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50 financial skills every person needs to have

Do you know how to successfully bribe someone? You should.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 2:54PM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Popular Mechanics created a list called "100 skills every man should know," which naturally gravitated toward DIY/physical skills like jump-starting a car and splitting firewood. The Frisky listed "30 skills every woman should have before turning 30," which actually touched on more than physical skills (though No. 12 is physical), with a handful of financial skills (Nos. 17-20).

The following isn't a checklist of things you necessarily need to do in your life. It's a list of things you should know how to do in case the need arises.

Banking and credit


  • Open a Roth IRA.

  • Open a brokerage account.

  • Roll over your 401(k) to an IRA.

  • Request a hardship loan against your 401(k).

  • Re-balance your investment portfolio.

  • Read a stock chart.

  • Read a mutual fund prospectus.

  • Buy stocks, bonds, ETFs or mutual funds.

  • Buy Treasury bonds at a bank and/or through TreasuryDirect.

  • Read (and understand) a company's annual report (including the financial sections).

  • Day trade.


Living and spending

  • Create and track a budget.
  • Establish an emergency fund.

  • Comparison shop.

  • Sell something online (eBay, Craigslist).

  • Mail in a rebate (and then get on them when they try to screw you).

  • Bribe someone (like a maitre d').

  • Buy adequate insurance (car, life, home/renters).

  • Negotiate with a vendor.

  • Threaten to cancel a service to get lower rates.

  • Negotiate your salary, pay raise, or benefits.

  • Apply for a passport.

  • Bid in an auction.

  • Barter for goods and services.

End of life

  • Prepare a last will and testament.

  • Prepare a medical directive.

  • Be executor of an estate.

  • Assume power of attorney.

  • Work with a funeral home/mortuary.

Finally, the other financial skills you need to learn and do -- and this is a bonus pair -- are 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.)

Other articles of interest at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity:

Published Dec. 2, 2008



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