“Why am I always broke?”“Is my salary going to be enough to cover me on rainy days?” If you find yourself struggling with the most basic of financial management, you’re not alone. Plenty of working adults find themselves living from paycheck to paycheck, even years into their working life. Fortunately, there are increasingly plenty of (jargon-free) resources for you to get financially literate.
Audrey Tan and Lee Min Xuan, both 27, are the co-founders of financial education platform, PlayMoolah. During a recent interview, they shared with me that living from paycheck to paycheck is more common than people think, and few speak about it openly. Many people think this is a problem that affects only those who have just stepped into the workforce and that it will go away with time. The truth is, this affects not only young adults, but people from all walks of life and across different age groups. The duo believe the first step to tackling the problem is acknowledging that it is indeed an issue, and being honest about your need for help.
As someone who’s still on the journey of brushing up my financial knowledge, I understand that financial jargon can get overwhelming and intimidating at times. In fact, you may feel so embarrassed about your lack of financial know-how that you shun away from learning altogether. (How do I know? I’ve been there.) However, this shouldn’t be the case. Over time, I’ve come across several useful resources that are both judgment- and jargon-free, and I’ll like to share them with you today.
1. WhyMoolah App
From the creators of PlayMoolah, WhyMoolah is a mobile application that takes you through the different life stages – from graduation to retirement – and makes money simple to understand. You start by creating an avatar, and he/she will go through the various milestones in life, where you’ll have to deal with university loans, salaries, credit card applications, CPF, taxes, buying an HDB, a car, and more. So, instead of going to CPF, HDB, IRAS and MOM websites, all practical information is laid out in a fun and playable simulation.
Money management is just one part of the app. Players also have to make decisions on how they spend their time, to maintain their career, social, health attributes and manage their stress levels. That’s because founders Audrey and Min believe that money is just a tool and an enabler for the more important things in life. WhyMoolah demonstrates how current lifestyle decisions play out in the future, and introduces you to the financial tools and technical know-how without the jargon.
One of the latest initiatives from WhyMoolah is a meetup group called Honesty Circles. This is a free platform that brings together people who have questions about money and experts who have the relevant answers and insights. Here, you can ask any question you want without fear of looking silly or being judged. Click here to find out more.
While there are plenty of financial management books out there, a lot of them are written at a level that’s difficult to understand or may not be as relevant. One book I found helpful and refreshingly easy-to-understand was Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. Written in Sethi’s typical irreverent, no-bullshit style, this book is targeted at 20-to-35-year-olds, also known as the generation that’s “materially ambitious yet financially clueless”.
While the book touches on all four pillars of personal finance – banking, saving, budgeting, and investing – a lot of the tips are geared towards saving money and helping you gain basic financial literacy. This book is a good starting point if you often find yourself struggling to stay afloat.
“I Will Teach You To Be Rich” is available on Amazon.
Do you know of any other resources for working adults to get financially literate? Share with me in the Comments section below.
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.
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