My suggestions for podcasts, books and blogs to boost your financial skills

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Everyone wants to get smarter with money, but not everyone knows where to start. That’s why we are here! Whether you’re starting with the basics or want to dive deep into more advanced skills, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you learn – and many are fun and entertaining too! I have a few strategies and sources to help you sort through the noise and get your financial knowledge flowing.

Establish a game plan

Getting your money in order can seem daunting, especially if it’s not something you’ve done in the past. But don’t be intimidated, you really can learn anything! There are amazing resources to help you every step of the way. And the benefit of learning on your own is that you can go at your own pace and try different approaches to see what works best.

If you don’t know where to start, do a self-assessment. What money topics are you most motivated to learn? Maybe budgeting and tackling debt is a priority, or maybe you want to better understand your investment choices.

Once you’ve decided on a topic, consider your lifestyle and learning style. If you’re back in the office with a long commute, podcasts or audiobooks might be just right for you. Or maybe you’re a person who loves to write and likes to show off a physical book (call me old school, but that’s me!). Whatever your style, there are plenty of resources that will work for you.

Find reliable resources

Start with sources that you know are reliable. It seems obvious, right? Look for industry-leading websites and newsletters, industry experts, and resources with a long track record. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a website with consumer education resources on topics like mortgages, credit cards and student loans. Other reputable organizations, local and national, offer free courses in different areas of financial literacy that can also be used to build your basic knowledge.

Once you know the basic facts, you can branch out into sources that offer advice, checking each expert’s opinions against what you already know.

Influencers: understand why

Online influencers are often one of the easiest places to learn about something you know nothing about. They can be good for motivating you to get started. They feel close because many of them are self-taught. They can be part of your learning process, especially when figuring out what you want to learn.

When looking at various influencers, keep a few things in mind. Often their advice is based on their background, which you can learn a lot from, but the information and advice may not be easily applied to your background. Also, when it comes to learning about money, some influencers will have an agenda. They may have paid partnerships with brands they discuss, which means some of their recommendations might not be completely innocent. They participate in a $13 billion industry to earn a living. Before you start learning from a particular source, it can be beneficial to do some research to understand how they are paid. Ask yourself: what makes this person an expert? Do they have certifications, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation? Will they benefit from your choice to purchase a product they recommend?

Here are some of my favorite sources for getting better with money:

For readers:

  • The psychology of moneyby Morgan Housel, focuses on how our beliefs and habits shape our approach to personal finance – and how to make better choices.
  • Thinking about bets, by Annie Duke, explores how to make better decisions in the face of uncertainty.
  • You’re a badass to make money, by Jen Sincero, starts with mindset and how to change your financial life from within.
  • A piece of the action, by Joe Nocera, is a deep dive into the history of credit cards, IRAs, and other financial products that changed the way America’s middle class manages money.
  • Articles from yours truly! On everything from money advice on saving, budgeting, travel, career and investing, to signing up for my emails.

For listeners:

  • The how to earn money podcast with Joel and Matt is a down-to-earth podcast on personal finance topics, focusing on common issues like paying off debt and starting investments. You can feel Joel and Matt’s passion for helping others succeed financially as you listen.
  • NPR Silver Planet podcast tackles seemingly complex topics like inflation or the supply chain in a simple and entertaining way.
  • The Financial podcast with Bobbi Rebell shares personal finance tips from high-achieving guests from all walks of life.
  • The On purpose with Jay Shetty podcast tackles broader self-help topics like relationships, anxiety, and work-life balance through insightful conversations with experts.

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Portrait of Lindsey BellLindsey Bell, Chief Markets and Money Strategist at Ally, is an award-winning investment professional with a passion for personal finance and over 17 years of experience on Wall Street. Bell’s unique ability to connect the dots between data and real life and create small money ideas that people can use and apply stems from her deep experience as an analyst, researcher and portfolio manager. in organizations such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. She is known for demonstrating why and how an understanding of all things money improves a person’s finances and overall well-being. An ongoing CNBC contributor, Bell empowers consumers and investors of all backgrounds and frequently shares her insights with The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Kiplinger’s, Forbes and Business Insider. She also sits on the board of Better Investing, a non-profit organization focused on investment education.

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