Finance is a very broad term which basically refers to activities related to financial planning, borrowing, credit, mortgages, equities, capital markets, and the financial process itself. Essentially, finance refers to the act of obtaining necessary funds and money management. It also deals with financial institutions such as banks, other financial institutions, and monetary authorities. There are many different types of finance including commodity, bond, equity, international finance, personal finance, merchant finance, financial markets, investment, and estate finance.
The financial services sector continues to be one of the most significant sectors of the economy. This is because finance enables us to purchase necessary things like food, basic necessities, fuel, and shelter. There are many types of financial products and financial services. Many of them are also considered as industry within themselves. Finance helps businesses, individuals, organizations, governments, and even the public to obtain funds for their businesses or for projects. Finance therefore covers a wide array of activities.
The major area of the finance is personal finance. Personal finance deals with the money we spend for ourselves. This includes how we spend our income and savings, what we buy for ourselves and our families, and how we spend our money in paying for education, insurance, and other needs. Corporate finance refers to the area of financing business enterprises. This includes the purchase of financial goods and services, borrowing for venture capital, securing customers and setting up businesses, among others. The corporate finance and personal finance are closely related, but they also have different aspects.
Both personal finance and corporate finance have many dimensions. For instance, in personal finance, we spend on our homes, cars, vacations, education, and insurance. In corporate finance, we invest in businesses and enterprises. We can use this form of finance to meet many financial needs. It can help you take care of your children’s education, take care of a sick spouse, buy a house or land, purchase an annuity, or fund a retirement plan for employees.
We have to prepare our future by spending for it. In personal finance, we have to make the necessary decisions for such things as retirement, buying a home, getting a car, and many others. These decisions affect the people for the rest of their lives. Thus, in corporate finance, financial planning is very important. The wealth of the company’s owners will be secure if the company’s needs are properly planned and funded.
Many people think that financial management must be learned over a long period of time. However, financial literacy is actually something that we can learn to do today. There are lots of articles available online that teach us how to evaluate spending choices, including the value of what we buy, the likelihood of buying something useful and interesting, and other factors. These articles provide good examples of how to think critically about spending choices.
In fact, one way of improving one’s knowledge of this area is through checking out articles that are written by award-winning finance authors. Examples include “How to Save Money: Tips and Advice for Increasing Your Savings,” by Lee Baucom and “IRAs, Entitlements, and Retirement: A Guide to Strategic Planning,” by Seth Kaper and Avi Frister. In these articles, the authors teach readers how to make smart choices that will allow them to save much money over their lifetimes. Another place to check out articles is from books. A wide selection of books on finances, including “The College Student’s Guide to Personal Finance,” by Anthony P. Cordell and “Philosophy and Business for Personal Finance” by Philip B. Crosby are excellent resources.
Finally, another way of improving one’s knowledge of personal finance is to get to know one’s net worth. The net worth is all the value that a person has minus the debt and assets that a person owns. For example, if a person lives in a rural area and has a large house with two cars, that person’s net worth is much more than someone who lives in a city where houses are few and cars are few. A better way to understand one’s net worth is to calculate one’s mortgage and income before one takes on a new loan or starts spending. Then compare this new number with your earlier calculations. By changing one’s lifestyle and making more efficient financial decisions, a person can ensure that they have enough money to live comfortably and leave enough funds over the years to support their spouse and children.