To find a secure financial future and eliminate the stress of debt, you have to build your knowledge of money and finance.

Wealth Building Can Only Start with Financial Intelligence So Learn and Thrive

If you asked someone if they wanted to build their wealth, their answer would surely be a positive, “Yes.” Why wouldn’t someone want to build their wealth and financial security? Isn’t that why everyone gets up early in the morning and works for hours on end, week after week to get a paycheck? Yet, data shows that few actually are capable of building wealth, staying debt free, and making smart investments to secure their living throughout their retirement. The reason is because while they make and spend money every day, they really don’t understand finances.

Without a good foundation in financial understanding, we are left to move through life getting a paycheck and spending it. We make choices on how to spend our money based on advertising and social fads. We certainly see more commercials and advertisements in one day than we receive financial advice.

Organizations and experts tell us to save, but saving is difficult if we live paycheck to paycheck or we pay our bills and use what is left to entertain ourselves and enjoy life.

Telling us to save or pay down debt or invest in a 401K is good advice, but we need to know how and learn all we can about how to make smart decisions.

Don’t believe that someone can’t build wealth on a low income, for it is done all the time. Paycheck amounts are not a sign as to whether someone will be capable of building a healthy financial position and future for themselves. However, once someone becomes literate in finance, then they tend to seek ways to make more money to increase their progress. Most will either seek more education or training or begin a side job to boost their efforts.

I’m not a financial expert, so I won’t be giving you specific advice, but I will be sharing with you how to gain access to the real experts so that you can become a student of finance and money and flourish in your life.

Before I tell you what to do, let me first tell you what NOT to do. Don’t seek advice from those that want to sell you quick easy make money schemes. Don’t go to their seminars, don’t buy their books, don’t buy into what they say will make you a millionaire with little effort. The only one making money is the person selling you the ideas, the DVDs, or the books. They will motivate you and it will feel empowering, but if it worked then we’d see millionaires evolving all around us as they sit in front of their television. It doesn’t work that way, so don’t fall victim to their scams. The motivation will wear off leaving you without anything solid to build upon and make a real change.

What you should do is seek to educate yourself. Don’t stick to only one source. While you build your knowledge, build your discipline. Discipline is something that you need to make your money work for you. The reason we need discipline when it comes to money is we are taught to spend rather than invest, spend rather than save, and spend rather than pay down debt. It is a habit that you will have to break, so do what you can to build up your discipline.

A great place to start learning about finance is to start watching a few hours of financial news every week. It will introduce you to financial lingo, or finance language. You don’t have to absorb everything you hear or put anything into action, but the exposure to financial news can put you on a faster track to building your finance knowledge. The same advice can be found in financial print news. Try reading articles on websites like Economist.com, Forbes.com, and Fortune.com. The Wall Street Journal is a good source, but their website WSJ.com, has the majority of their articles secured for subscribers, which only costs $12 for 12 weeks at the time of this writing. You can even find local and state financial news on the websites of your favorite local news channels.

Get into the habit of leaving the television on financial channels for a few minutes rather than passing through them. It will make a difference and expose you to different finance ideas and trends in the global economy.

Next, check out financial courses that you can take online. Many are free and are spectacularly good. You can find numerous ones online through a search, but here are a few to get you started:

College of Illinois, Free, online financial planning course, http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/free-online-financial-planning-course

University of Florida, Personal & Family Financial Planning course, https://www.coursera.org/learn/family-planning

Managing My Money, https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/managing-my-money

University of Arizona, free personal finance course, https://cals.arizona.edu/sfcs/personalfinance/introduction.html#

Another great way to learn more about finance is to listen to podcasts. I have found that the best way to find great podcasts is through an app called Stitcher. It is free to download, and while they do offer a premium subscription, using only the free features won’t have you missing anything other than a few commercials and fewer bells and whistles. Once you become more familiar with Stitcher.com’s app you might choose to pay for a premium subscription, but you don’t have to at the start.

Stitcher gives you not only access to top rated podcasts, but it allows you to download broadcasts. This is a great feature if you want to download some episodes while on a Wi-Fi to keep from using up your data plan should you want to listen to them on a mobile device.

Here are some great podcasts to check out:

So Money

Stacking Benjamins

Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life

Side Hustle Show

Dave Ramsey Show

Freakonomics Radio — this one is great at teaching you how economics impacts every aspect of our lives and they have some great finance experts as guests.

Stitcher has a great search engine and you can discover others for yourself. You can listen to the latest show of the podcasts you like as well as listen to past broadcasts. Podcasts are awesome for learning while working out, walking, waiting at the doctor’s office, or whenever you can find a few minutes.

While this topic may not always come up in the material you find, I believe it is important and so I’d like to share this: Invest in yourself. That doesn’t mean to invest in a new pair of sunglasses because it will make you happy or make you stylish, it means investing in you in ways that the return brings you more money. Return on investment, or ROI, is always important to any investor. When starting your journey to making an impact on your financial health, whenever you can get a good ROI in investing in you it makes sense.

Invest in your education. Invest in skill building. Invest in you so that you can make more money to put toward your financial goals.

To succeed at wealth building, pay down debt, and make investments and emergency funds for the future, it requires you understand money and finance. Become a student and thrive. Make it happen.

Thank you for reading — it means a lot to me. I appreciate your sharing as well. Please follow me on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn — I’d love to connect and be a part of your network team. On social media I share my own articles, but also those that I find helpful and relevant to business, success, entrepreneurship, leadership, community enhancement, and personal development. You can find out more about me at SherryHBlue.com.