Money Mission: Increase Your Financial Knowledge

Although having insufficient information can negatively affect your self-confidence, it’s one of the easiest obstacles to overcome. We are living in the age of information, and there are myriad ways to gain detailed instructions on almost anything you need to do. Once you have a strong desire to learn, you can seek and find the answers to most of your questions.

As we continue to look at strategies which can help you to stay focused on your goals, this month’s money mission challenges you to get educated about financial matters. As 16th century philosopher Sir Francis Bacon declared, “Knowledge is power;” and learning the essential skills of money can empower and equip you to take charge of your financial future.

Financial education is life-changing

My own experience is proof that it is possible to teach yourself how to improve your financial situation. Prior to 2001, I knew absolutely nothing about the basic money principles of success; I had no consistent savings, careless spending habits, a crippling dependence on debt, and no concept of what it meant to plan and invest for future goals.

Once I realized that my lifestyle was leading me down the path to deprivation, I acknowledged that I really didn’t know how to do better. I then vowed to leave no stone unturned until I discovered the steps I had to take to fix my money problems. Within a few years, I had learnt enough to start teaching others these essential elements of financial achievement.

Identify what you need to learn

Your challenge for this month is to take another look at your financial objectives and identify areas in which a lack of know-how might be preventing you from taking action. For example, you may want to earn a better return than you are currently receiving on your savings account, but don’t know which types of investments might be appropriate.

Record, electronically or by hand, all the things you wish to learn on the left side of a paper or document. Your list could include: “I want to prepare a budget that works;” “I want to invest in the stock market;” or “I want to earn income while I sleep.” Then, on the right side, rank each area in the order of importance or relevance to your most important goals.

Put your time to good use

To be successful in this mission you have to devote some of your free time towards your quest. Put down a time period in which you can commit to tackling each learning objective, but don’t be unrealistic about how long it will take to gain sufficient knowledge. Learning about money is really a lifetime effort, because you can discover something new every day.

Don’t use the excuse that you don’t have enough time to learn. If you do an audit on your usage of this precious resource, I’m sure that you will find many minutes or hours wasted in unproductive activities. You could use your long work commute to read a book or listen to a CD, and repurpose time spent on Facebook to surf the Internet for information instead.

Get free education fast

Gone are the days when you needed to spend a fortune over an extended period to gain an education about money. Once you have identified your topic of interest, you can start learning right away. The great thing about today’s technology is that it puts information right at your fingertips; you can access the knowledge you need almost immediately, and at little or no cost.

While I do advocate investing money in your financial education, don’t let a limited budget deter you from proceeding with your mission for this month. There are many free websites which can provide detailed information on any area of financial literacy, and the language is usually easy to understand. Just ensure that you verify the accuracy of a site before using it.

Build a resource library

You should make financial education a continuous goal; I recommend that you collect reading and listening material from financial experts and keep bookmarks on your computer of useful sites. Your money resource library will come in handy whenever you need to make a financial decision, and you should periodically review some of the material that you have already utilized.

Whenever I’m not sure how to handle a financial matter, I can usually find the solution in a book or resource, even from those that I may have studied years ago. You can always gain new insight or inspiration from your library that will help you to accomplish your goals. Next week, I will share some of the best places to learn about money.

Cherryl is a money coach, business mentor, and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. Her upcoming book, “The 3 Ms of Money” will reveal all the secrets she learned about financial success. Get more advice on money and business matters at www.financiallysmartadvice.comand Email comments to

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