12 Best Free Online Personal Finance Courses

If you want to learn how to make smart financial decisions, save more and eliminate debt, you’re in luck. Today there are plenty of free online personal finance classes to sharpen your money-management skills.

Still, “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 in Indianapolis and co-founder of Migration Wealth Management. “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 personal finance class lessons can not only help you boost your money-management skills but may also inspire you to reflect on saving and spending patterns and help you build a strong foundation for success. They may also drill down into topics including Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and strategies for eliminating credit card debt. Here are 12 worthwhile online personal finance courses you can take for free:

— Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making

— How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions

— Brigham Young University’s personal finance courses

— Udemy.com’s Personal Finance 101

— Purdue University’s Planning for a Secure Retirement

— Duke University’s Behavioral Finance Course

— The University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign’s Financial Planning for Young Adults

— Alison.com’s Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts

— Marginal Revolution University’s Money Skills

— Khan Academy’s personal finance classes

— Planning for Risk, Retirement and Investment

— Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making

You’ll find this on Edx.org, an online course provider created by Harvard and MIT and featuring courses from universities. The Finance for Everyone course was developed by the University of Michigan, and it covers finance fundamentals and strategies for making good financial decisions. It’s a self-paced course that lasts six weeks, with enough coursework that you could spend five to six hours going through the material.

How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions

The How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions class is another offering from Edx.org (there are quite a few personal finance classes on this site). It’s archived coursework from the University of California–Berkeley, designed as a four-week class with about two to three hours of time spent on coursework each week. This class discusses how to prioritize spending and explains why you need an emergency fund. It also goes into more complicated territory, offering insight into how to lower your insurance costs, where to look up mutual fund fees and when to file for Medicare and Social Security.

[See: Fast Financial Fixes.]

Brigham Young University’s Personal Finance Courses

There’s a wealth of information available in Brigham Young University‘s free online personal finance classes, which offer 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 101

Udemy.com, a popular online learning platform, features numerous personal finance classes. Many of the classes are low-cost, but “Personal Finance 101” is free and designed for beginners. It includes more than 50 short videos totaling more than three hours of content on topics ranging from credit card basics to financing your education to relationships and finances.

Purdue University’s Planning for a Secure Retirement

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 secure retirement.

Duke University’s Behavioral Finance Course

Coursera.org, a platform offering classes taught by university professors throughout the world, offers courses in which students can interact with professors, receive graded assignments and earn certifications for a fee. But you can also find free classes on 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 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.

The University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign’s Financial Planning for Young Adults

This is another course you can find on Coursera.org, and it’s offered by the University of IllinoisUrbana-Champaign. If you’re looking for a class designed for beginners, this introductory personal finance online class might fit the bill. Subjects covered include financial goal-setting, saving and investing, budgeting, financial risk, borrowing and credit.

Alison.com’s Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts

Alison.com offers free online finance courses that take six to 10 hours to complete. The Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts financial literacy course covers everything you’d want to know about managing or eliminating debt, offering tips on how to prioritize debts as well as strategies for bringing down a credit card balance. It’ll even help you devise a debt elimination plan.

[Read: 12 Best Websites to Make Money Online.]

Marginal Revolution University’s Money Skills

This is a course from Marginal Revolution University, a website and nonprofit founded by two George Mason University economics professors, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, who are building an online library of free economics education videos (more than 900 so far). This Money Skills class features 10 videos and financial exercises led by Cowen and Tabarrok, and topics include investing, real estate and career. The course is aimed at beginners but taught at the university level.

Khan Academy’s Personal Finance Classes

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that offers free education and often works with schools. Khan Academy offers many free personal finance classes, with video lectures covering everything from taxes to car expenses to how to pay for college. If you’ve ever wondered, for instance, whether it’s better to lease or buy a car, and you really want to get into the nitty-gritty details, this website may offer a worthwhile money class for you.

Planning for Risk, Retirement and Investment

Planning for Risk, Retirement and Investment, another offering on Edx.org, is a four-week course from Indiana University that includes four to six hours of instruction a week. It’s self-paced, so you can go through the course at your own speed and, like all of the courses on this list, it’s free. You’ll tackle everything from life insurance to deciding how much money you need to have to retire. As the course states, “Students in this course will gain both conceptual and practical knowledge of the inevitable and universal decisions around managing risk, planning for retirement, and starting a program of investment.”

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

Some of the topics in this Coursera.org class include learning to delegate effectively, identifying specific time management tools and how to use them, and learning to recognize and overcome barriers to successful time management. The class includes videos, readings and quizzes.

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12 Best Free Online Personal Finance Courses originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 04/11/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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