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Learn to Be Rich With These 9 Essential (And Free) Online Personal Finance Resources

Money – isn’t it just one of those things that you never seem to have enough of? No matter how much money you make, you always seem to find something to spend it on. Do you feel as though you never have enough money to make it through the week until the next payday? Well, the answer could be a short online course to learn how to take control of your personal finances.

Say you make $500 per week and you need to pay bills, rent and everyday costs, how are you ever supposed to save? There’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to take control of your life by putting into practice some simple exercises.

The internet has proven useful in so many ways but none more helpful than providing educational resources. Online classes on personal finance are a great way to stay sharp when it comes to planning out your budget and financial future. Taking one of these courses is a great way to learn the tricks of the trade to finally take control of your life.

1. iCNN Money: Money 101

With a ton of lessons, iCNNs Money 101 course is a great way to learn everything that is relevant over the course of your adult life. The first section called getting startedis focused on goals, banking, spending, debt and taxes. There is a section on getting a job that includes lessons on 401(k)s, taxes, health insurance and employee stock options.

There are also sections on starting to invest (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, asset allocation, hiring financial help), buying a car (buying the car, car insurance), buying a home (buying a home, selling a home, home insurance), starting a family (kids and money, health insurance, life insurance, saving for college, estate planning), and retirement planning (retirement planning, 401(k)s, IRAs, estate planning). The website has quizzes and glossaries to give you an easy-to-understand guide to money from birth to death.

2. Utah State University: Family Finance

Utah State Universitys Professor Alena Johnsons Family Finance course offers an in-depth look at setting goals, implementing plans and applying your knowledge. By the end of the course you should be able to implement plans to reach your short term and long term goals and evaluate different financial options. The course is structured as three 100-minute classes per week made up of 14 lessons.

You will need to complete a number of assignments including tracking (For one month write down all income and expenses. Write down the date, amount, and a one or two word description for every income or expense. If you are married, try to do this with your spouse), tax assignment, budgeting (beginning of the month, during the month and at the end of the month) and a The Wealth Barber assignment, which will involve reading the book. You will also need to complete a comparison assignment (comparing credit cards, buying vs leasing, insurance, home ownership) and a financial check-up assignment.

3. Money Management International

Money Management International is a non-profit community service organization that works on improving the lives of others through financial education. The website is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in finance or anyone who is going through a financial crisis. The organisation also offers one-on-one help should you not be able to find a solution do your problems through their material. They cover things such as budgeting, earning more, credit reports, family finances, homeownership, holidays, frugal living, financial crisis, youth and money, savings, love and money and bankruptcy. This is a great resource for anyone looking to expand their financial knowledge.

4. Open2Study Financial Literacy

This course run by Macquarie University is designed to develop your knowledge of personal finance, such as how to control, invest and protect your finances. With more than 28,009 students having sat the course, it is a tried-and-true method of learning to secure your finances. There are four modules including finding direction with your money (11 videos, 10 quizzes, 1 assessment), preparing for the financial trip (10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment), following your money plan (10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment), and avoiding the money pitfalls (10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment). The course requires between two to four hours of study every week, but this can vary depending on the student. When you pass the course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement, which may not be formal, but you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this field to potential employers. Some of the key principals you will learn are the difference between lifestyle and financial goals, how to construct a savings plan, the basics of investing, the 10% rule (this is important), the basics risks involved with debt, how compound interest works, how to identify and avoid financial scams, the difference between savings and investments, and how to avoid some of the common mistake that people make with their finances.

5. Personal Finance by Missouri State University on iTunesU

This is a course for those with a very basic understanding of personal finance to look further into the ideas of personal financial topics from the consumer and societal perspectives. Topics covered include preparation and interpretation of financial statements and budgets, the time value of money, personal saving, financial markets, investment fundamentals, the effective use of consumer credit, personal bankruptcy, insurance principles, automotive and housing decisions, the principles of personal taxation and retirement planning. The course is run through the iTunesU platform that hosts a whole suite of different free courses from a number of leading education institutions from around the world.

6. University of California-Irvine’s OpenCourseWare: Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning

You can take this course for credit or for fun, but whichever way you do it, it will be an insightful lesson in goal-setting and financial planning. UCIs instructor-led course contains 22 lessons under eight objectives. Despite the fact this is a college course, the lessons are great for people of any age. The course has a disclaimer that it is not intended to replace a professional financial planner, but it can help to make the general public better consumers of financial planning advice. It was designed to make financial help accessible to people of all different financial standings. The course was created using a grant from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the Distance Learning Centre at the University of California, Irvine.

7. AFSA’s MoneySKILL

The American Financial Services Association Education has established the MoneySKILL course in order to create an interactive curriculum aimed at million of high school and college students who graduate every year with no understanding of money management fundamentals. The course is designed to be used as part of a grade for economics, math, social studies or where finale is taught. The online, reality-based course contains both written text and audio narration, as well as frequent quizzes to test the grasp of each and every concept. There are life simulation modules to help the students put skills into perspective. With 36 modules spanning all the way to retirement funding, there is nothing students wont learn in this course; however, an instructor is needed (in most cases this can be a parent). The instructor is there to help guide the student through the process and check their progress.

8. Purdue University: Planning for a Secure Retirement

This particular course is focused around the aspect of retirement – but dont just think this is for people at the end of their working career. The earlier you consider your plans for retirement, the better your position will be when you do eventually decide that you have come to the end of your career. This particular course looks at getting you enough money to make it through retirement and does so with a ten-module course that features interactive quizzes, personality profiles, and risk tolerance calculators, amongst a whole suite of other helpful tools. The course is to be taken at your own pace.

9. Alison Financial Literacy Course

This course works on the assumption that what you do not know about money can really affect your entire life.” This is an introductory course about personal finance management for people who are in the first stages of securing their financial freedom. With interactive multimedia and a series of seven dynamic courses, you should put aside between 6 and ten hours to complete the certificate. At the end you will receive an official Alison diploma, certificate or pdf if you have completed all of the modules and scored a minimum of 80% in each assessment. The course promises to help you manage your money, budget and savings, manage your debt successfully and understand the choice of insurance products available to you. By the end the course, you should understand wages, tax and government benefits, renting, buying accommodation and well as consumer rights.

Scott Carver
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