, creating a budget, and tweaking it if necessary;

  2. Starting to save money for a rainy day and growing your savings;

  3. Reading the fine print whenever money is involved – and paying attention to common catches;

  4. Choosing the right assets with fewer risks to invest in;

  5. Diversifying your savings and investments;

  6. Understanding your credit score and how to build it;

  7. Managing your credit cards and your debt (including student loans);

  8. Understanding taxes and how to use tax benefits;

  9. Determining when to get insured and what types of insurance are worth paying for in your case.

In Conclusion

Luckily for you and everyone else, you don’t have to be born financially savvy to manage your money well. Financial literacy is a skill, not a talent, after all. So, anyone can acquire it – and benefit from it.

Keep one thing in mind throughout your journey, though: improving your financial literacy is a continuous effort. Don’t expect to become a guru overnight; you won’t be able to. But if you set a goal to become one and work on achieving it, it’s not unattainable, either.

By Sumeet Manhas

© 2022 Copyright Sumeet Manhas - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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