Thursday, March 6, 2014

Am I an Expert?

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

I have certainly increased my personal finance knowledge over the past 42 months. I have read a number of books on the topic, read countless information on the web, read blogs, started my own personal finance blog, listen to podcast on the topics, organized my own finances, helped family members get their finances organized, and have paid off over $88k in debt. I am very excited and grateful for the new information that I have learned. So much so that I’d like to be able to help others with their finances. That’s one of the main reason I start to blog. I want to do more, and have begun to think about ways to do that beyond just blogging. I have no formal education on personal finance. I do have a college degree in an unrelated topic. Based on my brief resume, would you consider me an expert on the topic? Would you take my advice?


Phase Two

I ponder this question because as we reach our debt free goal later this year I’m beginning to think of our next phase of our personal finance journey. Having more financial freedom will give me the ability to pursuit things I’m truly passionate about. I know many feel the same way when they are enlightened about personal finance. The information is so simple and yet provides such hope that you want to share it with everyone. What I’m wondering is can I turn paying off $109k worth of debt into a side hustle for my family and help other get out of a financial mess they may be in. I have mentioned before that I often listen to Dave Ramsey. Although I have never attended I have heard great things about his “Financial Peace University” class. Seems like an easy way to jump into a teaching role in a pre-defined curriculum, I’m just not sure if the religious aspect of the teaching would be the right fit for me. When I was in college I worked as a teaching assistant in a High School video department for 3 years. I considered getting my teaching certification, but there were not a lot of opportunities for teaching in that subject area. Obviously teaching a weekly class is not going to replace my current income, but could be a start to getting me on track for something bigger.

Spend More Money

One of the things I have considered was to seek some type of formal coaching or counselor education. Most are certification type training and vary from a week-long program to several months. The costs vary as well, as little as $500 to well over $5000. Once we are debt free budgeting in this cost would not be an issue, what I’m trying to decide is if this type of certification is really needed. Would a certification as a coach or counselor be more appealing than life experience and paying off $109K worth of debt? I admit someone might question my credentials, thinking if I was so good with money why did I get myself into that amount of debt in the first place? My answer to that would be that was my former self, before I learned better ways, sticking to a budget for over 4 years, and cleaning up over $109K worth of consumer debt. That life experience must count for something. I will continue to research training options, and increasing my knowledge as we finish up our debt snowball in hopes to venture out beyond this blog as some point in the near future.

Do you consider yourself an expert in an area you’ve received no formal training? Who you take coaching/advice from someone without a certification in a particular topic?

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