Want to give the perfect gift? Give something that will last a lifetime: the gift of understanding money.
There are few things more important than financial knowledge, because it’s something that can alter the path of your life. It can make the difference between getting rich and just getting by.
Hyperbole? Not at all. For example, if you save $500 a month over your 40-year working life and earn 5% on it, you’ll end up with a nice nest egg: about $725,000. But if you can double that return to 10%, you’ll retire with about $2.7 million.
Would an extra $2 million change your retirement?
Or consider credit. As I write this, a person with a credit score in the highest range can borrow money for a 30-year mortgage at 2.376%, on average. A person with a score in the lowest range would pay 3.965%. Not much of a difference, right?
Well, if you borrow $300,000, getting the lower rate would mean paying about $94,000 less over the life of the loan. That’s enough to put your kids through college, start your own business or retire earlier. And all you had to do was have good credit.
These are simple examples of how learning leads to earning.
Skills like managing debt, building credit, developing a spending plan, buying a house, investing for retirement, planning your estate, financing college and reducing your tax bill will do more than just make you, or your gift recipient, richer.
They’ll also lead to making solid decisions and realizing goals, which reduces stress and enhances confidence.
Feeling in control means feeling better about life.
In short, financial knowledge will change your life — physically, financially and emotionally.
All of which begs the question: If knowledge of personal finance is critical, why do so few of us take the time to learn it? I think there are three reasons.
Why we don’t learn financial fundamentals
First, traditionally, personal finance hasn’t been taught in schools, so few develop a foundation. Thanks to organizations like the JumpStart Coalition and the National Endowment for Financial Education, this is starting to change, but that does little good for those of us long past school age.
Second, too many of us don’t understand the impact that small amounts of money can make over long periods of time, so we don’t bother to learn the fundamentals.
Finally, there are those who simply think studying money is like studying medicine: too complicated to easily grasp. When the subject comes up, their eyes glaze over. They develop a mental block that lasts a lifetime.
How to master money
The ultimate solution for personal finance education is for everyone to take “Personal Finance 101” in high school, then perhaps “201” in college. But until that’s an option, it’s up to you to master money on your own and help those around you do the same.
One way to get educated is to do what you’re doing now and regularly check out sites like Money Talks News. (Sign up here for our FREE newsletter for great info daily!) Another, more direct route is to take a course specifically designed to teach you everything you need to know.
That’s why I created one. It’s called Money Made Simple.
Money Made Simple is an online course — no waiting for books in the mail! — with lessons on 13 key financial topics featuring short, easy-to-watch videos, as well as jargon-free articles and worksheets. The chapters cover everything you need to know about:
- Setting and achieving goals
- Organizing your finances
- Living more while spending less
- Destroying debts
- Buying and owning cars
- Income taxes
- Real estate
- Estate planning
Money Made Simple isn’t the only “Personal Finance 101” course out there, but I think it’s one of the best. And it’s the perfect gift, since, for a limited time, it’s also one of the least expensive courses out there.
You can now purchase it for yourself or as a gift for only $24: That’s 50% off the usual $49 price! (Note: This is a limited-time offer that can change anytime.) The course is also guaranteed: If you’re not happy, let us know within 30 days, and we’ll refund you — no questions asked.
Ready to invest in yourself or help someone else?
If you’d like to learn more before purchasing, no worries: Click here.
But whatever you do, do yourself and your loved ones a favor: Learn financial fundamentals. Turn your doubt into confidence. Win your retirement. Realize your goals. Know where you’ve been, where you’re going and how to get there.
In short, take control of your money. I absolutely, positively guarantee you’ll be glad you did. And if you know someone who could use some knowledge — and don’t we all? — here’s the gift that will keep giving for a lifetime.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.