You survived twelve years of schooling and an additional four years of college. You took math, English, physics, and maybe even an elective course on jogging... but did you ever take personal finance classes?
You’re not alone. In a test discussed on Fortune.com, only 37% of American respondents were able to pass a basic financial literacy test. Not surprisingly, this has huge implications for our quality of life:
- 65% of Americans say they lose sleep over financial concerns.
- 60% of Americans worry that they won't be able to pay medical expenses.
- 75% of American say they are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
This is insane.
We work harder and longer than any other nation, and yet we're struggling to make ends meet. Not surprisingly, only 32% of Americans reported keeping a budget.
Coincidence? We don't think so.
But we get it. No one ever taught you or forced you to take personal finance classes. Dealing with money is stressful. Heck, it can even be emotional.
Our Favorite Free Personal Finance Classes
Keeping yourself informed on money management can have lasting implications on the quality of your life. These 15 personal finance classes are designed for beginners with no prior knowledge.
- “Money 101” - CNN Money offers 23 lessons in plain, easy-to-understand language on basic topics ranging from “Buying a car” to “Starting a family.”
- “Investing for Your Future” - Rutgers University’s Cooperative Extension program offers this 11-unit study series for beginning investors. The course revolves around their personal finance pyramid.
- “Planning for a Secure Retirement” - Purdue University answers your questions about retirement savings in 10 short modules.
- “Family Finance” - This course from Utah State University helps you identify goals based on personal and family values before launching into advice regarding financial security. Many of these modules cite 3rd-party government resources.
- “Financial Markets” - Through print, video, and audio learn about the history and future of banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets.
- “The 7 Baby Steps” - Financial guru Dave Ramsey charges for his comprehensive “Financial Peace University” courses, but free shorter summaries like this one can get you started on the basics in short order.
- "Fundamentals of Personal Finance Planning" - Brought to you by UC Irvine, this 22-part class starts with goal setting and then helps you pinpoint where you currently are. The format is very similar to powerpoint slides.
- "Financial Security for All" - Michigan State University brings us several different classes on this page, including one that is specially designed for students called "Love Your Money." We recommend making this required for your students.
- "Free Online Tax Course" - It's pretty incredible that you can go to jail or be buried in fines if you mess up your taxes, but you have to major in finances to understand the ins-and-outs of our tax code. Thankfully, The Tax College offers a free online tax course.
- "Webcasts through Money Management International" - This nonprofit credit counseling agency sponsors several helpful tutorials running about 10 minutes each. The personal finance classes cover topics like "Earning more money," "Credit Scores," and "Loans and Debt Management."
- "MoneySkill.org" - This site is run by the nonprofit AFSA Education Foundation. Resources are available in both English and Spanish.
- "Personal and Family Financial Planning" - Created by the University of Florida, but hosted on Coursera, this personal finance class starts with the basics and works up to managing risk and investing.
- "Personal Finance" - If you're more of a podcast type, then this course is for you. It's provided by Missouri State University and is an 8-part audio series.
- "Kahn Academy" - Kahn Academy is an incredible resource for many topics and they have several personal finance classes, including Taxes, Housing, and Investments.
- "Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making" - This is a great introductory personal finance class provided by MichiganX.
The more you know about managing your money, the better you’ll be able to control your future. Take advantage of the wealth of information available to help you plan.
Check for Local Personal Finance Classes
Community banks and credit unions often provide free local personal finance classes that are open to the public. Check a for a community institution near you or ask the local library.
Also, if you are looking to test your current personal finance knowledge, check out this 12-question quiz.
Know of any classes we should add to the list? Leave them in the comments below!