If you want to learn how to make smart investing decisions, save more and eliminate debt, you're in luck. Today, there are plenty of finance classes offering money-management lessons.
Still, "people need to keep in mind that online personal finance courses should be seen as an education resource and not specific personal financial advice," says Drew Feutz, a certified financial planner at Market Street Wealth Management Advisors in Indianapolis. "The information learned from taking a personal finance course should be applied within the context of your own financial situation, rather than following everything that is taught 100% to a T."
"Some things that you learn about in a personal finance course may not be applicable to you or may not be appropriate to implement in your own life," Feutz adds, noting that too often, people read or hear something from a personal finance expert or a course that they are compelled to act on.
However, some finance class lessons can not only help you boost your money-management skills, but also inspire you to reflect on past saving and spending patterns and help you build a strong foundation for future success, While most personal finance classes typically require a fee, fortunately they generally offer a high return on investment if you apply the information you learn to improve your finances. For this reason, you may want to consider learning more about topics such as Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and strategies for eliminating credit card debt in an enriching online course.
With that in mind, here are worthwhile online personal finance courses:
-- Ramsey Solutions' Financial Peace University.
-- Suze Orman's Personal Finance Online Course.
-- Brigham Young University's Personal Finance Course.
-- Udemy.com's Personal Finance Courses.
-- Purdue University's Planning for a Secure Retirement Course.
-- Duke University's Behavioral Finance Course.
-- Alison.com's Financial Literacy Course.
If you're looking for a class to help you better manage your money, read on to learn more about enriching online personal finance courses.
Ramsey Solutions' Financial Peace University
Why it's worth considering: If you're an admirer of Dave Ramsey, you may be interested in signing up for his affiliated educational course. Ramsey, the nationally syndicated radio talk show host of "The Dave Ramsey Show," author and all-around money guru, has financial counselors throughout the country teaching money-management classes through Financial Peace University. However, this nine-class course, which covers topics such as getting out of debt and building wealth, is also available online in 45- to 60-minute courses. The $129.99 fee also includes access to EveryDollar Plus, Ramsey's budgeting app that helps track expenses, which costs $99 separately.
Suze Orman's Personal Finance Online Course
Why it's worth considering: Suze Orman, another renowned financial expert, offers a personal finance course that includes seven downloadable lessons covering topics like paying off debt, the best types of life insurance products to buy and smart vehicles to invest in for retirement. While some critics suggest that Orman's advice is too generalized and unrealistic if you're struggling to get from paycheck to paycheck, if you're looking to learn the fundamentals of managing your finances, you may benefit from the course. Best of all, the class comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Brigham Young University's Personal Finance Course
Why it's worth considering: There's a wealth of information available in Brigham Young University's free online personal finance class, which offers beginner-, intermediate- and advanced-level courses. Users can access the coursework for free and learn with videos and money-management assignments. The class offers a do-it-yourself approach and covers topics such as tips for achieving financial independence, saving strategies, stock basics and tips for setting and achieving long-term financial goals.
Udemy.com's Personal Finance Courses
Cost: Varies by class
Why it's worth considering: Udemy.com, a popular online learning platform, features numerous personal finance classes. For instance, there's "The Complete Personal Finance Course: Save, Protect, Make More," taught by Chris Haroun, a venture capitalist and author. The class includes 122 lectures, covering topics like understanding your credit score, the best ways to file taxes and how to create the perfect budget, that span 16 hours. Classes currently cost $12.99. Regulars pay more, but you can often get coupon codes that slash the prices by up to 90%.
Purdue University's Planning for a Secure Retirement Course
Why it's worth considering: This online course, located on Purdue University's College of Agriculture page, has 10 modules, all with lessons designed to teach you how to have a successful retirement. Like the BYU course, it's self-guided, and you can learn about topics such as understanding your risk tolerance when saving for retirement and navigating simplified employee pensions. While the course offers a wealth of information, it's best-suited for those interested in learning how to achieve a financially stable retirement.
Duke University's Behavioral Finance Course
Cost: Free without certification; varying prices for course certification
Why it's worth considering: Coursera.org, a platform offering classes taught by university professors throughout the world, offers courses where students can interact with professors, receive graded assignments and earn certifications for their work, for a fee. But you can also find free classes at the website, including a three-week behavioral finance class from Duke University. In the class, you'll learn how biases impact how much you spend money on food, how to tip and how much to allocate for insurance, along with tips for saving for retirement in a course taught by a university professor. Check out the Coursera.org website and plug in "personal finance" in the search bar to discover more classes like Duke's behavioral finance course.
Alison.com's Financial Literacy Course
Why it's worth considering: Alison.com offers free online finance courses that take six to 10 hours to complete. The financial literacy course covers key money concepts, including saving and budgeting strategies and tips for paying off credit card debt. The course also includes topics such as insurance and retirement planning.
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