Personal finance is, well, personal. Everyone has individual needs, particular learning styles, and specific things they want to get out of a personal finance course. But at a minimum, look for a course with a comprehensive offering that covers the essential elements of personal finance in a user-friendly format and taught by an expert instructor.
For example, some people need more encouragement and motivation to stick with a plan. That’s where Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey+ course and membership can help. In addition to a top-caliber course, there’s a large community of current and former students to rely on.
If budget is a concern, but you don’t want to sacrifice quantity or quality, Udemy’s The Complete Personal Finance Course: Save, Protect, Make More is low cost and as comprehensive as you can find with expert instruction. But, if you’re looking for a top-notch free course, Kahn Academy has been offering quality instruction for 15 years.
For those who want to delve into the psychology behind personal finance, Duke University’s Behavioral Finance helps you deal with the typical biases that lead to poor decision-making.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to dig as far and deep as you want to learn personal finance, the Smart About Money resource library is seemingly bottomless.
If you want a course that has it all—comprehensive offering, expert instruction, and helpful money management tools at no cost—then you can’t go wrong with edX’s Finances for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision Making.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Learn in a Personal Finance Course?
A personal finance course teaches you the basic skills to live a healthy, happy, and secure life. From balancing a checkbook to saving for retirement and making the right decisions about your money, you should expect to increase your level of understanding around the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, debt, and investing for better money management outcomes.
Who Should Take a Personal Finance Course?
Anyone who struggles with certain aspects of their financial life could benefit from a personal finance course. You’re never too young to learn the principles and applications of personal finance. Financial literacy advocates would like to see personal finance courses as part of high school and college curriculums. And you’re never too old to learn, especially if you are facing money troubles, such as debt or lack of savings.
Can I Teach Myself Personal Finance?
There are countless books and guides on personal finance you can study on your own. However, some people need the structure, guidance, and motivation of an instructor-led course to keep them moving forward in the learning process. Whether learning on your own or taking a course, it’s essential to put your knowledge into practice while learning. For some people, it takes the guidance of an instructor to ensure they follow through.
How Much do Personal Finance Courses Cost?
You can find many personal finance courses that don’t cost a penny. But your time is valuable, so it’s essential to find a free course that doesn’t sacrifice quality or quantity. The four free courses in this roundup have comprehensive offerings and expert instruction, which is critical for making it worth your time. And the classes here that charge a fee offer something you aren’t likely to find in a free course. For instance, the Ramsey+ program offers community support which could be invaluable for some people. The average fee for courses we found is around $50.
How We Chose the Best Personal Finance Courses
While there are many personal finance courses to choose from, on the flip side, there are so many that it makes it challenging to find the one that best fits your needs. We looked at 20 courses that met our criteria of comprehensive offerings, user-friendly format, expert instruction, and any unique value-add features. We then compared them to narrow the list to the best personal finance course in six categories.