Free Online Savings and Finance Courses

These free online courses will teach you how to deal with all aspects of money management, including budgeting, investing, retirement, and estate planning.
These free online courses will teach you how to deal with all aspects of money management, including budgeting, investing, retirement, and estate planning. | Source

Personal Finance is a subject that everyone needs to learn since money is a part of all of our lives. You may have learned about how to deal with money from your parents, but some of the information may be outdated or incomplete. They can only teach you what they know, and they probably haven't had the course either. As new banking and investment products are being offered, the economy and tax laws changes, you need to keep up with the changes through continuous education.

You can make up for the fact that the course wasn't offered to you. Even if did take a course, you can take another, updated one now, to learn about how to save, borrow, plan for retirement, and even plan your estate. You can pick up topics that did not interest you in the past as the circumstances in your life change. Best of all, you can learn for free, and on your own schedule through the internet.

These are all courses that are designed to guide you through the world of personal finance. Some of these are actually long term college courses that students have taken for credit, while others are shorter and geared towards a general audience.

These free finance classes are presented in alphabetical order.

Accounting Coach - Learn Accounting Online for Free

Accounting Coach offers a series of classes to help you learn accounting principles. The 34 classes include Bank Reconciliation, Financial Ratios, Bookkeeping, Debits and Credits, and Present Value of a Single Amount. Be sure to view them in the recommended order, since the list of classes is in alphabetical order.

American Financial Solutions - Investing in Yourself

American Financial Solutions offers a series of classes. They suggest that you view them in order. The classes are: Setting Your Financial Goals and Making a Budget, Your Banking Relationship, Understanding Credit and Credit Reports, Introduction to Borrowing, Introduction to Investing, Identity Theft and Predatory Lending, Children and Money, and Your Financial Life for Young Adults. Click on the link that says "Classes" to choose the one you want to take. You don't have to sign in to take the course, but if you do sign in, they will let you keep track of your progress, record your quizzes and give you a certificate at the end.

Carnegie Melon - Experiments in Economics

Experiments in Economics is not a current course offered by Carnegie Melon, but is available from the archive. There are 8 modules that include Supply and Demand, Minimum Wages, Monopolies and Cartels, and Sales Tax. There are assignments you can do to practice.

Charles Schwab Online Workshops

Charles Schwab offers a few seminars that you can watch online. These are seminars so you can watch the ones that pertain to your financial situation. You can easily keep track of your progress on the class, as a timer indicates where you are in the workshop. Here are the classes they currently offer,

  • Financing Fundamentals classes include College Savings, Spending and Managing Debt, Estate Plan, and Benefits of Working with Schwab.
  • Investment classes include Bonds Explained, Building a Strong Investing Foundation, EFTs Explained, Reassessing Risk in your Portfolio, Time-Tested Approach to Investing, and Using Bonds to Generate Income
  • Retirement classes include Funding Your Paycheck in Retirement, Getting Retirement Ready, Maximize Retirement Savings with IRAs, and Saving for Retirement: Get Started Now.

CNN Money - Money 101

CNN Money offers a series of 23 lessons you can take at your own pace. Class offerings include topics such as Setting Priorities, Basics of Banking and Saving, Basics of Investing, Saving for College, Taxes, Buying a Car, Insurance, and 401(k)s.

Learn about stocks, bonds, treasury securities, and many other possible options to invest your money from these free classes.
Learn about stocks, bonds, treasury securities, and many other possible options to invest your money from these free classes. | Source

Cooperative Extension System - Investing For Your Future

Financial Security for All was developed by the Cooperative Extension System in association with your local university. It provides in-depth training for many types of situations, such as investing for the older person, dealing with bankruptcy, issues for farm families, estate planning, and organizing your important papers. You can choose the courses that interest you.

For example, Investing For Your Future is an 11-unit course. It starts with how to find money to invest, explains important financial principles, and tells you about different types of investments, such as fixed income, mutual funds, tax-deferred investments, and small dollar amounts. It also tells you how to choose financial professionals and avoid fraud.

Educational Film Center - Economics U$A

Economics U$A: 21st Century Edition is an economics course presented in an interactive website with interesting videos, MP3s, and tools. It provides an overview of economics that includes history, theory and practice by using current trends and historical analysis. There are 28 programs in the series, including The Great Depression, Pollution and the Environment, Stagflation, The Banking System, and Federal Deficits. I have sampled all of the courses in this article, and plan to go back to take this course.

Millionaire Tip

Don't limit yourself to online courses. You may be able take actual classes in person about personal finance topics for free. Check with your local library, university, or broker to find ones in your area.

ERI Distance Learning Center

The ERI Distance Learning Center offers many different classes that may be particularly helpful if you are self employed or work in human resources or other management fields. Courses for the employee include How to Manage Personal Debt, Individual Retirement Plans and 401(k) Plans, Planning for the Government's Help in Retirement: Social Security and Medicare, Starting Your Own Business, and Basics of Employee Stock Option Plans. You will need to create an account to take any of these classes.

Missouri State Time Value of Money

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Open Economics Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a large number of open courses that you can take, including Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Behavioral Economics, Game Theory, Statistics, and Economic Crisis. Some of these are lecture notes, while others include assignments and exams. One has multimedia content. They have graduate and undergraduate courses. The Introduction to Finance and Managerial Accounting is for undergraduates.

Balance your budget, and save enough money to buy house or a car, and even your retirement with these free classes you can take online.
Balance your budget, and save enough money to buy house or a car, and even your retirement with these free classes you can take online. | Source

Money Management International

Money Management International offers a variety of courses for consumers. Specific topics are bankruptcy, credit reports and credit scores, earn more, family finances, financial crisis, frugal living, holiday headquarters, home ownership and home loans, loans and debt, love and money, money and budgeting, savings, and youth and money.

Some of these appear to be links to articles, but if you look on the left, you will find links to hour-long webinars as well.

Open University - Business Courses

The Open University has a variety of classes you can take on business and personal finance. Course titles include Investment Risk, Introduction to Financial Services, You and Your Money, The Financial Markets Context, and Introduction to the Context of Accounting. Most of these courses are three to six hours long, although some are much longer. The ones I sampled had references to the UK.

Purdue Agriculture - Planning for a Secure Retirement

The Planning for a Secure Retirement class from Purdue Agriculture has 10 modules that help you with all aspects including retirement readiness, social security, Medicare, employer retirement programs, individual retirement accounts, self employment, and lump sum retirement distributions. They also have classes on estate planning.

Millionaire Tip

While you are looking through all of these sites, you may want to make a note of the other free online courses and other information that are also available to teach you about a large variety of subjects.

University of Idaho

The extension office of the University of Idaho offers classes on Identity Theft, Credit and Debt, Financial Security, Money 101 and Spend Less, Live Well. These classes are offered as a series of articles about the topics.

University of Irvine - Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning

Personal Financial Planning from the University of Irvine is designed to help consumers be better able to make decisions about the financial planning advice they receive. Topics include planning family spending, risk management through insurance, taxes, wealth accumulation, investing, and retirement and estate planning. There are eight modules that contain 1 to 6 lessons to read, and require about 25-30 hours total to complete, so you cannot do it in an evening or a weekend. There are no tests and you will not receive a certificate, but you will get valuable guidance that may help you throughout your life.

The University also has some video lectures on entrepreneurship and other topics.

Keep your family safe and financially protected by using the information and tips you learn from these lessons for free.
Keep your family safe and financially protected by using the information and tips you learn from these lessons for free. | Source

Utah State University - Family Finance

Family Finance is a class that was recorded in 2005 at Utah State University. There were three 100 minute classes per week. There are classes about many topics such as budgeting, buying vs. leasing, develop financial goals, credit cards, home ownership, and organizing paperwork. Look at the syllabus, additional resources, and other information on the left side of the page, and when you are ready to start, click on "download this course" on the right side of the page.

Millionaire Tip

Some of the classes on this list are from commercial vendors that want you to buy something from them. You are not required to buy anything, so you can learn a great deal from them and take the knowledge elsewhere.

Don't feel guilty about taking the free information and walking away. The class is their opportunity to market their wares to you, so simply participating in the marketing effort is your payment.

World Wide Web Tax, Inc. - Free Online Income Tax Course

Free Online Income Tax Course is offered by World Wide Web Tax, Inc. It provides 30 daily lessons that take an hour or two to complete. The video and audio classes also include quizzes and homework assignments. It shows you how to prepare taxes with their proprietary software 1040 ValuePak, but you are not required to purchase the software to take the course.

It also tells you how to interview clients so you can start your own tax business. It is difficult to tell if the information in the class is current, but the copyright date on the website does say 2012, and the site does say that clients are informed of tax law changes each year. Even if it isn't, it will provide you with the basic information that you need to get started, and you can use the free software listed on the IRS website to do your own taxes.

Yale University - Economics Courses

Yale University offers some videos on economics. You can listen to these four courses on YouTube or iTunes.

  • Financial Markets was taught by Robert J. Shiller on campus twice per week for 75 minutes in 2008 and recorded in 2008 and 2011.
  • Financial Theory by John Geanakoplos
  • Game Theory by Ben Polak

Studying finance every day on the internet will help you live frugally, pay off those bills, invest for your future, and become richer.
Studying finance every day on the internet will help you live frugally, pay off those bills, invest for your future, and become richer. | Source

Chart Your Own Course

Instead of taking a course that is prescribed by a particular school or institution, you can freely read some financially related article every day. They are available in so many different places and ways.

My personal opinion is that every source is biased in some way. For example, the investment professionals may be pushing investments that boost their revenue, and may not look at investments that are outside the purview of what they sell. Some individuals may not have information about the latest financial products or may tend to be more conservative. Some of them may not be written by professionals in the field, but I enjoy learning about different viewpoints so I can make my own decisions. Here are some places you can get this free information:

4 Principles of Marketing Strategy

  • Your internet provider probably has a list of financial articles and is good for keeping up with the latest financial news, for example, MSN Money and Yahoo Finance.
  • YouTube videos.
  • Newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Kiplinger have websites that include free news and information.
  • Look for competitors to the sources listed in this article. There are many schools and brokerage firms in addition to the ones listed here that offer financial information.
  • There are many blogs that specialize in financial topics. For example, The University of Illinois extension office provides a blog called Plan Well, Live Well. You will find many blogs on frugal living, couponing, money management, as well as many related topics.
  • There are many articles right here on HubPages. There are currently 17 categories on the Personal Finance topic, including debt and bankruptcy, frugal living, insurance, personal finance software, and taxes.

Free Internet Resources to Learn About Money

There are so many resources that will teach you not only about the basics of handling money, but more advanced topics about dealing with estate planning, deciding whether to buy or lease, whether to refinance your mortgage, how to spot and avoid fraud and scams, and how to invest your money wisely. Take advantage of these free opportunities to learn, and you will find that you are capable of working towards a more secure financial future. The investment of your time could pay off a million-fold throughout the course of your life.

© 2012 Shasta Matova

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Comments: "Free Online Savings and Finance Courses" 28 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you stillwaters. It is quite an honor to be one of your favorites. I do hope you reference it often, and take the time to take a free online finance course or two.


stillwaters707 profile image

stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

Congrats on HOTD. This hub is one for the favorites. It's one to be referenced often. There's lots of good, useful, necessary information about managing money responsibly.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Happyboomernurse, Edgar Alan Cole, TattooKitty, and The60life. Even though I have read up on personal finance topics ever since I got internet access as a young adult, and even worked in the industry for more than a decade, it is amazing how much I still have to learn. I am happy to know that there are all these courses out there that keep me updated and informed.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks CZCZCZ, StephSev108, and Glimmer Twin Fan. I hope you are able to take advantage of some of the free courses that are out there, not only for personal finance, but also for whatever you want to learn.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Stephanie. Having all the resources in one place does make it easier to find them, so we can spend more of our time actually taking the courses.

Thank you tillsontian, what a great analogy. There is always so much to learn about both!

Thank you Linda Lou, I hope you find some time to learn more about personal finance by taking one or more of these classes.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you lumeire -there are a lot of resources out there. I do hope you find some time to go through at least one.

Thank you Daisy. You're welcome. Thank you for your visit, comment and support.

Thank you carozy. Investing your time is as important as investing your money, maybe even more so.


The60life profile image

The60life 4 years ago from England

Well done, Millionaire Tips. The award is well deserved.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks everyone! It is quite an honor to receive the HOTD award for this hub. This one took a lot of time to research, so it feels great to be recognized for it.

Thanks RTalloni, Congrats on being the first to visit my hub since it was awarded.

Thanks ElleBee, most of these courses are available at your own pace. For more structure, you may want to see if current classes are being offered at your local school.

Thanks mary615, I do wish schools offered more in terms of money management. Some schools do offer some classes, but there is so much to learn, and most kids aren't ready for things like retirement planning when they are just learning how to balance a checkbook. New products are being offered all the time and the economy changes, so this is a course that you really have to keep up with continuing education.


The60life profile image

The60life 4 years ago from England

Yet another hub full of tips and helpful advice. Is there any excuse for any one, of any age, who wishes to profitably occupy themselves to their lasting financial benefit, not to access and use these free resources? And all available in the convenience of their own home. An interesting read from beginning to end. I thank you with a vote up.


TattooKitty profile image

TattooKitty 4 years ago from Hawaii

Excellent resources & information! I will surely investigate these sites (as I'm definitely not the best money-manager!) Voted up!


Edgar Alan Cole profile image

Edgar Alan Cole 4 years ago

Incredible article. The amount of valuable information is very useful to say the least. Thank you for sharing.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Wow!!! What a comprehensive and useful guide and it's amazing that these courses are all free!

I saw a few that I'm definitely going to look into.

My state (Delaware) has a free "Money School." Individual hour long evening classes on many of the topics you've listed here are usually given at local libraries throughout the whole state.

Congrats on earning HOTD. Voted up across the board except for funny.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

Great idea for a hub tips! Congrats on your HOTD too!


StephSev108 profile image

StephSev108 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is a Wonderful hub and very useful info. Thank you.


CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

What a great resource of information. Congrats on getting the hub of the day for this article.


lindalou1963 profile image

lindalou1963 4 years ago from Texas

Some very useful information... thanks for sharing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Money is like children....let me explain, anyone can have children but we never REALLY learn how to raise them...we all have to deal with money but we never REALLY learn how!

This is a great hub chock full of good ideas to bring us up to speed. Great job putting this together for us!

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared. I know I'm a little late but congrats on the HOTD!


StephanieBCrosby profile image

StephanieBCrosby 4 years ago from New Jersey

This article is extremely useful. Thank you for combining all these resources in one place. And congratulations on your Hub of the Day.


carozy 4 years ago

What a great article. Lots of helpful info. I'll come back to this when I'm ready to invest some time in a financial course or two. Congrats on Hub of the Day, well deserved!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Shasta (Millionaire Tips),

Thanks for publishing such a helpful Hub. I appreciate all the time you spent in researching this.


lumeire profile image

lumeire 4 years ago

Bookmarked, can't absorb it all at one go. ;)


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Congrats on HOTD! You put a lot of work and effort into getting all this information together. I do wish our schools offered a course in personal finance. I always taught my children how to open a savings accout (and a checking acct. after they got a job). I taught them how to balance their checkbook, etc.

I voted this Hub UP, etc. and will share.


ElleBee 4 years ago

Wow! There's a lot of information here and I haven't even taken the course yet - I will definitely have to check some of these out. The CNN Money format sounds most appealing to me since its individual "lessons" you can take on your own pace, but I think a mroe official course might work better for me since it will give me some accountability to follow through and complete the whole program! I will definitely be investigating more thoroughly very soon.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Very interesting to learn about these courses. Thanks for putting together a great list of resources for savings and finance education. Congrats on your Hub of the Day award--well done!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Kathy. I was happy to know that there are so many sources to get the information that we are lacking about how to take care of our finances. It is just a matter of taking the time to review the material.


savingkathy profile image

savingkathy 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

What a great list of resources for anyone wanting to learn more about personal finance! It always amazes me that we don't do a better job of educating kids in school about money matters. It's such important information for everyone. Voted up and useful!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

You're welcome Aurelio. The university ones tend to be more scholarly, while the others may be easier to understand or more interesting, but an economics course is a great foundation to understand the big picture of finance. Thanks for your visit, comment and vote.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Thanks for these resources. I especially like the ones sponsored by universities. Voting this Up and Useful.

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