I had a financial "awakening" two years ago.
Until I woke up, I'd coasted along, making enough, not saving enough, spending plenty. I was functionally illiterate when it came to managing personal finances.
I didn't pay much attention to bank fees, interests rates (paltry!) or contributions to my 401K---I had cash stashed in a money market account making 1.45%---and no IRA.
What happened to get my attention?
My employer changed 401K providers and it forced me to look at my allocations and contributions. (I was contributing close to the minimum to get the match.) That started a pebble rolling down the hill that turned into an avalanche.
I had an instinct for making good basic money-management decisions; I didn't have any credit card debt, for example. I needed to learn how to make better decisions. I needed a strategy. I started to read personal finance and investing books, newsletters and blogs. I scoured the library and the web for information and resources to become literate in money matters. I need to learn everything I could about managing my resources and fast. I'm not a kid starting out---I'm in the middle of my career.
Along the way, I learned a lot from the insights shared on many web sites and personal finance and investing blogs. I keep reading and learning. Now it's time to share some of those insights, tips, and resources: my 17 year-old son is finishing high school and will take up his open mission to become independent.