Learn a New Language During Quarantine: The Language of Money
- Covid-19, including quarantine time, made us readjust how we think about spending and finances.
- Use the time to learn more about money and financial topics.
- Check out FDR's debt management guide to help you learn about controlling your debt.
The coronavirus lockdown has forced many of us to spend most of our days at home, giving us more free time, but less freedom. Luckily, it’s not difficult to find plenty of tips on how to stay sane and entertained while you’re in self-quarantine.
Some people have dedicated their newfound free time to learning a new language. While learning a language such as French, Spanish, or Mandarin can be exciting, did you ever consider learning the language of money? Yes, money has a language and learning it could have a positive impact on your current life and your future.
Let’s take a closer look at what the language of money is, and how you may benefit from learning at least some basic vocabulary.
What is the language of money?
How do you “speak money”? It’s not so much about learning new words, it’s more about learning more about how money works on a personal level. How does spending, saving, or investing affect your ability to live? Also known as financial literacy, the language of money is a way to understand what skills you may need to manage your money effectively. If you take the time to become financially literate, you may be better equipped to:
Budget and save: You’ll learn how to budget and save so that you can use your money to meet financial goals like buying a house, building a business, traveling, retiring, or saving for college.
Control debt: With strong money skills, may be able to pay down your debt and avoid taking on too much of it in the future. The less debt you have, the more money you have to enjoy life and pursue your dreams.
Prepare for emergencies: Unfortunately, financial emergencies often pop up when we least expect them. Knowing the language of money can help prepare you for the day your car breaks down, your child has an unexpected medical expense, or you lose your job.
Understand credit: Learn how credit is given, who gets it and why, and what it really costs to borrow money by loan or by using a credit card.
Invest: When you invest, you allow your money to work for you, which may lead to it growing over time and building wealth in the process. You can learn to invest in the stock market or real estate and build a fund to pass to future generations.
Give back: If you manage your money wisely, you’ll be able to help those in need or support a cause or organization you believe in.
Who should learn the language of money?
No matter where you are in life or what your financial situation currently looks like, you can benefit from learning the language of money. However, this skill is particularly important if you:
Are in debt: Since debt can limit your options and prevent you from living the life you desire, developing good money skills is a good way to help you get out of debt and stay out. Good skills and habits can reduce your likelihood of overspending and help you live at or below your means.
Don’t have a budget: A budget can ensure you have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. If you don’t have a budget or have trouble sticking to one, learning the language of money can help you change that – for the better.
Need an emergency fund: An emergency fund can do wonders for your peace of mind and help save you financially when the going gets tough.
Want guidance on how to invest: Investing can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. If you commit to financial literacy, you should get to know the ins and outs of investing and be able to make smart decisions that allow you to retire, save for college, and more.
How to learn the language of money
Fortunately, it doesn’t cost a fortune to learn to speak money. In fact, there are many ways you can become financially literate without spending a dime. Here are some of the best affordable and free ways to learn the language of money.
The internet: Go to Google and search for a money-related topic you’re unsure about or would like more information on. You’re bound to find countless articles to help you out.
Classes: Sign up for online financial courses on topics such as retirement planning, budgeting, or saving for college. Check out your local community college to see what’s available.
Podcasts and radio shows: There is no shortage of podcasts and radio shows dedicated to money. Check out So Money, The College Investor, and Smart Passive Income. These shows typically feature everyday people who want answers to their money questions. Chances are you can relate to some of them and learn from what they are or are not doing.
Finance professionals: Financial planners, tax accountants, and estate planners are a of finance professionals that will sit down with you and answer any personal financial questions you may have. A robo-advisor for investment planning or a financial consult that focuses on middle class clients may make this a less expensive option than you think.
The older generation: You may have a parent, grandparent, or friend who is older than you and has gone through an event like a depression or war or simply has a different take on how to manage money. Don’t be afraid to ask them to share their thoughts and insights so you can use their experience to your advantage.
Just the way you’d learn German by talking to someone from Munich, if you want to take your money knowledge to the next level, these resources are a great way to learn the basics of the language of money.
Learn the language of money with our free guide
Learning the language of money doesn’t need to be hard, and there is one more resource you can use. We have developed a simple to follow guide to help you find the tools you need to move to a better financial future. Get started by downloading our free guide right now.
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Financial Literacy & Education Resource Center (National Credit Union Administration)