Can social media help you become financially savvy? Yes, but I’m not saying you should send me an invite to your favorite Facebook game. If you look for financial advice in the right places, you can gain knowledge faster than you might have thought.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media can be a complete waste of time. Social media sucks valuable time away from us every day. Many of us get caught in the trap watching other people’s lives or responding to controversial and sometimes fake political posts. I think you should permanently hide all of that stuff, but that’s a story for another time.
Is there a way to use social media to your advantage? Can you become a personal finance expert simply by using social media? I think so. Here’s how.
Use social media to find places where personal finance is discussed.
It’s really hard to find a personal finance blog which discusses everything you need to know. Some blogs might cover student loan debt and others might cover investing. It’s simply impossible for the writers out there to cover every person’s personal situation.
This is where social media comes in.Start thinking about social media as a tool instead of a distraction Click To Tweet
On places like Reddit and Facebook, you can find groups of like-minded people. In a lot of cases, these people share their personal situation and ask for help. What ensues is a beautiful thing.
Once people ask for help, interesting conversation happens organically. People share their past experiences and discuss what did and didn’t work for them. Other people critique the shared advice. After awhile, you have layers and layers of various discussion to read through and apply to your own life.
Some of the most interesting discussions I’ve ever read have been on Reddit and Facebook. The trick is finding the right places to hang out and pay attention to.
Memes aside, Reddit communities can provide a wealth of financial knowledge.
Here are some of my favorite Reddit communities related to personal finance. In no particular order:
You only need to look at the top discussions in /r/personalfinance to understand why.
In the past month, the /r/personalfinance subreddit has discussed “My bank opened a debit card in my account for someone else with the same name,” “Should I pay off my student loan in lump sum if I have the chance?” and “Advice: I just reached 1k in my savings-first time I’ve ever seen four digits in any bank account.”
That’s quite the range of topics. I don’t think there’s any other place to get this kind of information.
Not only are the original topics interesting, the discussion on each of these topics is filled with vast nuggets of past experience. On topics of taxes, you might see a tax accountant jump in and provide some advice. And if you read a discussion about student loans, there’s almost always someone with $100,000 in student loans showing their face.
If you’re genuinely curious about improving your personal finance knowledge, there’s simply no reason to avoid Reddit. Almost any topic you can think of is covered and you’ll never be bored reading what others have to offer.
The hidden secret of learning on Facebook is in niche groups.
Much like Reddit, Facebook can seem shallow and annoying on the surface. It’s hard to find a day in the past where I wasn’t irritated by something someone posted on Facebook. However, you should keep hope.
If you’re truly annoyed with Facebook, look for groups you might like. Here are some you should check out:
- Your Money and Your Life
- Investing and Personal Finance Club
- JenPlans.com Budgeting & Personal Finance
In the same vain as Reddit, Facebook groups allow people share articles or pose questions. Then, the members of the group will respond and share their thoughts and experiences.
Take advantage of this. For one, your Facebook feed might be a little more interesting. Secondly, you’ll learn something every day.
I’m part of Facebook groups for blogging and regularly following finance related subreddits on Reddit. My social media life is a little more interesting because of it.
Social media can help you learn more about anything.
Learn this. You can use social media to learn more about anything – not just about your finances.
For example, my wife and I have used Reddit to learn more about snowboarding and how to make progress. When I was struggling to make toe side turns, I read about others experiences and used social media to help solve my problems.
As soon as you start thinking about social media as a tool instead of a distraction, you can get to work. Don’t let yourself fall prey to trolls tormenting you on Facebook. Instead, make yourself a better person by learning more each day.
Social media can be more than a shallow distraction. Don’t let political posts on Facebook anger you and waste your time. Instead, realize you can better yourself by participating in social media communities on niche topics.
Look for communities that interest you. Make it a habit to peruse those communities instead of stalking the next click-bait article someone sends through your feed.
There was a time when many of us used Facebook to poke our friends. If you’re as old as me, I’m sure you remember those days. Times have changed. Social media contains unlimited knowledge if you look in the right places.
Using social media like Reddit and Facebook, you can become a little more financially savvy every day. Consistent progress is better than no progress at all.
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