If you’re interested in getting into a finance career when you enter college, you don’t have to wait until you’ve graduated from high school to get started. You can learn the foundational skills you need now, whether you’re planning to take an online class or a self-study approach.
Problem is, there’s a lot of information out there. It can be overwhelming. Even if you’re in a finance class, it might be hard to keep up with the information without a study plan. Stay on top of things with these 3 online finance study tips!
1. Break it Down and Make a Reference Sheet
If you’re learning about a lot of different finance topics, get serious about taking notes! You’ll want to break down each topic and make a reference sheet for the high-level concepts you want to remember. You can write yourself a type of glossary so that when you’re studying and you encounter a concept you don’t fully remember, you can refresh your memory at a glance.
Staying organized is critical since finance topics can be extremely complex. Everyone is different, so it’s important to find a system that works well for you. If you’re taking a class, make sure to ask for help if you don’t understand a topic making sure you understand everything, as you go, will prevent problems when concepts build on each other later on.
2. Set Yourself Up for Success
Studying finance topics involves the same process as studying any other topic. You should set yourself up for success by creating a distraction-free environment to focus and by studying in short sessions. Making sure you dedicate time to your studying consistently will help you remember what you’re learning and prepare for any tests you might need to take.
If you’re taking a class online with other students, it can be helpful to connect with them and work together. Even if you can’t meet in person, having someone to help hold you accountable can really make a difference in your study habits.
3. Apply Your Learning
If you’re not 18 yet, there are some things you can’t do on your own yet. But as much as possible, it’s a good idea to apply your learning to your own finances.
Think about how you might practice smart investing in the future, calculate how much it would cost to borrow some or all of your college expenses, and research the salaries of jobs you’re interested in to see how quickly you could pay back any student loans.
Even if you don’t have much income, you can make a budget. You can work out what percentage of your income is going to different spending categories and research what the average American spends on each category. Any planning you do now will help you when you get to college and you need to manage your own money.
Understand Your Career Options
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance, then it’s important to know what your options are before you choose a major in college. For instance, you might be excited about helping people manage their finances, which could lead you to a job as a financial planner or financial advisor. Or, you might find that you like crunching the numbers and you want to pursue a career in accounting or investment banking.
You don’t have to choose your path in finance right away. But studying finance in high school will allow you to understand and explore your career options before you need to make a decision. Keep an open mind and follow your interests so that you end up with a career you’ll be excited to pursue after you graduate from college.