Young adults are more likely than older adults to admit they could benefit from financial guidance. In this article, we will briefly discuss financial goals and provide five resources to help adults of all ages plan for their financial future.
Sixty percent of Americans 18-34 define financial success as being debt-free. Three-quarters believe financial independence from their parents is the true mark of adulthood. Yet eight in ten early adult households already carry debt, usually on credit cards or through student loans. Over half (58%) struggle to achieve their goal of independence from parental support. (Merrill Lynch)
Experts agree there are three crucial steps to start meeting your financial goals:
- Create a budget
- Compile an emergency fund
- Pay down debt
Here are five resources to help you become more financially savvy.
- The Simple Dollar – This website compiles articles and information about strategies, tools, and products to help you on your journey to financial freedom. The information included here is a sort of Finance 101 that allows you to explore based on your current goals and learn as you go.
- Budget Worksheet – Planning your budget is an essential first step in reaching financial goals. While every person’s money situation and goals are different, the steps and requirements for building a budget remain the same. A budget worksheet is an excellent tool to work and rework your financial plans until they fit your needs.
- Credit Karma – Your credit score is an important factor in determining your ability to qualify for future loans, credit cards, and other financial accounts. Credit Karma is a free resource for monitoring not only your credit score but also keeping track of your financial security. The system allows you to see what accounts you have in your credit report and their current status. As a bonus, Credit Karma can supply you with notifications when your information has shown up in all the pesky personal information hacks big retailers and information houses have been suffering over the past few years.
- NerdWallet – If you are looking for a free service to help track your income, expenses, and credit score while also providing you with recommendations for your next financial move, NerdWallet is something you should investigate. In addition to providing real tracking and actionable insights, their website has additional articles and resources to help you bulk up on that Finance 101 education.
- Robinhood – Investing in stocks is one of the best ways to grow wealth. However, navigating the average stock investing programs can a headache. Many services also charge commissions or have minimum investments of $1,000 or more. Robinhood is designed for beginners in the world of stocks. They have a large learning area, an easy-to-use interface, and customizable options. The company is also working on rolling out opportunities for purchasing fractional shares for as little as $1.
No matter your definition of financial success, the basic principles of money management are essential to reaching your goals. Whether you want to pay off debt, become financially independent, or grow your wealth, these five resources can help you get started.