Finance is a topic that isn’t necessarily taught in schools, yet is invaluable in running and managing our everyday lives. Many people reach adulthood without fully understanding concepts such as taxes, savings, investment and credit cards. Once you get into financial struggle, it can be extremely difficult to get out unless you learn to take control of your finances. Many times, people have the resources to ensure all their basic needs are met, but don’t know how to allocate them correctly and always feel short on cash. Other times people won’t have prepared for the future at all, and a sudden expense can cause them a huge shock. Thankfully there are a number of good financial learning resources online available for free, and a small investment of time could have substantial returns in your future.
Coursera Introduction to Finance. This free online course is instructed by a professor from the University of Michigan, in which students will learn about essential concepts of valuation – how to create value from assets using both theory and real-world examples. Although some principles will apply more to business owners, time, money and risk are all factors everyone must consider at some stage in their lives.
OpenLearn Managing My Money. Over a 24 hour course, students will learn how to manage all aspects of their personal finance including budgeting, debts, investments, pensions, property buying and insurance. The information and statistics are all constantly updated (albeit aimed at UK users) so that the advice is current and relevant to you. The key focus is on you – managing the money that will affect you the most. If you’re finding it hard to cover the bills every week or are dealing with debt that doesn’t seem to get paid off, this is an excellent course.
Open2Study Financial Literacy. Financial literacy is the general term for understanding what money terms mean, and two professors from Macquarie University offer this course to not only help understand but also plan and set goals. Setting up a plan for your money, following through and seeing the results is all part of true financial competence – and once you understand the concepts involved, it becomes a fun challenge rather than a struggle.
If you feel like your finances are something beyond your control, a course in financial literacy could help give you confidence. It’s a skill we use every single day that impacts our entire lives, so it makes sense to be as proficient as possible.