FREE Online Courses to Increase Your Financial Knowledge

October 22, 2014

Have you ever wanted to increase your knowledge about investing? Or wondered how you could make a budget that actually works for you and your family? Or looked for ways to establish a sound retirement plan?

Many of us might briefly entertain these thoughts but, let’s face it, it seems like the majority of this financial information is out of reach. Finances – and all of the nitty gritty subject matter that goes with it – can be incredibly intimidating.

For me, I don’t like to admit what I don’t know. So going out and gathering information from people out there is a little too intimidating. Instead, I read. A lot.

Luckily there are plenty of FREE online resources that cater to people just like me – those who like to silently gather information until they feel empowered enough to really take action. Are you ready to be an information-gatherer? Here are some great places to get started.

Planning for a Secure Retirement (Purdue University)
If you’re already saving for retirement, that’s a great start. But many people are saving blindly, meaning they’re taking the action without any distinguishable end goal. So how can you know whether you’re really on track or not?

This course will help you answer the questions you might have about retirement and create a plan best suited for you.

Personal Finance (University of Arizona)
Unfortunately, the very basics of money management are not discussed in most classrooms or even in many households. Yet knowing how to create a budget or go about buying a home is essential if you want to make your money work for you.

This course is extremely comprehensive, covering everything from creating a money plan to the power of compound interest. Test your knowledge with graded quizzes throughout.

Investing for Your Future (Rutgers Cooperative Extension)
Venturing into the world of investing can be intimidating. So intimidating, in fact, that many people won’t do it at all.

If you want to gather the knowledge necessary to feel confident in the investing arena, this course is for you. It covers mutual fund investing, tax deferred investments, investing small dollar amounts and much more.

Finance and Capital Markets (Kahn Academy)
Are you a visual learner? Then you may want to check out Kahn Academy’s video library on finance and capital markets. But don’t let the title fool you – it still covers everyday financial information like the basics of interest, how payday loans work, and more.

Financial and Economic Literacy (Alison)
This site provides a compilation of full courses from different sites into one easy to navigate format. You can check out comprehensive lessons on personal finance, math skills for personal finance management, fiscal and monetary policies, accounting, and more.

If there are a broad range of topics you’d like to cover, this might be the perfect site for you.

Financial Investing Tutorials (Investopedia)
Ready to move beyond the beginning investor knowledge? Investopedia has a database full of investing information covering what appears to be anything anyone would want (or need) to know on the topic. Learn how 403(b) plans work, how to navigate 529 plans, and so much more.

They also throw in a few non-investing related topics like teaching financial literacy to kids, mortgage basics, a guide to using credit cards, and much more.

Building a Budget 101 (YouNeedABudget)
You Need a Budget is personal finance software that pushes users to live by four basic principles in order to whip their financial lives into shape. The software isn’t free (although many people swear it’s certainly worth the $60 price tag), but the online classes are.

Whereas the rest of the resources listed are great for gathering knowledge, these classes seem to be perfect for acting on the lessons learned. Their budget workshop, for instance, will help you create a budget with assistance from a coach.

There you have it – a massive database of all the financial information you need to become an empowered money manager. What are you waiting for? Go check out these awesome, free resources!