How to Actually Get Better at Personal Finance in 2018

New year’s resolutions about money have been around since humans were trading coconuts for goat pelts, but for some reason people don’t seem very good at accomplishing these goals. Why is this? We’re just days away from a new year (or if you’re reading this in 2018, happy new year!). We’ve got to make an actionable plan if we’re going to make a difference in our own financial lives this year.

There’s a famous quote attributed to Socrates (he never said it, but let’s not spoil the effect) which says “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” These are wise words whoever spoke them, and they apply very well to the world of personal finance.

Finding a Better Way in the Top Finance Blogs

Becoming better with money is all about education. How can you make changes if you don’t understand what to change your typical behavior into? Possibly the best way to gain such an education in the realm of personal finance is to read the top finance blogs on the internet and start to apply the precepts taught there.

Why blogs? Well, we could easily recommend thick tomes to you, but most people don’t have the time or inclination to dig through difficult financial material. The beauty of blogs of twofold. On the one hand you’ve got simple ideas ensconced in short pieces of content, which can be read in minutes, easily digested, and incorporated in simple and practical ways.

The other reasons why finance blogs offer so much help is because they are written and maintained by real people. Do you have a question about a post, or about a topic which you haven’t seen covered? Ask the blogger. The best finance bloggers are very involved in the community that reads their site. Find one or more that have responsive writers/managers, and you could get some of the best financial advice of your life, tailored to your specific needs, for free.

How to Start Reading Your Way to Better Personal Finance Skills

Start small. Don’t pick up Marx’s Capital or The Wealth of Nations just yet. Instead, sit down with a couple of short posts that explain how personal credit works, so that you understand it a bit better than you currently do.

A great way to prioritize your reading is to start by asking the right questions. There are more personal finance blog posts than you could read in a single lifetime, so you’ve got to be organized in your search. Start by taking a close look at what is not working in your money life at this time. Can you not stay on budget? Do you even have a budget? Do you lack emergency savings? Are you totally unprepared for retirement? Are you worried that you’re paying too much or too little for taxes?

Once you’ve identified your priorities, do careful searches for short posts from reputable sources that explain how those ideas work. Once you understand them better, your new knowledge will give you ideas for further learning. Soon, your mind will have synchronized many different pieces of knowledge into a coherent system that will completely change how you use and save your money.

Some people will say “duh, that’s how learning works”, and that’s true. But so many of us don’t take the time to learn, and if we do we often don’t apply the things we’ve learned. Take the time to change matters in 2018, but understand that if you don’t have the education, the actions will never take place.


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