Before I began my financial turnaround, I knew only the basics about personal finance. In fact, to be honest, I probably didn’t even have a basic grasp on most things money. After all, I’d spent most of my 20s frittering away any earnings on junk, and had accumulated credit card debt acquiring even more stuff.
I figured since I didn’t have any money, there wasn’t much point in trying to learn advanced financial concepts. Fortunately, my attitude changed.
I’m not sure if it was the law of attraction, dumb luck, or divine intervention, but it seemed like once I started learning about money, I had more to practice with. Of course, I was working harder, too, recognizing that in the short term the only way to get more money was to work for it.
I started blogging about personal finances, with the realization that the best way to learn something is to try to teach it (or in this case, write about it).
I began reading books on the subject of money. I subscribed to our local newspaper and read the business section (something I usually passed over for the sports section). I began listening to some money shows on the radio – first a guy named Bruce Williams, then Clark Howard, then Dave Ramsey.
As the pieces began to come together it was obvious that winning at personal finance was a fairly simple equation – spend less than you earn, and save the rest. But it was putting this into practice that I found so challenging. It helped to surround myself with like-minded people – fellow bloggers, authors, talk show hosts, etc.
Four Ways to Find Financial Motivation
Find a mentor. My frugal mentor was my grandfather. He was a great teacher because he taught by example, not from some formal financial plan. He kept things simple, avoided going into debt, drove two vehicles for nearly 20 years each, lived in the same house for 33 years, and refused to try to keep up with the Joneses.
Join an online community. After finding Dave Ramsey on the radio, I learned of a community called My Total Money Makeover where I could download podcasts of the show, participate in forums with other listeners, and use some of their tools to track my debt snowball, budget, etc. It was money well spent, and I’ve been a member there for going on six years now. By the way, they’re currently offering a special discount to Frugal Dad readers if you sign up using the link above.
Read personal finance magazines. I used to think these were such a bore. However, I have acquired a taste for reading things like Kiplingers (my personal favorite), Money, and Smart Money.
Check out a few motivating personal finance books.
Where do you find motivation for personal finance? Bonus points if your answer includes FrugalDad.com!