People learn differently — and these learning styles can carry over to how people interact with their finances, too. You may not have thought about this before, but tailoring the way you learn about money based on your preferred learning style means you're more likely to excel at managing your finances.
Not sure what your learning style is? You can take an online quiz or simply do a self-assessment. Here are the most common types.
- Visual: You learn best by looking at graphs, charts and maps. Information for visual learners is more easily processed when it can be drawn or visually categorized, like with infographics.
- Auditory: You learn best by hearing and speaking. Auditory learners perform best when they can listen to the information, process it and then speak about it.
- Verbal: Similar to auditory learners, verbal learners learn best when they can discuss or speak about a topic. However, unlike the auditory learners, verbal learners also learn through writing.
- Physical: You learn best by doing instead of listening or speaking. Physical learners thrive when their entire body is involved in learning — like if they’re dancing, walking or practicing.
- Logical: Logical, or mathematical, learners learn best when they classify or group information and establish patterns. Logical learners prefer when there are clear systems.
Once you know your type, you can tailor your money education and management.
Finances for visual learners
Seeing as these folks love charts and graphs, and the financial world is full of these visual aides, they've got the best tools right at their fingertips.
You can learn more about money management by watching YouTube videos or digesting information displayed on infographics. And when it comes time to put together a budget, apps that help you track your spending, savings and investments in chart or graph form are perfect for you.
Finances for auditory learners
If you’re looking to learn about a new financial topics or expand your money expertise, podcasts are the ideal way to do so. Luckily, there are a lot of high-quality money podcasts to choose from. If you’re unsure where to start, check out these nine money podcasts to improve your finances.
Auditory learners further process the information they hear by speaking about it. So after listening to a podcast, you’ll need an opportunity to discuss what you learned so you get the most out of it. Get a group of people together on a weekly or monthly basis to discuss a specific topic or podcast you listened to. This will help you (and others in the group) with your financial journey.
Finances for verbal learners
Talking with a friend or family member about your finances can really help you learn and grow. Want to talk your finances out with a professional? Perhaps a financial advisor could be the way to go. Choosing a financial advisor can feel intimidating, but the first step is simple: Determine the type of advisor that is best for you.
When it comes to learning about finances through writing, starting a blog is a great solution. Whether you decide to blog publicly or simply want to write privately to track your progress, the important part is that you are writing about your money experiences because, as a verbal learner, that means you’re also learning.
Genius tip: For money management, it might be helpful to track your net worth each month and reflect on your expenses. The process of writing about your expenses (and talking about it with your family or spouse) will help lead to change.
Finances for physical learners
When it comes to learning and managing money, the key for you is making it a tactical experience. Start by tracking your spending using pen and paper. The process of putting pen to paper and physically engaging with tracking the money you spent, will help you connect with your purchasing habits and determine whether or not they serve you.
From there, try the envelope budgeting system. In a financial world that is predominantly digital, the envelope budgeting system brings it back to the basics of cash you hold in your hand. Determine your monthly budget and divide it into specific categories — things like food, restaurants, clothes and household items. Once you’ve determined your categories, create and label an envelope for each. Stuff the envelope with the allotted cash budget. Once the envelope is empty, you're done with that type of spending for the month. It’s as simple (and difficult) as that.
Finances for logical learners
As a logical learner, you like systems that make sense. So when it comes to money management, you’re in luck because tracking money, creating budgets and setting goals are all clearly defined (and easy to track) endeavors.
If you’re a logical learner who prefers to do-it-yourself, Excel spreadsheets (or an equivalent) will be your go-to money tool. Spreadsheets allow you to create money systems, track your progress and steadily work toward your goal. Need a starting point? Check out this budget template.
If you prefer the tracking is autmoated, apps like Mint or Personal Capital would be good for you. Not only will Mint track and categorize your spending, but it will also create monthly reports with graphs and charts — a logical learner’s dream. Personal Capital, on the other hand, allows you to see a snapshot of all of your accounts—retirement, credit cards, banking and investments — all in one place.
Genius tip: Try experimenting with online financial calculators. There are calculators that will calculate your potential retirement date, potential investment returns and even hypothetical withdrawal rates. It’s yet another way to categorize and systematize your money.