Studies show that many Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement and can’t cover a relatively small emergency expense with the money they have on hand.
According to the Federal Reserve, less than two-fifths of adults believe they are saving enough for retirement. And 40% of adults say that if faced with a $400 unexpected expense, they’d sell something or borrow money to cover it.
Stagnating wages, of course, are one reason for people’s inability to save enough money for a rainy day and retirement. But a lack of knowledge about personal finance basics may also be to blame. Right now, just 17 states require personal finance classes for high school students.
So, if you’re hoping to get your financial life back on track, it might just be time to go back to school to learn the basics. And, luckily, there are plenty of free online personal finance classes just for that.
These 7 free online personal finance classes can boost your knowledge about everything from savings to retirement funds to investments.
Missouri State University’s personal finance course
Missouri State’s free eight-course personal finance program, available via iTunes, covers topics such as goal setting, budgeting, credit, insurance and investing. Classes run between just 5 minutes and 45 minutes and aim to provide students with the concepts and critical thinking skills they need to understand the effects their decisions have on their family and society, according to the description.
MoneySKILL is a free program from the American Financial Services Association that’s designed for middle school, high school and college students. But, in reality, it has something to offer to anybody who needs to brush up on the basics. The program covers everything from taxes and deductions to renting or owning a home, vehicle financing, secured borrowing, credit ratings, insurance essentials and more.
Khan Academy offers a wealth of free personal finance classes for the novice to the expert. Topics include the anatomy of a paycheck, buying or renting a house, stocks and bonds, the pros and cons of college loans and many more.
Purdue University’s retirement series
Purdue’s free 10-course Planning for a Secure Retirement series aims to ensure that you will be able to retire comfortably once it’s time. You’ll start out rating your own retirement readiness and thinking about the lifestyle you’ll want when you retire. From there, you’ll learn more about topics such as employer-sponsored retirement programs, what small business owners need to know about retirement and long-term care basics.
Coursera’s personal and family financial planning class
The University of Florida offers this program for free on Coursera. It covers important personal finance management topics that will be critical throughout your lifetime, according to the description, including financial statements, budgets, income taxes, building and maintaining good credit and more.
Alison, an online education platform, offers hundreds of online courses for free, including many on personal finance and financial literacy. Topics include managing your debt, an introduction to life insurance and retirement savings and more.
edX is another online education platform with many personal finance classes. (You have the option of paying a fee for a verified certificate once you complete the course.) The site features lessons from top universities, including the University of Michigan, which offers a Finance for Everyone course, and UC-Berkeley, which offers a class on how to save money.
So, if you’re still wondering why your employer withholds so much from your paycheck each month or if you’ll ever be able to retire, now is the time to bone up on your financial knowledge by making the time to complete one of these free courses.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.
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