Getting Smart With: Finances

A Piggy Bank

I believe our (American) government does its best to keep the citizens ignorant. They choose what to teach us (or not teach us) in schools. They convolute finances and the market with such ridiculous jargon you have to major in a subject to know what is going on. If we can get smart with finances, we loosen the grip on which they hold control over us. As it happens, I believe the same thing about being healthy and refusing to pay into the sick, healthcare system. But let’s talk money today.

As a recent novice of finances, I feel confident telling you that you can get smart with your money, and not buy into a fraudulent system. Here are a few steps that have worked for myself and peers and I hope they work for you, too.

  • Practice minimalism and conscious consumerism.
  • Avoiding debt is the first, imperative step to making money. If you are already in debt, I believe Dave Ramsey has a successful plan to help you pay it down.

  • Read up on it.
  • Finding multiple sources for advice is smart because you get a larger vantage point into what might and might not work for you and your family. I recommend: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, the Credit Karma blog, The financial mentor, a podcast like, “Listen: Money Matters”. Find sources that speak to you.

  • Pay yourself first.
  • This is a topic in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” which, while the book itself has antiquated anecdotes, important lessons come through that are timeless. If you pay yourself first, the bills and debt collectors will yell at you, motivating you to find more income to pay them off. That motivation piece has kept me scrappy and able to survive on small income, as I chase fulfillment and what makes me truly happy. I wish more people would chase happiness and fulfillment in their career. This is the ultimate way we pay ourselves first.

Whether or not the world ends or the economy crashes, we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and pursue education. You don’t have to invest all your money or buy into the system, but if you let the ignorance run your life, you aren’t ready for anything that comes. Getting smart with finances is taking back control of your life, and making money work for you. What other ways do you pursue education with finances and not letting money control you?