A personal finance course is something everyone should consider taking. Unfortunately, personal finance isn’t a topic for most college majors, and a large portion of the population is not as educated on personal finance as they should be.
If you’re looking to take more control of your finances, or learn personal finance in general, consider enrolling in a personal finance course today. There are plenty of personal finance courses out there, so we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 favorite courses below.
Quicklook: the Best Personal Finance Courses
- Khan Academy – Best Free Option
- Udemy (Personal Finance 101) – Best for Getting a General Overview of Personal Finance
- Coursera (The Fundamentals of Personal Finance) – Best for Hands on Learners
- Missouri State University: Personal Finance – Best for an Average Person Looking to Take Control of Their Finances
- Udemy (The Core Four of Personal Finance Including Recession Basics) – Best to Prepare for the Future
Table of Contents:
- 5 Best Options for Personal Finance Courses
- What Is Personal Finance?
- How to Learn Personal Finance?
- What Makes a Good Personal Finance Course?
- What is the Best Way to Learn Personal Finance?
Our methodology to determine the best personal finance courses was simple. We wanted to recommend the courses that cover the most topics in the shortest period of time.
Additionally with your wallet in mind, 4 of the 5 personal finance courses mentioned are free!
5 Best Personal Finance Courses
We’ve done the hard work for you and isolated our top 5 personal finance classes below!
Khan Academy: Life Skills – Personal Finance (Best Free Option)
Khan Academy is a not for profit free education platform you can access from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This platform covers a wide range of topics; from biology, chemistry, history, mathematics, and personal finance.
What You’ll Learn: Students of the Life Skills Personal Finance course will learn all the basics of personal finance, including some of the most common situations – such as buying a home, leasing a car, and credit card management.
Standout Features: The best feature of this personal finance course is the fact that it is 100% free!
- The course is free
- Led by a highly reputable instructor who is not looking to sell you a financial product
- Covers a wide range of topics and common situations
- This personal finance course does not provide any coursework the student must complete
- There are no instructor/student questions and answers. You are simply a passenger in this course and cannot interact with classmates or the instructor.
Pricing: This course is free!
Udemy’s Personal Finance 101: Everything You Need to Know (Best for Getting a General Overview of Personal Finance)
Udemy is an online educational platform that has topics covering just about anything you could ever want to learn! Of which, their Personal Finance 101 course is well respected within the personal finance community. This online personal finance course has a 4.8/5 star rating with over 3,300 reviews!
What You’ll Learn:
- Manage debt
- Build credit score
- File a tax return
- Manage expenses
- How to properly use a credit card
Standout Features: This course packs a big punch in just 3 hours!
- This personal finance course will cover a wide range of topics
- The course is free!
- The course can be completed on your own time
- This is a lot of information to cover in just 3 hours, and a deep dive into some of these topics is required after you’ve established this foundation
- Similar to Khan Academy’s class, you cannot ask the instructor questions
Pricing: This course is also free!
Coursera: The Fundamentals of Personal Finance (Best for Hands on Learners)
What You’ll Learn:
- Debt management
- Retirement planning
- How to set financial goals
- How to manage your credit score
- A wide range of tax topics
- Investing strategies
Standout Features: The standout feature must be how interactive this class is. Students will have an opportunity to complete an applied learning project, where they can take the topics the class is discussing and apply them to their real life personal finances.
- The applied learning process is second to none
- The class covers and dives deep into a wide range of topics
- Completing this course results in a shareable certificate
- This course is beginner level. If you have a strong foundation already, this course may be too basic for you.
Pricing: Enrolling in this class is free!
Missouri State University: Personal Finance (Best for an Average Person Looking to Take Control of Their Finances )
If you’re looking to take control of your personal finances, and want to listen to a course instead of reading the material, consider Missouri State University’s personal finance course.
What You’ll Learn:
- Goal setting
- Managing credit
- Insurance topics/products
- Various investing techniques
- The time value of money formula
Standout Features: This course can be listened to!
- You can listen to this course on your phone, in your car, or with a pair of headphones on a walk!
- The class has 8 main sections, all centered around a different personal finance topics
- There are no opportunities to ask the instructor a question
- Although the course touches on 8 main topics, you may need an additional course to truly dive deep into a specific topic
Pricing: This is another free option! There’s no reason to not take advantage of this course.
Udemy: The Core Four of Personal Finance Including Recession Basics (Best to Prepare for the Future)
A lot of personal finance is about planning for the future. The Core Four of Personal Finance course by Udemy does a great job helping individuals forecast and plan out what they want their future to hold. As well as help them prepare for the worst case scenarios.
What You’ll Learn:
- The 4 core pillars of personal finance
- How to manage debt
- How to build a recession proof financial plan
Standout Features: The fact that this course dives into recession proofing your personal finances is a unique feature!
- There is over 5 hours of on-demand videos you can learn from
- You’ll have lifetime access to this course
- There is various downloadable resources this course comes with
- The course is led by a certified financial advisor and certified public accountant
- This isn’t a free option, we’ll touch on the cost below
- The course moves quickly
- The course provides a great high level summary of meaningful topics, but considering the complexity, you may still need to do some research on your own to get a full understanding of what the course is covering
Pricing: During a non-sale period, this course typically retails for $99.99, but Udemy often runs sales and promotions!
What Is Personal Finance?
Before diving into the best personal finance course, let’s first cover what is personal finance. Simply put, personal finance is how one; spends, budgets, saves, and invests money.
Personal finance is centered around an individual or a family. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into personal finance, such as:
- Household income
- The total amount of outstanding debt – such as credit card debt, student debt, and medical debt
- Personal goals/aspirations – such as purchasing a house or buying a car
- Protection – such as health, disability, and life insurance
- Investing – such as a 401(k), IRA, or stock portfolio
- Spending – everyone has expenses that must be paid. Proper personal finance management is about ensuring your expenses do not exceed your income
How to Learn Personal Finance?
If you’re curious how to learn personal finance, the good news is, there are an endless amount of educational options available today. There are online personal finance courses, personal finance books and seminars, YouTube videos, and an infinite amount of information online.
What Makes a Good Personal Finance Course?
The best personal finance course will cover a wide range of topics. There is a lot that goes into personal finance, more than just what your inflows and outflows are.
On a high level, a personal finance course should also touch on investing and insurance products, as those will play a vital role in your total financial health. A personal finance course should at minimum have the following characteristics:
Credible Instructors and an Accredited Program
Without question, personal finance courses should be taught by someone who is reputable and credible. Anyone can post an article on the internet, or create a YouTube video claiming to be an expert.
Considering how sensitive and important your personal finances are, make sure you are learning from someone who is reputable. Research the instructor to see what their experience is as well as what certifications they hold.
Make sure to look for accredited programs as well to ensure you are avoiding any internet scams.
Additional Available Resources
There is a lot that goes into personal finance. A great course will also offer more than just the education aspect.
There should be various resources available to you, such as budgeting and inflation calculators, that can be used at any time.
Work With Your Lifestyle
Making sure the personal finance course works with your lifestyle is another vital piece to consider. Some personal finance courses are centered around retirement, whereas others are centered around your younger years and how you should establish a strong foundation in your 20’s and 30’s.
Regardless of what your learning objective is, make sure it aligns with the learning objectives of the course you take.
Covering All Aspects of Personal Finance
As mentioned above, personal finance is more than just how much money you’re bringing in and how much money you’re spending. Taxes, estate planning, insurance, investing, and retirement planning, are all a component of personal finance management, and they all need to be taken into consideration in your personal finance plan.
A great personal finance course will cover all of these topics.
The Course Needs to Work For You
The personal finance course also needs to work for you. If you have a busy schedule, you may only be able to take an online personal finance course. Or, perhaps you have more time on your hands. If that’s the case, a more hands on course option would work for you.
Also consider what methods of teaching you would learn best from. What works for one person may not be best for another, so evaluate yourself and your goals before diving in.
What is the Best Way to Learn Personal Finance?
Without question, learning personal finance can be challenging, but it’s critically important. If you stop to think about it, personal finance is really at the intersection of many important decisions and choices in our life.
Having a better understanding of how personal finance works, and what the decision making matrix should be can better position you for success long term. If it feels a bit overwhelming, that’s okay!
Working with a financial advisor is a great way to make sense of this complex topic. They can help you manage your personal finances, and can help you identify areas of your financial plan that may need more attention.
A: The 5 levels of personal finance are: protecting, borrowing, spending, investing/saving, and earning.
A: There are numerous ways you can take a personal finance course. Some local colleges offer continuing education courses in the evening, or you can take an online personal finance course.
A: Personal financing is a term used to describe someone focusing on their personal financial health and financial management.