After college, I began working and bringing in a regular income. But what I found mystifying was knowing exactly where to put all of my money. Afterall, I wanted to invest my money so that it would generate even more money for me in my sleep. The problem was that I just didn't know which banks, CDs, stocks, mutual funds, brokerage services, and retirement plans to choose. With all of the overwhelming decisions that needed to be made when you suddenly "grow up", I found it easiest to simply leave most of my money in my checking and savings account. Of course, while filing my taxes this year, I realized that I only made a few dollars and pennies on interest this year. I lost the opportunity to make more earnings on the money I saved this year and wished I had learned how to invest my money earlier so that I didn't find financial jargon so intimidating, overwhelming, and boring.
I think there are several ways that young kids can get a jump-start learning about finances in bite size amounts before they "grow up." Parents can take their kids to the bank to help choose a CD and in the process explain how CDs work. Parents can buy their kids a savings bond and calculate how much it will be worth in the future. Parents can buy their kids a small amount of stock for one of their favorite companies and monitor the stock's performance periodically. Parents can even hire their kids for small jobs and aid their kids in filing their own taxes. Or the kids can get a part-time job at their local bank as a teller. Such exposure to finance terminology and concepts will begin a personal finance education that will be quite useful later in life as the children transition into adulthood.
I have decided that it is time for me to take responsibility for my lack of personal finance knowledge. I am going to gain more personal finance knowledge by doing my own internet research, talking to people, and reading books on various subjects including: tax laws, investing, retirement planning, estate planning, and checking/savings accounts. Though I don't find personal finances a particularly intriguing subject (and it doesn't help that the laws are constantly changing), I must keep in mind that the time I spend now is an investment for my future. Ideally, if I can learn how to manage my money now, my money will grow with time so I can have financial freedom in the future. Wouldn't it be great not to worry about money? And wouldn't it be great to take vacations in different places of the world and still have plenty of money left for retirement? Well, I really hope that I can stay motivated to spend time learning about money now because I definitely think it will be worth it and pay off in the long-run.