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Personal Finance Education, Financial literacy programs,Personal finance courses,Money management education

Personal Finance Education, Financial literacy programs,Personal finance courses,Money management education

Personal Finance Education

Personal money management isn't one of the most popular topics in educational systems. Many college degrees require some financial education, but it isn't geared toward individuals, which means that most of us will need to get our personal finance education from our parents (if we’re lucky) or learn it ourselves.


Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much money to find out how to manage it better. You can learn everything you need to know for free online and in library books. Almost all media publications regularly dole out personal finance advice, too.


Online Blogs

Reading personal finance blogs is a great way to start learning about personal finance. Instead of the general advice you’ll get in personal finance articles, you’ll learn exactly which challenges real people face and how they address them.


Mr. Money Mustache has hundreds of posts full of insights on escaping the rat race and retiring early by making unconventional lifestyle choices.13 CentSai helps you navigate myriad financial decisions via first-person accounts.14 Million Mile Secrets and The Points Guy each teach you how to travel for a fraction of the retail price using credit card rewards. These sites often link to other blogs, so you’ll discover more sites as you read.1516


Of course, we can’t help tooting our own horn in this category. Investopedia offers a wealth of free personal finance education. You might start with our special sections on budgeting, buying a home, and planning for retirement—or the thousands of other articles in our personal finance section. And don’t forget to listen to “The Investopedia Express with Caleb Silver,” our weekly podcast, and sign up for Investopedia newsletters.


At the Library

You may need to visit your library in person to get a library card if you don’t already have one, but after that, you can check out personal finance audiobooks and e-books online without leaving home. Some of the following best sellers may be available from your local library: I Will Teach You to Be RichThe Millionaire Next Door, Your Money or Your Life, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. Personal finance classics such as Personal Finance for DummiesThe Total Money MakeoverThe Little Book of Common Sense Investing, and Think and Grow Rich are also available as audiobooks.


Free Online Classes

If you enjoy the structure of lessons and quizzes, try one of these free digital personal finance courses:

  • Morningstar Investing Classroom offers a place for beginning and experienced investors alike to learn about stocks, funds, bonds, and portfolios. Some of the courses you’ll find include “Stocks Versus Other Investments,” “Methods for Investing in Mutual Funds,” “Determining Your Asset Mix,” and “Introduction to Government Bonds.” Each course takes about 10 minutes and is followed by a quiz to help you make sure that you understood the lesson.17
  • EdX is an online learning platform created by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It offers at least three courses that cover personal finance: “How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions” from the University of California at Berkeley, “Personal Finance” from Purdue University, and “Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making” from the University of Michigan. These courses will teach you how credit works, which types of insurance you might want to carry, how to maximize your retirement savings, how to read your credit report, and what the time value of money is.18
  • “Planning for a Secure Retirement” is an online course from Purdue University. It’s broken up into 10 main modules, and each has four to six sub-modules on topics such as Social Security, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and IRAs. You’ll learn about your risk tolerance, think about what kind of retirement lifestyle you want, and estimate your retirement expenses.19
  • “Personal Finance” is a free online video course from Missouri State University through iTunes. This basic course is good for beginners who want to learn about personal financial statements and budgets, how to use consumer credit wisely, and how to make decisions about cars and housing.20


Personal finance podcasts are a great way to learn how to manage your money if you’re short on free time. While you’re getting ready in the morning, exercising, driving to work, running errands, or preparing for bed, you can listen to expert advice on becoming more financially secure. In addition to “The Investopedia Express with Caleb Silver,” you may find these valuable:


  • The Dave Ramsey Show is a call-in program that you can listen to any time through your favorite podcast app. You’ll learn about the financial problems that real people are facing and how a multimillionaire who was once broke himself recommends solving them.21
  • Freakonomics Radio and NPR’s Planet Money both make economics enjoyable by using it to explain real-world phenomena such as “how we got from mealy, nasty apples to apples that actually taste delicious,” the Wells Fargo fake-accounts scandal, and whether we should still be using cash.2223
  • American Public Media’s Marketplace helps make sense of what’s happening in the business world and the economy.24
  • So Money with Farnoosh Torabi combines interviews with successful business people, expert advice, and listeners’ personal finance questions.25

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