My Top 3 Self-Improvement Platforms for Personal Finance Management in 2017-2018

My Personal Finance Story

Learning to manage my personal finances has been a fun, challenging and rewarding journey that began in 2016 when I went on an exchange semester to Canada. Before that semester, I did not even know the basics of budgeting, and would wipe out my savings account the moment any money came in.

Having to save up for funds that would last me several months as well as survive with those limited funds were challenges that taught me how to budget wisely for the rest of my life. I went from being able to spend a few hundred within a matter of weeks to spending about USD7000 in total over the course of 5 months. This included accommodation, air tickets (the main bulk- USD3500), daily expenses, transport as well as all the essentials for a four-day trip to NYC- flights, AirBnb, food, subway, Broadway ticket, a trip to a jazz bar (I’ll probably do a detailed post on this sometime in the future breaking down exactly how I managed this).

Ever since that trip, I have continued to improve on my personal finance management. I find ways everyday to not only practice it, like thinking of creative ways to budget, but also to learn more about its different aspects. Here are my top three platforms. These have either helped me immensely in understanding a financial landscape and/or provided me practical, daily ways that help me manage my finances better.

My Top Three Personal Finance Platforms

1) Top Podcast: Listen Money Matters

I cannot rave about this podcast enough and indeed I have already blogged about this here.

This podcast is hosted by Thomas Frank and Andrew Fiebert. They discuss mostly money-related issues from how Bitcoin works, to all the different kinds of investments– skill sets, stocks, — to budgeting and finding a job. I have had my career and personal path undergo significant changes since 2016, and so far, I have always found at least a few podcasts relatable to whatever season I’m in, be it in the things I’m learning about or venturing towards.

What I’m listening to this season:

This season is one of investing for me– in skill sets, money-wise and the like. I am also learning about startups and entrepreneurial endeavours.

My best podcasts from LMM this season:

1) The Truth Behind the 10,000-Hour Rule: How to Become Great At Anything

This podcast talks about working wisely to learn or build something– a business, a skill– to maximise results instead of just mindlessly working hard.

2) The Real Difference Between a Rich Mindset vs. A Poor Mindset

This podcast is not about how rich people live vs. how poor people live. Instead, it lays out the differences between mindsets that may either sabotage ourselves in the long run or help us build capital sustainably.

2) Top YouTube Channel: The Financial Diet

This channel is (I feel) more directed specifically at people either in college, fresh out of college or still rather early in their career life. Ie. 20-30+ year-olds.

Their content is easily digestible, and presented very palatably.

A few of my favorite videos from TFD:

5 Terrible (But Common) Career Tips

How I Survived Being Fired (Multiple Times)

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting A Job

13 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently at 22

9 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently Post-Grad

3) Books!

I think books are a great resource to learn about anything, including personal finance. The books I list may not necessarily deal with financial topics directly eg, how to budget, but help me manage my finances in the long run in indirect or direct ways.

The Dip, Seth Godin, of course.

This book is about the Dip between beginner’s luck and the end result.

I have a post up about this book and why everyone should read it here.

Essentialism, Greg McKeown.

This book teaches its readers (or listeners, in my case), how to decide what things in life are absolutely essential, then say no to the rest, so that we can give our highest and best contribution to what truly matters.

the life-changing magic of tidying up, Marie Kondo

This book really helps me manage the things I own, pre-own or post-own. All its other benefits aside, minimalism definitely helps with budgeting. This book’s focus on personal physical space management also helped me to realise the value of maximising one’s personal real estate.

What’s Personal Finance Got To Do With Books?

If you’ve seen the rest of my blog, I mostly talk about books. So why a random post on a seemingly unrelated topic?

I strongly believe in the value of continuous growth and self-improvement. Books are just one major aspect and platform for that. And one area of life that has become increasingly important to me is that of personal finance management.

I love books and believe they truly improve our lives as long as we wisely curate our reading lists. (I’ll most probably write a post on that soon). But there are so many other fantastic platforms I use to gain more knowledge all the time, and I think awesome things should be shared. 🙂

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