Financial literacy training has long-term benefits that directly impact the lives of your participants. Studies show that by receiving money management lessons people are more likely to save, invest, stay out of debt and have more money saved for retirement.
Besides the obvious benefits mentioned above, financial literacy training also impacts many other areas of our lives. As many are aware, money issues are the leading causes of: stress, relationship strain, unhealthy coping behaviors, divorce and reduces our productivity. All of these symptoms of financial illiteracy can affect our emotional state and impact those we care about most.
Financial literacy training is valuable at any age; however, the sooner you learn basic money management lessons the bigger advantage that you will have. This article will explore training tips from top rated financial literacy experts and answer the pressing question – ‘What should I look for in a financial literacy training program?’
To find a program that will best help you or the people you serve reach their goals, first locate a course that blends education with real world execution. Why have people created a fake budget when you can have them work on their own personal budget right there in class? These real life activities have participants already taking the positive action steps they need to properly manage their finances.
It is important to locate an instructor that is sensitive to the issues surrounding money. There are many people who would feel embarrassed showing their budget or net worth to others. A highly-skilled instructor knows what is acceptable to share and what may lead people to write down incorrect data purposefully to protect their ego.
The next thing you want to locate when choosing a personal financial literacy training course is material that combines theory-based lessons with practical application. In high school, we all had to learn about gross domestic product (GDP), fiscal policy and macroeconomic trends which are all important to know. For some reason, they skipped the lessons that we really needed – the personal financial lessons. The same applies to the subject of math. It’s good to know how to solve X + 4 = 8 but should those lessons also include basic money management skills. So when choosing a financial education course make sure instead of just giving you the theory of compounding interest, they cover its impact on you and provide the step-by-step instruction on how you can take advantage of this ‘theory’.
One of the most important factors in gauging the effectiveness of financial literacy training is the participant’s experience. Finding a program that is engaging and educational will keep you interested and your mind will absorb the data better. When we are bored our mind is not focused – we think about staying awake and the natural tendency of the brain is to drift off. This is especially true for subjects where we have had past negative experiences.
The subject of money is an emotional issue that reaches people on many different levels. By ensuring the financial literacy training you chose is fun; it will help to sooth past financial regrets and keep you focused on your goals. A quality financial education program will help you understand the connection between your emotions and the decisions you make with your money.
Take some time to find the financial literacy training program that will best accommodate your objectives. A little knowledge can go a long way – especially when it comes to the subject of money. Good luck and keep learning.
Financial Literacy Training Goals
The main objective behind any financial literacy training program is to help you afford those things you want to do in life while securing your future. With that said, start any program with the end in mind.
Fast forward to the end of your life and start listing out everything you want to do and accomplish by then. Work backwards and carefully think through your goals. Take some time on this exercise and adjust it over time. Once you feel your list is complete then start to calculate how much money you need to do those things you want. And if retirement is one of those ‘wants’ calculate how much you will need to retire.
The next step is to figure out your annual cost of living. Write out what your expenses are now and estimate any future cost of living increases. Then add up the totals through the end of your life expectancy. That number is how much you need you will need to accomplish everything on the list.
For many people who number is shocking, it is no wonder most people ever calculate how much they need to retire. Contrary to the saying, ignorance is NOT bliss, especially when it comes to your money. A good financial literacy training program will help you determine how much you will need and prepare you for the emotional shock that often comes with this exercise.
There are two ways you can reach your goals – 1) achieving that high of net worth 2) building up cash flow that will allow you to afford those items you want. Your financial literacy training goal basically comes down to successful achievement the net worth or cash flow needed to complete your ‘wish list’.
The best place to start your financial literacy training is by getting a qualified financial coach to help you. Financial coaches give unbiased opinions on potential investments, help you cover the basics of your finances and provide support for needed questions. Leverage this relationship and discover the areas you need to improve and focus your initial training on those areas.
Now that you have some direction, immerse yourself in study. It does take effort but the confidence you gain when you are ‘in the know’ is well worth the effort. Also consider the amount of time it can cut down your working years if you had the knowledge to get your money working for you.
Once you have the knowledge, a good team and renewed confidence; now it’s time to take action. This is where most people go wrong in their financial literacy training. They take all the other steps but do not follow through with consistent, positive, action.
With any financial education course, you take make sure to follow it up with an immediate action step. For instance, if you read a book on stock market investments then immediately start to review potential investments, schedule an appointment with a professional or sign up for an account. Just take risk-free action immediately to get the momentum going.
Financial literacy training courses can be valuable in helping you gain the knowledge and take action. Many have accountability features to keep you on course and getting closer to your goal daily.