13 Free Classes to Help You Manage Your Personal Finances (Like an Adult)
I remember when I got my first credit card. I felt like a real adult. I was just so excited to get this shiny, small square of money that would let me buy anything I wanted. That is until I realized that I didn’t actually know how to use it (beyond swiping it when checking out, of course). Before ruining my credit—which I did know was a very real thing—I did the least-adult thing and resorted to asking my parents.
That’s usually what happens when it comes to me and money—when I started paying bills, figuring out how much rent I could afford, and earning a regular paycheck, I always picked up the phone to ask someone (really anyone!) to explain to me, say, what a security deposit was, or how to schedule automatic payments to my account.
And I know I’m not alone in this—I’d bet you’re still learning how to manage and understand your personal finances. Well, rather than relying on your family and friends to constantly explain to you everything you need to know, why not try an online course?
1. The Core Four of Personal Finance, Udemy
Let’s go back to the basics with this course that focuses on managing your debt, reducing your expenses, financing a home, retiring, and everything in between.
Length: 18 lectures/ 1 hour
2. Personal Finance 101, Udemy
Or, for a wrap up of all related topics, try out this beginner course that’ll explain everything from credit to taxes to various issues such as going to college, buying a house, or getting married.
Length: 53 lectures/ 3 hours
3. Personal and Family Financial Planning, Coursera
Created by the University of Florida, this one is for people of any age, who are at any point in their career. In addition to the basics, it’ll cover investing, managing risk, and building your own personal finance plan.
Note: Free without certification
Length: 9 weeks
4. Personal Finance Planning, edX
As the description states, “Have you watched a movie where successful Wall Street characters dropped cool sounding financial jargon and you smiled and nodded without knowing what they were saying?” This class is for everyone who just gave an enthusiastic yes to this (true story: I did).
Length: 5 weeks/ 3-4 hours per week
Taught by the University of Michigan, this class explores the “beauty and power of finance.” It’ll cover making smart decisions when looking at your money situation—both as a professional and as an individual.
Length: 6 weeks/ 5-6 hours per week
6. Financial Literacy, ALISON
More than just knowing what to do with your money is understanding what it is, how it works, and what it means for your personal and professional life. This interactive class will help you set up your accounts, budget, and work with taxes and government benefits.
Length: 6-10 hours
If debt is your biggest worry, this course is for you. You’ll learn how to set up a debt spreadsheet, how to contact credit card companies, how to prioritize your debts, and much more that’ll get you to that happy “debt-free” zone.
Length: 1 hour
8. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest, ALISON
Not sure what the heck these are? Want someone to take you through these concepts in an easy to follow way? You’ll love this course that focuses on what simple and compound interest means for your loans.
Length: 1-2 hours
Wherever your situation is at the moment, this class will put you on a realistic and effective path toward financial stability—with just seven steps.
Length: 13 videos/ 24 minutes
10. Personal Finance, Missouri State University on iTunes
Want personal finance tips on the go? Download this course on your iPhone now and bring knowledge with you wherever your money takes you.
Length: 8 videos
11. Personal Taxes, Khanacademy
Confused why your paycheck feels so low when you see it? Here’s your guide to government taxes and calculating your take-home pay.
Length: 10 lectures
12. Housing, Khanacademy
If you ever plan on renting or buying a home, you may want to brush up on the key aspects of mortgages, insurance, and real estate.
Length: 19 lectures
13. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement, Khanacademy
And to make sure you have all of these topics covered when it comes to personal finance, here are the big takeaways you should know.
Length: 26 lectures
Inspired and want to learn more? Great! Check out The Muse’s curated courses—they’re hand-picked for people who want to improve their lives and their careers (and everything in between).
Photo of person managing finances courtesy of Squaredpixels/Getty Images.
As an Associate Editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author