If you didn’t know, the personal finance community is a large community. And many personal finance gurus and planners make money from their products, services, and more. But, should you really pay for help from them? And, should you ever pay to learn about personal finance at all?
Should You Ever Pay For Help With Personal Finance?
It’s an important question, and there’s never really a clear answer when questions like this arise. The points below should better help you decide whether you’re going to dish out some cash or look for a freebie somewhere else!
Unfortunately, It’s Not Taught In Schools
While this is changing a little bit, for the most part, personal finance is not taught in schools. When I was in high school (which was a short ten years ago!), the most we learned in our finance class was…
- how to write checks, and
- how not to spend $50,000 a month.
Things like investing, paying off debt, and really setting a budget weren’t taught.
And yes, I get it, the school isn’t responsible for teaching our children everything. However, if they’re being taught multiple Math, Science, and English classes, not to mention a bunch of classes they really DON’T need, shouldn’t personal finance be taught as well?
And the thing is, many children don’t have parents or a community that can really teach them. Because let’s be honest, most people don’t really know anything about personal finance. If they did, they wouldn’t be paying over $500 a month for cars they couldn’t afford and being house poor because “buying a house is an investment”.
Related: Your House is a Terrible Investment
I mention all of that to say, if you weren’t taught about personal finance in school, you may need to pay for help to learn what you need to do with your money. Because the last thing you want to do is sit there and bring another generation into the world that has no idea what they’re doing with their money. And, YOU don’t want to continue going through life not knowing what to do.
If you were lucky enough to have a school, parents, or community teach you about money, awesome! But not everyone had that luxury. So, let’s hold our schools and community more accountable. That way, our kids don’t have to learn the hard way. And they won’t spend thousands just to learn about personal finance, which brings me to my next point.
You’re Paying For One or the Other
If you don’t learn about personal finance, you’ll pay for it in the long run.
For those of you that are natural spenders or didn’t budget for years…
- How much have you spent that you could have saved?
- How much money could you have right now if you wouldn’t have made impulse purchases?
Even for myself, I know that I spent thousands just trying to survive when I was broke and didn’t know what to do. It’s more expensive to be poor than rich. And it’s a lot more expensive to not know where your money is going.
So, if you don’t pay for help in learning (or get lucky enough to have someone teach you as a child), you’re paying the cost of not knowing. Which, let’s be honest, is way more expensive than attending a personal finance seminar in the grand scheme of things.
If You Do Pay, Be Smart About It
Now, this is not me telling you that you have to pay for help from every personal finance guru you come across. That would be unwise. There are plenty of people in the personal finance community that are crooks and just looking out for themselves. But there are also some amazing personal finance gurus and helpful hearts that want you to succeed with your money.
So, if you do decide to pay for help, follow these simple rules:
- Take advantage of their free stuff first – I ALWAYS go for the freebies. If you can’t offer me value before investing in you, I don’t want to work with you. As an entrepreneur myself, I know the importance of offering people value before they even work with me. I want them to trust and know that I’m looking out for their best interest. It’s why I offer so much content for free.
- Reach out to them! – If someone has all day to be on social media, has a team, and more, they can respond to your email. But if they can’t take two seconds out of their day, they may not be a good fit. Now, don’t go into their messages or email trying to get away with free advice. But reach out and say hey and see what they say!
- Read their testimonials – What are people saying about this guru? Do they really help as many people as they claim? If they can’t provide proof or testimonials, they may just be out for the money.
- If all of these check out, start with a smaller purchase – If I’ve taken advantage of the freebies, gotten a response to my email, and read great testimonials, my next step is to purchase something under $50. This could be a budget workbook, a 30-minute call with them, or the like. But, I’m taking the leap to invest without spending a fortune. And, if they give me value on such a cheap product, I know they’ll offer even more with their bigger products or services.
Should You Pay For Help in Personal Finance?
I think paying for learning is a smart thing to do across the board. I also believe paying for help in personal finance is one of the smartest things you can do. And again, this is not to say that you have to pay a small fortune to people that aren’t going to help you. But, if you find someone that can really make a difference in your finances, there is nothing wrong with supporting them and investing in yourself and your money at the same time.
What about you? Will you pay for help in personal finance?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.