Know Your Numbers

Money is a life skill

It’s the holidays, and that means most of you are probably spending more money than usual on gifts, food, drinks, clothes, and more. While it’s great to celebrate this time of year, are you someone who keeps track of your spending or are you someone who just waits for surprise credit-card-bills in the mail?

Money is a Life Skill.
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If you’re a Rich Woman or studying to be one, you are probably familiar with your numbers and have no problem managing your money. But if you are scared of numbers and would rather just spend without knowing how it affects your financial well-being, this blog is for you.

As I say in “It’s Rising Time!,” if you want to be financially fit and reach your dreams of financial freedom, you’ve got to be comfortable with your numbers, which are simply your scorecard on how well you are managing your money. And don’t worry if you aren’t comfortable dealing with numbers. Most of us were not taught about money and finances in school. If so, we learned basics from someone who was not necessarily experienced in the subject or received a “sales pitch” from a bank or financial institution that wanted our money.

Today, there is an increased focus on teaching young people about finances. For example, President Obama’s National Financial Capability Challenge came out in April, over 300 financial education experts just met at the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit in Manila to discuss bringing financial literacy to youths and PrivateBank, Money Savvy Generation and the Big Shoulders Fund just partnered to bring financial education to Chicago schools. But note that these organizations are headed by financial institutions or the government. Do they have their own agendas?

While these organizations may provide financial information, it’s not enough. Today’s youth need to be exposed to financial literacy from various sources, not just from financial institutions or government programs focused on their IRAs, investment funds, savings accounts, and more. That’s why we’re creating new, financial education applications, tools and games at The Rich Dad Company and using the latest technologies to help everyone increase their financial literacy (look for some exciting, new things coming in 2013!).

And learning about your numbers is not rocket science. You just need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide… so if you are scared to look at your numbers, it’s time to stop thinking negatively and…

Change Your Attitude About Numbers Right Now.
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Numbers are not scary. But if you’d rather not deal with them, it’s probably a sign of something else.

  • Maybe you know you are spending too much?
  • Perhaps you rely on someone else to handle your finances for you?
  • Or maybe you just don’t want to admit you are just too lazy to learn what’s necessary to be financially-free?

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it’s time to wake up and take action! And here’s a simple activity to help you overcome your fear of numbers. As one of my teachers told me,

“If you can’t define it, then you can’t have it.”

When you come across something you don’t understand, look it up. For example, some of the numbers you’ll need to know on your journey to financial freedom are:

  • P/E (Price/Earnings)
  • NOI (Net Operating Income)
  • ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Cash Flow
  • Assets/Liabilities

If you don’t know what any of these words mean, look them up right now. You’ll instantly increase your financial intelligence and feel more comfortable about these “numbers.”

If you are overspending right now and are fearful of your holiday bills (or are just ignoring the fact that you are wasting money on liabilities), stop and take a look at your numbers. You’ll have a better understanding of where you are, start to overcome your fears and begin to take control of your financial situation.

And if you already use numbers to your advantage, don’t stop learning. The more you increase your financial literacy, the more confidence you will have moving forward with your goals of financial freedom. The choice is up to you… You can remain dependent on others and your fear of the numbers, or you can do something about it and become a Rich Woman!

How are you going to increase your vocabulary today to increase your financial education?

To find out more and get one step closer to financial freedom, check out our free, Rich Dad Community here.

Original publish date: December 20, 2012