Author Topic: New to financing, don't know where to start?  (Read 2599 times)

Turntable Dymanite

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New to financing, don't know where to start?
« on: December 18, 2013, 08:22:26 PM »
Hello! I am utterly new to the world of financing, and am currently trying to plan out my future lifestyle and way of living, but I'm not sure where to start. Does anyone recommend specific articles, websites, books, etc. that explain the ins and outs of money and financing down to the very basics, such as bank accounts, investments, the 401k plan..? (all of which and subsidiaries I know little of or how to properly execute)

*Currently a junior in high school and don't have to pay for anything, but I want to get started on a clean slate with financial knowledge and not end up in any debt traps or financial pitfalls when I have to support myself - I want to have a basic goal plan before jumping into college and life (Still deciding if college would be beneficial to me or not, may not be a factor)
*Planning how to monetize all projects/hobbies I want to do and set up income revenues, but have very limited knowledge on what to properly do with the money I'd earn, or how to finance/invest at all - Probably need advice on properly setting up those income revenues as well
*Aiming at being a freelancer/entrepreneur to my own projects and seldom work under anyone, save for occasional commissions, so no employee benefits - Any financial advice specific to aspiring entrepreneurs/freelancers greatly appreciated!
*Any materials specific to how to plan and finance an online business/project team and efficiently run one appreciated as well - Still debating on whether to lean on entrepreneurship or freelancing, though
*I'd love to listen to any personal experiences regarding financing, stories of supporting self after school, tips from experience on what and what not to do? - Stories from entrepreneurs and freelancers as well!

I've come to realize I can't figure out how to structure my lifestyle by myself and have desperately been searching for help to no avail, so many thanks in advance for any and all help offered!

HiItsMe

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Re: New to financing, don't know where to start?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 09:08:20 PM »
I sure liked reading about a young person with an interest in finances!
First, I will say that "financing" usually means "borrowing money", so there's that vocabulary advice for you from an English teacher. :-)

When I was first working, at a business office, I was really lucky to have a boss who knew a lot about things like retirement plans, saving money, all that. I would say that if you find a trusted mentor-type person who you can just walk up and ask a question without feeling dumb, that's a good place to start. Sometimes grandparents, uncles, etc can do this too. They can help you understand financial documents and learn what some of the lingo means.

Thirdly, I now work as a teacher at a community college, (very fun!) with students who are just a little older than you. It is pretty sad how a bunch of them don't take their student finances seriously by getting lower than a 2.0 (this is a 'C') in their class. They don't realize that if their grades are too low, they might have to PAY BACK student loans or grants! This is a terrible waste of money. I'd say to a person in high school that they should be pretty serious about trying hard in college if they are planning to go. If a student is feeling burned out after graduation, take some time to earn some money.

Good luck!



Turntable Dymanite

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Re: New to financing, don't know where to start?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 09:26:43 PM »
Thanks! I've tried talking to my high school counselor about college, but haven't found anyone I could talk to about finances yet (doesn't help when most of my family's given up on saving money.) I haven't necessarily been seeking out a mentor though, I'll try doing that next.

Yeah that's the main thing that gets my goat when trying to find articles on saving money, I'll get confused on what financing really means and how investing and all that works, so I get lost really quick reading the mustache articles on money. Do you know any websites or articles that addresses this terminology?

galliver

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Re: New to financing, don't know where to start?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 10:20:14 PM »
Does your school offer consumer economics or other economics classes? You could seek out the teacher even if you aren't in the class (yet, sometimes that's a senior-year class). They could at least recommend a book, website, or worksheets to get you started. Or I found this site. Not sure how much of this information you could use: http://www.themint.org/teens/

I haven't touched on investing or 401k's too much myself yet, I'm reading about it, and I agree it's confusing to get into! (I didn't take the fast-track to retirement, I'm 25 and went to graduate school after college, which doesn't pay a lot or have 401k's).

But, here's what I'd tell my sibling/cousin/younger friend:
-Money: The basic rule this site/forum and any site worth its weight will tell you: earn as much as you can and spend as little as you can; save the difference. You'll have to weigh this against: doing what you love, being social with friends, being comfortable, spending in line with your values (e.g. tithing, charity, sustainable/free-trade). **However**, make it a rule to NEVER spend more than you have in the bank (exceptions: education, mortgage, possibly truly desperate need).

-School: Figure out ahead of time if it will help your career. I wanted to do engineering, so that was a no-brainer, but it might be more complicated for you. Maybe you only need an associates degree to work in your field, or none at all. If you choose to go, optimize costs, keeping in mind that community college and/or state school might not be the best value even if they're the best cost. Some private schools offer great grant aid, so don't be afraid to apply if it looks like you might qualify. Of course look for and apply for scholarships. Try to avoid loans (massive debt!) but if you can't be very aware of how much you are taking on and how you will pay it back.

-Jobs: I feel like some people never hear this: there are more entry-level/student jobs out there than retail and burgers. I've never worked retail or food service; I've been a tutor and a camp counselor which both paid better and gave more satisfaction. My bf's sister made good money and better connections as a babysitter. Bf himself worked as an assistant to a contractor or electrician; got some good skills. Sounds from your username like you might DJ or have an interest in music? If that's true, use that. A high school friend of mine acquired some recording equipment and then offered his recording and editing services to local bands. Another got some gigs as an accompanist around local schools. Don't just focus on one talent, try to think of everything you can do and why someone would pay you for it. Then go sell it.

-Credit: debt, or people lending you money. Open up a credit card to charge to and pay off every month. This builds your credit history (a record of your borrowing and repayment that companies or landlords will use in the future to decide if they want to lend to you, or even judge your overall responsibility). Good history can make life a little easier, bad history can make life hell. More: http://www.consumer.gov/articles/1009-your-credit-history#!what-it-is

-Taxes: Don't be afraid of them, the basics of individual taxes are easy, but be wary if you start a business (look it up/ask for advice).

MrsPete

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Re: New to financing, don't know where to start?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 08:26:11 AM »
First, congratulations on realizing that money isn't something that just "works out".  Many people much older than you don't know that, or they realize it too late.  At this point you realize you lack knowledge, but that puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your peers.  Don't think, though, that you're alone:  I have a daughter your same age, and she also recognizes the wisdom of avoiding consumer debt.  Those of you who have an early inkling of frugal living may be in the minority, but you're not alone!

Second, I suggest you read.  MANY books are available at the library on financing, frugal living, college expenses, and more.  Just go to the library, find the right section, and start reading.  Some books will be more useful to you than others, so read what comes naturally to you first -- but do solider through the things that don't come as naturally to you.  You have the luxury of time.  You're not pushed to understand everything right now.

Last, investigate ways to attend college cheaply -- that is more immediate for you than the need for saving for your long-term future.  Obviously, avoiding student loans will give you a huge jump in the world. 

And good luck to you.