21 FREE Online Personal Finance Courses

Online Personal Finance Courses

Improve your financial literacy with a free personal finance course

One of the biggest reasons for wealth inequality in the U.S. is the lack of education in personal finance.  This is according to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, one of the top-selling personal finance books of all time.

Once upon a time, just a few short decades ago, people had to rely on finance professionals and a limited number of books to learn about topics like budgeting, investing, and retirement planning.

For many, figuring out the various components of personal finance seemed too complex and intimidating.

Today, the internet has helped to level the playing field tremendously.  There are thousands of resources online to help you learn more about money management, and many are free!

In today’s post, I’m sharing with you a list of 21 free online personal finance courses.  Just click on the title of the course to go directly to the site and sign up to start learning.

Now you have no excuse to *not* be a money master!

1.  Credit.org Personal Finance Education

This site offers eight free personal finance classes, including “Understanding Your Credit Report” and “Creating a Budget”.

The website states that all of their online courses are free and available 24/7.  No need to register.

You’ll need to provide your email if you would like to receive their optional “Document of Achievement”.

2. CashCourse Real-Life Money Guide

Although this site is geared towards helping college students take control of their finances, you can register as an “Other Learner” to gain access to several different courses spanning many financial topics.

There are also financial tools such as worksheets and a Budget Wizard, a dashboard to track your progress, and a large collection of questions answered by financial experts.

Requires creating a free account.

3.  Finance For Everyone: Smart Tools For Decision-Making

This is an introductory personal finance course taught by the University of Michigan. Through the instruction, you will gain the knowledge required to make better financial decisions and improve your financial literacy.

The course will explain the many applications of finance and teach you how to apply frameworks and tools to make smart financial choices. Topics covered include stocks and bonds, evaluating various loan products, and how to use financial tools for daily decisions.

Although it is self-paced, the suggested schedule to complete the course is 5-6 hours per week for 6 weeks. A good grasp of high-school algebra is recommended.

4.  Purdue University’s Planning for a Secure Retirement

This course is specifically to help people plan for their retirement and is provided by Purdue University’s Agriculture Department.

There are ten modules, as well as a guide that you can download and print as you work through them.

Some of the many topics include expenses in retirement, Social Security, Medicare & health benefitsand Individual Retirement Accounts. 

There is also a page of links to several different financial websites.  No registration required.

5.  Khan Academy Personal Finance

I love Khan Academy!  This site helped me so much when I was studying for my master’s in teaching secondary mathematics.

They also provide a course in personal finance, broken down into 10 different topics.

In addition to the typical personal finance topics, this course also includes housing, car expenses , and taxes.  

Khan Academy teaches courses with video, so if you prefer to watch lessons instead of read them, you should check this one out!

You don’t need an account, but if you create a free one then your experience will be more personalized and your progress will be saved.

6.  Smart About Money

Smart About Money is a free resource from the National Endowment of Financial Education.

The site provides personal finance courses, articles, calculators, and tips to help you develop better money management.

There are eight categories ranging from money basics to creating a retirement plan.

A free account allows you to save bookmarks, budgets, and quiz results.

7.  edX.org Personal Finance course

This is another free online course provided by Purdue University.

This course will teach you the basics of stock markets and investments, how insurance works, and much more.

It is hosted by the educational website edX.org and requires creating a free account.

8.  Managing Your Personal Finance Debts

Offered by Alison.com, an online course provider, Managing Your Personal Finance Debts will teach you how to reduce your debt burden through proven money management practices.

You will learn how to alleviate the debt you already have, as well as prevent acquiring more debt in the future.

If you want to start eradicating your debt balances for good, sign up for a free Alison.com account and start crushing your debt today!

9.  Missouri State University:  Personal Finance

This video course (available on YouTube) was created by Missouri State University and leads you through the study of personal finance topics from the consumer and societal perspectives.

You will learn more about topics such as insurance principles, personal savings, investment fundamentals, and retirement planning.

10.  Utah State University:  Change Makes Sense

The Utah State University Extension department provides this free personal finance course.

There are four sections, including Debt Elimination, Credit 101, Budgeting Basics, and Getting Organized.  

There are workbooks you can download and print out for each section.

For this course, you are both the “presenter” and the “participant”.  For each, you will need to fill out a short form, providing your name, email address, organization and state.

You must fill out each field to gain access to the curriculum and materials, so for the organization, you can just type in “[your last name]  household”.

11.  Study.com’s Finance 102: Personal Finance

This free personal finance course hosted by Study.com contains expert instruction and self-assessment quizzes.

The 81 lessons are video-based, covering 11 different chapters, including such titles as Personal Taxes, Interest Rate Types, and Planning for Major Purchases.  

There is also a paid version if you would like to receive college credit.  I did not need to sign up for a free account to access the curriculum, but having one will probably make for a more personal experience.

12.  Open University:  Managing My Money

Open University has provided this free, intro-level, personal finance course so you can learn to better manage your money.

The self-paced course is organized into 8 weeks of curriculum, and includes such topics as Expenditure & Budgeting, Savings & Investments, Pensions,and Insurance.  

There are also downloadable resources to support your learning.

You will need to sign up for a free account to access all course activities, but this will also enable you to track your progress and receive a statement of participation.

13.  CNN Money:  Money Essentials

This free resource from CNN Money is set up like a personal finance informational portal, where you’ll find 7 different categories with a variety of topics.

Learn more about insurance, investing and retirement planning without having to create an account.

These short, easy-to-read articles are perfect for the person who needs concepts written in plain English.

14.  My Financial Goals: Investing In Yourself

These free online classes are provided by American Financial Solutions, a personal finance counseling organization.

There are ten “classes” to choose from, such as Introduction to Investing, Setting Financial Goals, and Understanding Credit Reports.

Each class is presented with a video, downloadable resources, and a short quiz to test your knowledge.

You are required to sign up for a free account.

15.  Duke University:  Behavioral Finance

This course on behavioral finance is offered by Duke University.

The purpose of the course is to help you better understand financial decision-making errors that can be avoided.

You will learn how to make better financial choices and improve your spending, saving, and investing decisions for the future.

The syllabus is organized into 3 weeks of study, each including videos, readings, and practice exercises.

The course is hosted by the educational website Coursera, but I did not need to sign up for an account to access the materials.

16.  edX.org: Investing In Yourself

In this free online course from Wellesley College, you will learn to “think financially about investing in yourself and your future“.

You’ll learn how to apply basic financial principles to personal financial decisions, and how to analyze the costs and benefits of most of your life decisions.

The course is self-paced, with lessons divided into 7 weeks and 5 modules.  It’s hosted on edX.org, where you’ll need to create a free account.

17.  MRUniversity: Money Skills

Offered by Marginal Revolution University, whose mission is to provide a “world-class economics education to everyone, everywhere for free.”

Topics you’ll learn about include how to invest your money, whether to rent or buy, and even which career path is right for you.

The course is broken down into four modules: investing, real estate, career, and saving.

There are 10 videos with exercises to guide you through the curriculum, and no registration is required.

18.  MoneySKILL.org

This basic money management course offered by MoneySKILL covers five modules, including topics like income, expenses, and credit.

There is a pre-test and a post-test to measure your knowledge and a calculator tool provided.

You will need to sign up for a free account.

19.  Morningstar’s Investing Classroom

Morningstar offers 7 different courses that cover investing in stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and bonds.

Perfect for both the beginner and experienced investor, these free text-based lessons will teach you how to make better investment decisions for your financial security.

20.  SoFi: Introduction to Personal Finance

SoFi offers this general overview of personal finance through Class Central, an aggregate of online courses.

You will learn a variety of personal finance topics, such as budgeting, cash flow, how to set financial goals, and taxes. The course uses videos, readings, and activities to help you apply what you learn.

This course will give you the knowledge necessary to understand how money works, and the steps you need to take to manage your finances in the future.

21.  University of Florida:  Personal & Family Financial Planning

Created by the University of Florida and hosted by Coursera, this course covers critical personal financial management topics such as income tax basics and maintaining good credit.

The syllabus is organized into 8 weeks of study using videos, readings, and quizzes.

You can enroll for free by creating a Coursera account.

Pick one free personal finance course and get started

If you’re like most, then you probably didn’t learn about smart money management in school.  And perhaps your parents never shared important financial lessons with you before you moved away from home.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in yourself now and become better educated on how to manage your own money.

Nobody will care more about your finances than you, so take the initiative to become more knowledgeable about financial topics so you can make wise and educated decisions.

With the plethora of information online, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed with where to start.  Don’t overthink it.

Just pick one of the free personal finance classes listed in this post, and get started.

Ben Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  

You don’t need to rely on others to tell you how to handle your money.  Take the time to educate yourself and you’ll be reaping the benefits for years to come.

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Woman typing on laptop next to roses with text overlay: 21 free online personal finance courses

21 FREE Online Personal Finance Courses


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