Personal finance remains an extremely important but often overwhelming topic for many people. Something as simple as creating an emergency fund can raise a number of important questions while more complex issues, like investing, can be much more daunting. Luckily, you have access to a wide range of high-quality, free materials online to learn more about personal finance. These resources can give you the confidence you need to take control of your personal finances and build a better future.
If you want to brush up on your personal finance knowledge without spending money to do so, check out some of these great resources:
1. Finance for Everyone
This edX course provides a robust overview of personal finance over six weeks. Designed by a professor of finance at the University of Michigan, the class requires about five or six hours per week. However, participants gain a strong understanding of basic personal finance questions and will feel more equipped to make decisions with confidence.
The course also addresses how to make decisions in professional settings and can be good for people who have small business aspirations. After all, you cannot hope to have balanced business finances unless you first get your own under control.
2. My Financial Mountain
Offered by Skillshare, this course is ideal as a refresher or to get a basic overview of personal finance topics. The entire course lasts only 24 minutes, but it touches on key issues through quick videos that are all three minutes or less.
You will get a good overview of income, debt, and savings that will prepare you for some of the more robust courses. These videos are perfect for getting answers to quick questions or learning about the things you should be thinking about as you pursue some of the longer courses.
3. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest
Interest is an extremely important topic in personal finance and you need a deep understanding of it to figure out the best decisions for your individual situation. This Alison course takes only an hour or two but helps you think critically about credit cards, loans, and savings accounts.
With this course, you will develop the confidence you need to do your own calculations and figure out the long-term costs of loans, as well as the amount you could make in interest through various investments. Also, the course teases apart the key differences between simple and compound interest so you can make good choices about them.
4. Financial Planning for Young Adults
While this Coursera class will take up to 16 hours to complete, it is a comprehensive dive into everything you would need to know as you begin your professional life. You will learn more about setting financial goals, building a budget from the ground up, making simple investments, and achieving your savings goals.
The course includes lectures, but the most helpful learning experience is typically the examples of real-world decision-making that you can use in your own life. After this course, you should have the tools you need to make these decisions for yourself.
5. Understanding Loans
Before you take out any loans, it is a good idea to work through this Udemy course. Even if you already have loans, this course can provide some insight on avoiding additional debt and keeping your current payments under control.
The entire course is only an hour, but it goes through all the key terms and concepts you need to know when considering taking on debt. While this course does not do a deep dive into any one particular form of debt, it provides an excellent foundation for learning more about the particular loans or forms of credit you are considering.
6. Future Rich
Planancial is a resource for many free personal finance courses. One of the best classes to start with is Future Rich, which includes a week of short videos that pair with an online workbook meant to reinforce the key concepts.
The course is led by the host of a podcast called Future Rich that is also a useful resource. What makes this class so distinctive is its fun tone that really engages you as you learn. Plus, it is designed to be self-paced, so you can easily fit it into your schedule even if it ends up taking you more than a week to complete.
7. Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts
If you feel overwhelmed by debt, this class by Alison could help you get more of a handle on your responsibilities. The course teaches you how to deal with debts while being fiscally responsible in other areas.
You will learn how to make a debt spreadsheet, which can help you prioritize your bills as your start to pay down debt. The course only takes about an hour to complete, but it can help you create a solid strategy for paying down bills and becoming free of debt so that you can focus on other financial goals.