Money Fundamentals: Personal Finance 101 Resource Guide

Are you looking to get a handle on your money? Want to achieve your financial goals?

To manage your money and create wealth, you’ll need a strong grasp of personal finance basics. This guide will help you strengthen your money skills.

Getting Started

Personal finance is the use of financial management principles with respect to individual finances. The area of focus is on managing money, budgeting, saving and spending while taking various future risks and life events into consideration.

Your Mindset & Money

Knowledge is power. Financial knowledge is life changing.

The lack of understanding of money and finances impacts overall wellbeing. Making informed financial decisions will help you achieve your financial and life goals.

Setting your financial goals

Personal finance means you get to choose and set your personal financial goals. For example, everyone needs a place to live, but you decide where you’ll live or if you’ll rent or buy.

Creating a spending plan (budget)

A big part of personal finance is creating a budget or a spending plan.  A budget allocates your resources accordingly to achieve your financial goals. Budgeting is the process in which you create your plan to track your income and expenses–how much you save and spend. Learn more >

Banking and Financing

Banking is a service that handles cash, credit, and other financial and monetary transactions. When you are banking, you’re performing financial transactions such as writing a check, depositing cash, using a debit card.

Banking services are offered by banks and credit unions. There is also a growing number of financial services companies that offer banking services through websites and apps.

Your primary banking relationship is typically a bank or credit union you deposit and store your cash. Many banking institutions offer savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposits, debit cards, and other financial instruments.  Learn more >

Financial institutions use your deposits to issue loans that include mortgages, personal loans, car loans, and other types of loans.

Saving

We all know how important saving money really is to achieve financial wellness. But how many people are saving money to meet their future needs? If you look at headlines, you’ll come to discover some startling statistics.

Spending Habits

Spending means paying money for things and experiences. Habits are regular practices often hard to give up or change. We often make purchase decisions without paying much attention to the thoughts that run through our minds. Learn more > 

Managing Credit

Credit is an important tool and you must learn how to build, manage, and use credit wisely. If credit is misused it can lead to debt and prevent you from achieving financial goals. Credit is any type of borrowed funds that you pay interests on and must repay under an agreement. Credit is offered by banks, credit unions, and other financing companies.

Make it a priority to understand how credit works. Create a practice to pay credit cards in full each month and make loan payments on time.

How you handle credit is reported to credit bureaus. Credit bureaus and credit scoring companies (such as FICO and VantageScore) generate credit scores used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness.

Debt Payoff

We can’t ever feel at peace when debt is in our life. Debt is a ball-and-chain that prevents us from living our dream lifestyles. Whether you have a mountain of student loans or credit card debt being shackled to these obligations is a frightful one. Debt can cause stress impacting your health and wellbeing.

Investing

Investing is the act of committing money to an endeavor with the expectation of earning additional income or profit. There are a number of ways you can invest such as with stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate or your own business. There are many pros and cons to investing but depending on your risk tolerance one may be a better fit for you. Learn more >

Retirement Planning

Retirement is leaving one’s position or occupation from active working life or have chosen to leave the workforce. The concept of retirement is a relatively new concept in developed countries. There is no mandatory retirement age in the United States however specific government benefits required federal minimum age must be meant before benefits are paid. Learn more > 

Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry  – a great book that gives you the money basics everyone should have

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School by Cary Siegel – an easily read book that gets right to the point about money.

You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness by Jason Vitug – improving your relationship with money and challenging your money beliefs