There has never been a better time to talk finances than now. In 2020, we saw drastic swings in household income and spending. Jobs were lost, businesses closed, and schools operated differently.
With one in four parents never talking to their children about household finances, millions of Millennials are left figuring things out on their own and making decisions they never thought they’d face.
Luckily, there are many tools that can help you master your money at any stop on your personal, professional, and financial journey.
1. The Penny App
In the same year the pandemic hit, Penny launched. Penny is an app that makes learning about money easier by giving you the tools the education system doesn’t. It shares actionable insights from real people on savings, business, investments, and more.
On the app, many tools to master your money are mentioned in a variety of albums from many presenters to choose from. From the Penny app, select the topic you want to learn more about. You can choose from careers, debt, real estate, savings, small business, startups, and stock and options.
When you discover the topic that interests you, you’ll be able to choose an album with bite-sized content, or tracks, to pick and listen to. Think of it like a CD and each song is a new, specific topic within a broader one. All of the Penny presenters are Millennials who are financial experts on the topic you choose.
For example, in the real estate category, you’ll learn the ins and outs of investing, flipping, and buying your first house. One of the most listened to albums is titled Rental Properties: Unlocking your way to passive income. In this album, Ruth Devereaux talks about how she became a successful real estate investor managing multiple real estate properties across the country in nine tracks.
2. Profit First
For business owners big and small, it’s time to rethink how you manage your income and expenses so you are always profitable. Always.
That’s exactly what the book Profit First does – it ensures you’re paying yourself first. Conventional accounting uses the formula: Sales – Expenses = Profit. Author Mike Michalowitz has developed a behavioral approach to accounting to flip the formula: Sales – Profit = Expenses.
In the book, Michalowitz breaks down exactly how much money you should set aside for expenses, taxes, and salary to ensure that you have some profit left over. It even comes with a spreadsheet you can copy and make your own so you can easily track how you’re managing your money month by month. As soon as you start to see yourself get off track, it’s simple to spot and fix.
Using a spreadsheet to master your money is less about bells and whistles and more about simplicity and flexibility.
Alexis Cartagena, CPA for female entrepreneurs, says in order to deal with uncertainties when it comes to cash, you must have a way to accurately forecast your cash flow and a spreadsheet does this beautifully.
“Spreadsheets make it easy to quickly update your forecast with actual numbers so that your cash flow is always up to date,” Cartagena says. “With a few simple formulas, you’ll automatically be able to clearly see how much cash you’ll have in the future after all of your obligations.”
It’s also very easy to manipulate future numbers and play around with different scenarios to help you establish a flexible plan for how you want to spend your money.
4. Your Mind
Yes, your mind is a tool and it determines your relationship with money. No one knows this better than serial entrepreneur David Imonitie, founder of Believe Nation, a free platform dedicated to helping people achieve mental, physical, and financial health and well-being.
“I embody the law of attraction – the notion that you become what you think about,” Imonitie explains. “A person’s success is predicated on their way of thinking and faith. You have to have a clear picture of the end in mind.”
So how do you do this? Imonitie suggests using your words as a tool to manifest, visualizing and posting signs and images of what you desire and the goals you intend to accomplish, listening to positive music, inspirational thought leaders, and mantras, and finding a community that keeps you inspired to goal-chase.
This philosophy is the core of David’s thinking today and it fuels him to succeed. He tells people to continuously hold a vision of their future in their heads, even though for him, it wasn’t always easy.
On Instagram, David shares inspiration and tips daily, rooted in the mantra – that whatever you expose yourself to determines the trajectory of your life, and ultimately your success. Need support to master your money? Imonitie urges you to find a mentor or key figure whose success you want to model, and be humble enough to learn from someone who has what you want and has gone where you want to go.
Greenlight is a debit card for kids that is managed by parents. The card helps increase your children’s financial literacy in a hands-on way.
For parents, instead of hoping you have cash, you can just use the app that has a setting for parents to pay their kids allowance each week. It also has categories for “save” “spend anywhere”, and “give”. Parents can set it so that kids have to get their approval to “spend”.
Kids also get their own mastercard debit linked to their account, but don’t worry, it will only let them spend money in their “spend anything” category.
All of these tools have one thing in common – knowledge. Knowledge is power, so make 2021 the year you stop hiding from your numbers and shying away from conversations about money.