Personal finance covers all areas of your money life
Your finances are a sort of ecosystem. Savings, debt, investments, spending, insurance, taxes - they are all inter-related. Factors like the economy, interest rates, and the stock market are external forces impacting your financial health.
Also in the ecosystem are personal situations like family and work, and feelings like happiness, guilt, embarrassment, discouragement, and satisfaction. It's a complex bubble!
Personal finance encompasses five main areas, as described in the table below.
That seems like a lot
It is a lot. And it can be messy.
You might not know where to start or how to organize or sort through your finances. You can hire someone
to help you started and on the right path, or you might need someone to guide you through the whole
process of getting your financial life in order. See the article on Paying for Financial Advice to read more.
You should look at all of theses areas at some point. You don't have to do it all at once, though. Start with the most pressing item, which might be your debt or your cash flow.
Personal finance resources
There are so many resources available to help you learn about personal finance. Books, websites, podcasts,
and blogs contain a ton of education and advice.
In fact, there is so much information available, it's overwhelming. It can be hard to know which information and advice is reliable, unbiased and aligned with what you need ...or even important. Be cautious of personal finance blogs
that produce new content too often - I've found that sometimes the topics become a little obscure
and not very relevant for most people. Just because it's on the front page of a website, it doesn't mean it's important.
Getting some personal financial advice complements your own reading and research because an experienced professional can give you guidance based on your situation. This is so valuable.
The field of personal finance is not full of revolutionary ideas and strategies. The old tried and true approaches, for the most part, are all you need. Read my article on some of these here.