They say April showers bring May flowers and I’m hoping that all the financial jewels dropped during financial literacy month spurs some people into action. I was inspired by the amount of time, effort and energy put into motivating folks to get their finances in order last month. 

As I scrolled, saved, and bookmarked interesting articles, tips, and tricks I thought about how overwhelming this might be for the people that chose April to kickstart their financial education. Where should I start? Who should I follow? Is this course, subscription, or e-book worth it? Is this information correct? Lots of good questions but the truth is that for the most part the answers will depend on your personal preference. 

Once you set out on your journey, you’ll find material that connects with you and how you like to learn, and some things that don’t. Unfortunately, scams, fake news, and drunk facts are real, so you’ll need to be careful who you decide to follow and do your due diligence. Here’s how to kickstart your financial education the smart way.

Follow Your Gut

As you are listening and learning your instincts will direct you. If you feel the person or information is inauthentic or just doesn’t sit right, move on. In this golden age of information, there are tons of options so follow your gut.  

 

Verify You’re Visiting a Legit and Secure Site

You want to ensure all websites you access are legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission received 2.8 million fraud reports last year and imposter scams were at the top of the list along with shopping scams.  Be sure to read reviews, check credentials, and the legitimacy of their website before buying resources from financial influencers, bloggers, or coaches you find in your exploration. Consumers lost $5.8 billion to fraud last year; you want to learn about money not lose it.  Be a smart explorer. 

 

Hear it Twice

There’s really nothing new under the sun.  Before beginning to implement anything that you’ve read or heard you should check a non-bias resource.  A place that has no financial interest in the outcome of your decision.  They may not give the exact same advice, but you should see some similarities. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website is a good source of truth for basic financial education. 

 

Finding quality information that is easy to understand and resonates with you may take some time. The good news is, there is plenty of content to choose from. These simple guidelines will help you navigate the sea of information available.