You’ve probably heard how exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your muscles – to keep it healthy and sharp. It requires consistency, dedication and work. But how specifically do you exercise your brain? After all, people prefer different workout routines and similarly, different brain training too. From reading books, to doing brain teasers, to learning something new, there are many different ways to keep your mental skills sharp. The key is to remain curious and engaged in things that matter most to you.

One topic in particular that should be toward the top of that list is personal finance. From financial trends to market updates to new personal strategies, this is another very specific exercise which you should consider incorporating into your ongoing routine. After all, personal finance is one of the most essential skills, as it sets up the foundation for the rest of your life. Just like going to school provides the foundation for your career, personal finance is an important facet of your life goals which should be continually engaged and improved upon.

Luckily there are many different ways to stay focused and curious about personal finance topics. As you grow in life and as your financial situation changes and evolves, so should your knowledge about the topic. Although there are many professionals who specialize in this field, there are also several channels you can leverage and engage in to learn and grow your skills and knowledge base. Whether it sparks new questions or helps you pick up new ideas, learning from others is a great strategy to remain proactive and in control of your financial situation.

The first place to start is exploring personal finance books that you may relate to. Some get very specific to a situation or person -- such as Women & Money, by Suze Orman which focuses on women taking control of their finances, or You’re So Money, by Farnoosh Torabi which outlines how to live financially within your means and is especially applicable for college students or those in their first job.

Here is our list of the Top 10 Personal Finance Books we found most people can relate to (as recommended across several sites including, The Balance, and Amazon Best Sellers), (1) in no particular order:

  1. The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey: offers a no-nonsense approach to managing money, getting out of debt and achieving financial health
  2. Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin: reveals a 9-step program to change your relationship with money and live more deliberately
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki: explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you
  4. The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason: uses parables set in ancient Babylon to provide an inspirational outlook on the subject of thrift, financial planning and personal wealth
  5. The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko: evaluates research on the 7 common traits that consistently show up in millionaires
  6. The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach: provides a system based on the premise of paying yourself first to secure your financial future
  7. You are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero: provides a humorous twist on meaningful financial concepts to maximize your earning potential
  8. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker: learn how to unlock creativity to identify your best money-making ideas
  9. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, by Suze Orman: addresses the specific financial reality that young people face today and provides solutions
  10. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck, by Avery Breyer: learn a proven path to money mastery in just 15 minutes a week

We understand books aren’t for everyone, and some may prefer other means to get this type of information. You may also or alternatively consider listening to a book via audiobook or even staying up-to-date with podcasts. According to Yahoo Finance, here are 5 Personal Finance Podcasts to listen to in 2019 (2):

  1. The Dave Ramsey Show, with Dave Ramsey
  2. So Money, with Farnoosh Torabi
  3.  Function, with Anil Dash
  4. The BiggerPockets Money Podcast, with Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench
  5. Planet Money, NRP

A third channel that contains valuable information on personal finance topics is online through blogs or social media channels. In addition to checking back on our blog content for a variety of relevant topics, here is another list of 10 recommended personal finance blogs to consider following according to Kiplinger (3). Blogs are great for a quick read over coffee in the morning, during a lunch break or in the evening to unwind. Don’t forget to follow each social media channel to discover other content or helpful articles posted:

  1. Get Rich Slowly
  2. Wise Bread
  3. Money Crashers
  4. 20Somethingfinance
  5. Consumerism Commentary
  6. MoneyNing
  7. Len Penzo dot Com
  8. Budgets are Sexy
  9. The Simple Dollar
  10. The Digerati Life

There is certainly no shortage of content and resources available to take advantage of and learn from. But it’s important to find what works best for you. What keeps you curious and engaged? Remember, what works for one person may not work for another. What works in your 20s may not work in your 30s. And as your life changes and evolves, you can adapt and grow your routine to grow with it.

Personal finance is simply too important to leave up to chance. By keeping your mind in shape and skills sharp, you can stay on top of your financial game and implement a winning strategy -- no matter how your life or situation changes. Financial independence doesn’t come easy or overnight, but the right preparation and training can really pay off in the long run.

If you need a financial check-up, come in and chat with a Member Service Representative today!