Graduation season is in full swing and many grads will soon be busy working on their budgets and mapping out their financial goals as they enter the workforce.
This time of transition may be accompanied by stress and anxiety about money, especially if the grad is considering relocating for a new job or moving into their own apartment for the first time. Fortunately, there are a wealth of resources available for young grads serious about taking charge of their finances. A few hours of studying and reading can help grads improve their financial know-how and make informed decisions about their money as they transition into the working world.
Here are seven financial-education resources every grad should know about.
1. Online Learning: FIT Academy
Springboard offers a comprehensive personal finance course free of charge, a valuable resource for grads looking for a primer on money management. It's set up on Udemy, an online learning platform, so students can access course materials 24/7 and work through the program on their own schedule. The course includes quizzes and those who complete the course receive a Document of Achievement.
2. Book: "Generation Earn," by Kimberly Palmer
Grads entering the working world need budgeting and money management skills to manage their paycheck and make smart financial decisions for their futures. Author Kimberly Palmer, former U.S. News personal finance editor and now the features editor for the AARP money team, shares tips and insights for grads considering buying a home, investing their money and donating a portion of their income. This book serves as a comprehensive guide with a fresh, holistic outlook on money management, divided into three sections that cover spending, investing and giving back.
3. Online Learning: Udemy
There's a library of personal finance content on Udemy, including complete courses on how to set up a budget, secure financial freedom and manage debt and loans. Students can complete the course modules on their own time and from the comfort of their homes. Instructors typically respond to messages from students and can answer questions about specific topics or lessons when needed. New students to the site can find promotional offers and discounts of up to 30 percent or more off courses running throughout the year.
[See: 10 Money Leaks to Shut Down Now.]
4. Website: Money Management International
Maintaining an accurate budget and setting financial goals will help grads build a solid foundation. This organization offers a variety of tools and resources for grads who want to learn money and budgeting basics, get a better handle on paying off loans and stay out of debt. The site's resources section features several free webinars via Adobe Connect covering everything from debt management to credit reports.
5. Book: "The Bigs," by Ben Carpenter
Wall Street veteran Ben Carpenter makes personal finance approachable with stories of real-life characters tackling various money challenges. The book provides practical advice for young professionals entering the real world and working through career and life transitions. Readers learn what it takes to secure an interview for a dream job, manage money effectively and stay out of financial trouble.
6. Online Learning: CashCourse
Designed primarily for colleges and universities to improve financial literacy among students, CashCourse is open to all and has a wealth of personal finance tools and resources to help individuals make smart financial decisions. It's independently funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education and is completely free to use. Registered users have access to articles about student loans, staying out of debt and making wise career decisions. The interactive course format makes it easy to navigate and learn key concepts quickly.
7. Website: Better Money Habits by Bank of America
Free tools and step-by-step guides from experts are some of the resources available through this website from Bank of America in partnership with Khan Academy to help improve financial literacy. Users can choose a specific goal, such as buying a first home, and then walk through a tutorial-style series of pages explaining exactly what to expect. The site also includes articles and guides about saving, budgeting, taxes, buying and renting a home, and other key personal finance decisions relevant to grads.
Sabah Karimi is a columnist for the blog Wise Bread, where you can find consumer tips like how to select the best balance transfer credit cards.
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