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50 Financial Skills Every Person Needs To Know

Posted By Jim On 10/27/2008 @ 7:00 am In Personal Finance | 5 Comments

Popular Mechanics created a list of 100 Skills Every man Should Know [3], 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 [4], 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].
  5. Pay your bills online.
  6. Open an online savings account [6].
  7. Link bank accounts using ABA Routing and bank account numbers.
  8. Request and review your free annual credit report [7].
  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. [8]
  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 [9] (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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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/50-financial-skills-every-person-needs-to-know.html

[3] 100 Skills Every man Should Know: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/how_to/4281414.html

[4] 0 Skills Every Woman Should Have Before Turning 30: http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-30-skills-every-woman-should-have-before-turning-30/

[5] Certificate of Deposit Ladder: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/laddering-your-emergency-fund.html

[6] online savings account: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/top-5-online-banks-savings-or-checking-accounts.html

[7] annual credit report: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

[8] How marginal tax brackets work.: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/slight-misunderstanding-of-marginal-tax-brackets.html

[9] Bribe someone: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/bribes-subprime-and-lottery-sales-roundup.html

Thank you for reading!