If you want to learn more about finance, so that you can make sure that your personal finances are in good shape, then you may wonder where to turn. There are lots of options but it is good to be aware of the pros and cons of each of them, so that you can be sure as to whether they are the best ones for you.
Using books can be a good way to get general knowledge. You will be able to find out how to budget, information about loans and saving etc. However, books do get out of date very quickly. The general information will not go out of date, but there is some information that will do and so it depends what sort of knowledge you want to gain. Of course, if you buy or borrow a pretty modern book then the information will be more up to date compared with an older one. However, you will not be able to get information about specific products, such as comparing rates on savings accounts with a book, but you will ne able to get information about the types of accounts that exist and what to expect from them in more general terms.
When you are looking or anything online you need to be wary. Think about who has written it and how qualified they are. Try to look at specialist websites that you trust such as the government run Money Advice Service or Money Saving Expert as well as finance charities. They will have up to date information which is not biased. There are also free training courses that you can take online through FutureLearn run by the Open University which can be very helpful. If it is maths that is your concern then there are also free maths courses that you can take. There are privately run websites which have information about finance as well as about making money which can still be useful. However, you need to make sure that you check the information that they give. Some might be biased, for example if they are recommending specific accounts it might be because they are earning commission on those.
Talking to People
Chatting to other people can be some help. If you are looking to change your bank or change a certain account, insurance policy or whatever, then chatting to others about what they would recommend would be handy. Consider first, whether you feel that person is responsible with money and whether you will trust their opinion. Also, if they say something is good or bad find out why. This will help you to decide whether they are looking for the same things that you are. For example, they may say they dislike a particular bank because they are only available online but you might be looking for an online bank so for you their disadvantage could actually be an advantage. However, if they have been treated particularly well or badly by a specific bank or building society then it can be great to know about it so that you are able to decide whether you feel that they will be one that you will want to use.
You may also be able to find out more form banks or building societies. Some will have areas on their websites where they have information that could help you. This could be about their particular products, but they might also have more general information as well. Do remember that they are a business and they want you to use them, so this will be a factor in your decision with regards to how much you take on board with regards to the information that they are providing.