Personal Finance 101

Financial literacy is a huge deal these days. More and more people are realizing that it’s a pretty important area of life, with little to no dedicated time in the school system. While that’s a pretty crappy place to be as a society, we can still take it on ourselves as individuals to plan ahead and be successful. Disclaimer; always go to licensed professionals for true advice. I speak only from my personal experience and education accumulated so far (not a certified financial planner yet)!

As part of a 2-year business administration diploma I’m working towards, I’m taking a personal finance course. It has really inspired me to not only make some changes in my own financial habits, but to spread the word in whatever way I can. Also because I currently work for a bank (but I’m not going to even say which one, that’s not why I’m here) and I see a lot of people every day that don’t quite have it figured out. Some people do all their everyday banking out of a savings account, for example. Not a great way to go.

There are already lots of good resources like Investopedia, the banking advisers and financial planners (both associated with or separate from big banks), spreadsheets and worksheets everywhere to do calculations… But even the course is going through some things that I find a bit tedious, or that when you’re at square 1, you don’t necessarily need to know. For someone just starting out, what is the basic knowledge required? I’d like to lay it out here, as much for myself as for anyone who comes across this article later.

What I do recommend is to visit a financial planner, if you can. Either that, or if you have the time and resources,  take a personal finance course (or buy a textbook and dedicate some time to reading through it).  I know not everyone can make either of those happen. So I’m still going to go through some stuff here. Good luck!

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