Achieving financial literacy
January 5, 2013 8:59 PM   Subscribe

I want to find a person or class to help me understand basic tenants of financial literacy -- someone who can do everything from helping me create a basic household budet to helping me understand my taxes, retirement plan options, and what to do with my employer-granted stock.

From what I understand, this kind of comprehensive, educational but also practical service is not something provided by an accountant, tax preparer or financial planner, all of whom deal with different aspects of the issues I outlined, and none of whom would really be suitable for doing the very basic budget-level stuff with me.

I would much rather sit in a room with someone and ask them questions than try to figure all this out through books or websites, but if you have great novice-level text resources to recommend, please do so.

Ideally, I'd like to hear about specific professions, people or organizations in the California Bay Area.
posted by pocketfullofrye to Work & Money (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
So basically what you need to do is learn why people go to financial planners, tax consultants, and accountants. What I would recommend that you do is start listening to the podcasts of Marketplace Money Weekend (make sure the podcast is weekend, not weekday). And they will educate you on all the things you are lacking. Go thru the whole archive. You'll learn a lot. If you don't have time to listen to those podcasts, look for the book Get a Financial Life. The author will go step by step through all of the very basic financial skills that you need (don't rely on the tax planning advice though - it's out of date).
posted by Brent Parker at 10:09 PM on January 5, 2013

Coursera's got an Intro to Personal Financial Planning course starting in a week or so. The videos and forums might be a good supplement to something you find locally.
posted by strivesc at 10:54 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

The FDIC offers the Money Smart curriculum. See if you can find a class locally.
posted by dhartung at 11:25 PM on January 5, 2013

I'm still a fan of Andrew Tobias's The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need as a good introduction to everything you've mentioned. He's got an easy to read, conversational style of writing that can help cut through what I feel can be the deliberate obfuscation of a lot of financial advice. For $10, it's a good place to start.
posted by Bron at 7:09 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Look into the offerings from your local community college. Mine, for instance, has a community education course for creating a personal finance plan.

Drawback: non-flexible schedule, and a classroom setting. You might be able to set up one-on-one time with the instructor to get more in-depth information on your own situation.
posted by 1367 at 7:37 AM on January 6, 2013

Dave Ramsey is a speaker that has materials from a faith-based (Christian) perspective. It is very no-nonsense and could be used to get a handle on basics!
posted by ramenopres at 11:55 AM on January 6, 2013

In addition to Dave Ramsey's podcast and books, especially The Total Money Makeover, I also really like Suze Orman's advice. Even though it's from 2008 (so all of the "current events" she references are outdated), I've learned a lot from her book The Road to Wealth. It's a great primer for people who are interested in learning the basics of personal finance. It includes most of the topics you've noted, like creating a household budget, saving for retirement, etc.
posted by pear at 2:18 PM on January 6, 2013

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