5 Resources to Raise Your Financial IQ

Managing money grows more complex with age, as the scope of personal finances expands. Major financial obligations such as house payments add another level of responsibility to personal budgeting, and a growing family brings with it a whole new set of expenses. As you reconcile cash flow through the years, it is only natural to come upon unfamiliar financial conditions and money matters with which you’re inexperienced. Fortunately, when questions arise, there are resources you can turn to for the answers you need.

Reinforcing your financial savvy is a matter of necessity, rather than a luxury. Forging ahead without proper understanding can have devastating impacts on your finances, so it pays to get the whole story, before making commitments. Turn to the following resources to sort out the particulars of specific issues or to reinforce your general understanding about personal finance.

Mobile Apps

Mobile communication and web connectivity have changed the way people do business, resulting in new financial challenges. When you consider one study citing age 10 as the average age at which children first make online purchases, it is clearly more important than ever to back-up commerce access with proper financial lessons.

Mobile apps have been developed, responding to consumers’ need to manage money on the go. In addition to helping track each purchase, many apps are equipped with budgeting tools you can use to set spending limits. The technology is capable of linking multiple accounts, giving you ready-access to all your holdings, through a single interface. Finance calculators and comparison tools are also featured in some apps, giving you the tools needed to make prudent financial decisions.

Mum and Dad

Learning starts at home, including important financial lessons for youngsters. Starting early on, it is important for parents to share financial details with their children, sparking curiosity about money matters. Kids should also be exposed to banking as soon as possible, starting with a junior savings account at the bank or credit union. The experience teaches them how to conduct transactions in-person, as well as utilise online banking resources. An interest-bearing account shows kids how money grows and leads to advanced lessons about earning and compounding interest.

For effective financial learning, experts recommend sharing finance knowledge that’s appropriate to each child’s level of understanding. Age doesn’t always dictate when to pass information to young people, but it provides a starting point. According to some experts, by the time kids reach ages 7-11 most benefit from hands-on financial learning. By the end of this period, 11 year-olds should be comfortable handling money and managing basic budgets.

Current Events and Economic Trends

Even casual observers glean useful information by following current events. Are mortgage rates moving? What can we learn from the car market? Are UK savers putting by enough cash for retirement? Answers to questions like these are revealing, helping tie sweeping economic trends to the financial matters you face at home. From investment performance to insurance rates, tuning-in to finance news keeps you informed and educated.

Finance Websites

Online resources are widespread for people with questions about finance. From sites like readies, offering loan comparisons and finance calculators, to websites specialising in financial education; using online resources can answer questions and guide prudent financial decisions. For results you can trust, utilise charity advice sites sponsored by the Government. The vital resources target frequently asked questions and walk visitors through common financial concerns. Debt advice and counseling services are also available, addressing one of the biggest financial obstacles facing Brits.

Formal Education

If you don’t feel comfortable managing money, you may be missing essential knowledge. Completing a finance class can round-out your understanding and ensure you’ve got a handle on the ins and outs of budgeting, debt management, borrowing practices, and other household money matters. Free instruction is offered through social agencies, or for professional-level coursework, enroll in a university finance course.

The best financial education starts at a young age, but you can still raise your financial IQ later in life. Use websites, mobile apps, and finance classes to deepen your financial understand, staying tuned to economic trends for timely financial insight.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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