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50 Financial Skills Every Person Needs To Know

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Popular Mechanics created a list of 100 Skills Every man Should Know, which naturally gravitated towards DIY/physical skills like jump starting a car and split firewood. The Frisky listed 30 Skills Every Woman Should Have Before Turning 30, which actually touched on more than physical skills (though #12 is physical :) ), with a handful of financial skills (#17 – #20).

This isn’t a checklist of things you need to necessarily do in your life, it’s just a list of things that you should know how to do (in case the need arises).

    Banking & Credit

  1. Open a checking and savings account.
  2. Deposit checks into an ATM.
  3. Manage into your bank account online.
  4. Establish a Certificate of Deposit Ladder.
  5. Pay your bills online.
  6. Open an online savings account.
  7. Link bank accounts using ABA Routing and bank account numbers.
  8. Request and review your free annual credit report.
  9. Contest errors or inaccuracies on your credit history.
  10. Apply for a loan (car loan, mortgage).
  11. Get a bank or credit card fee waived.
  12. Get a document notarized (or signature guaranteed).
  13. Exchange currency.
  14. Investing

  15. Open a Roth IRA.
  16. Open a brokerage account.
  17. Rollover your 401(k) to a Rollover IRA.
  18. Request a hardship loan against your 401(k).
  19. Re-balance your investment portfolio.
  20. Read a stock chart.
  21. Read a mutual fund prospectus.
  22. Buy stocks, bonds, ETFs or mutual funds.
  23. Buying Treasury bonds at a bank and/or through Treasury Direct.
  24. Read (and understand) a company’s annual report (including the financial sections).
  25. Day trade. :)
  26. Taxes

  27. Prepare your taxes (using software is OK)
  28. How marginal tax brackets work.
  29. E-File.
  30. Handle an IRS audit.
  31. Request an tax filing extension.
  32. Pay estimated quarterly taxes.
  33. Amend a tax return.
  34. Legally shelter income from taxes.
  35. Living & Spending

  36. Create and track a budget.
  37. Establish an emergency fund.
  38. Comparison shop.
  39. Sell something online. (eBay, Craigslist)
  40. Mail in a rebate (and then get on them when they try to screw you).
  41. Bribe someone (besides a member of law enforcement!).
  42. Buy adequate insurance (car, life, home/renters).
  43. Negotiate with a vendor.
  44. Threaten to cancel a service to get them to lower your rate.
  45. Negotiate your salary, pay raise, or benefits.
  46. Apply for a passport.
  47. Bid in an auction.
  48. Barter for goods and services.
  49. End of Life

  50. Prepare a Last Will and Testament.
  51. Prepare a Medical Directive.
  52. Be Executor of an estate.
  53. Assume Power of Attorney.
  54. Work with a Funeral Home/Mortuary.

Finally, the last financial skills you need to learn and do, and this is a bonus pair, is how to register to vote and then vote. Who gets into office, at any level, has a huge impact on your finances.

Are there any that I missed? (I’m sure there are)

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5 Responses to “50 Financial Skills Every Person Needs To Know”

  1. Great list. Some of them don’t apply to me in New Zealand but most of them still apply (and of course, come of them can be ‘converted’).

  2. karla (threadbndr) says:

    It’s scary how many of these I have done (but not the bribery LOL or tax audit!!!)

  3. Cassandra says:

    Organized Planning will do really good on your life. And I guess what you have listed is a good for everyone, especially those people who are aging. They should be prepare in everything. Thanks for the list =)

  4. lisa says:

    Great list! I always thought stocks and investing was over my head but it’s really not that complicated. I still only buy index funds but I “get” what’s going on… I think! :)

  5. I can’t say that I know how to handle an IRS audit. Call my accountant and start sweating/praying? Hope I’ll never need that skill! Great list!


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