10 Free Personal Finance Courses to Master Your Money

Personal finance courses aren’t typically featured in college curriculums, and they’re certainly not free.

Learning how to manage your money is essential in life, however. By mastering the basics, you can create a working budget, avoid credit card debt, get a hold on your student loans or even build wealth for the future.

Fortunately, free personal finance courses online make it easier than ever to teach yourself the basics of budgeting or the ins and outs of investing. Not only are these courses free, but some only require a few hours of your time and you can take them from the comfort of your own computer.

Ready to get started? Check out these 10 free personal finance courses so you can become a money pro in the new year.

1. Making Sense Of Your Personal Finances; Udemy
2. Personal Finance; edX
3. My Financial Mountain: Understanding Your Path to a Solid Financial Foundation; Skillshare
4. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement; Khan Academy
5. Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts; Alison
6. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest; Alison
7. Housing; Khan Academy
8. Financial Planning for Young Adults; Coursera
9. Decentralised Finance; FutureLearn
10. Understanding Loans; Udemy
PLUS: Free personal finance course FAQs

1. Making Sense Of Your Personal Finances; Udemy

This course will give you a solid foundation in budgeting, saving and managing debt. It will teach you how to set money goals and equip you with the tools to achieve your financial objectives.

What’s more, this course touches on the emotional side of money, so you can better understand your feelings around this complex subject.

Along with the video course, you’ll have access to nine articles and 11 downloadable resources to keep you on track toward your personal finance goals.

Duration: 1 hour, 22 minutes

2. Personal Finance; edX

Taught by Sugato Chakravarty, a visiting professor in Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, this five-week course has four main modules: investments, credit, insurance and retirement. Whether you’re looking to learn how credit works or how to maximize your retirement savings, this course will prepare you to handle your money strategically after you graduate and well into the future.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours per week for 5 weeks

3. My Financial Mountain: Understanding Your Path to a Solid Financial Foundation; Skillshare

Maybe you don’t have that much time to devote to learning about personal finance, or perhaps you just want a refresh of basic concepts. In that case, check out this quick and free personal finance course touching on important concepts, set out in quick-hit videos at up to three minutes each. It’s a great way to start thinking about income, savings and debt. Later, if you want a more detailed look into one or more of these topics, you could switch to a more robust course.

Duration: 24 minutes

4. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement; Khan Academy

Do terms like exchange-traded funds, Roth IRAs and 401(k)s make your head go fuzzy? If you want to learn more about investing, this Khan Academy course could teach you what you need to know.

From investing in mutual funds to saving in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, this course goes over the basics of investing and insurance, as well as prompting you to think about the risks and rewards involved.

Duration: Self-paced

5. Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts; Alison

This free personal finance course goes over how to manage debt and pay it off fast. It will teach you how to devise an effective debt-elimination plan, as well as strategies for prioritizing which loans or credit card balances to pay off first. Along with helping you deal with credit card debt, this course could also teach you ways to handle your student loans.

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes to 3 hours

6. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest; Alison

If you’re curious about the difference between simple and compound interest, check out this short one- to two-hour introductory course on Alison. It goes over how interest is calculated — whether on a savings account, a credit card or a loan — so you can understand how your rate could earn or cost you money. It will also go over how to calculate simple and compound interest on your own so that you can, for example, estimate the long-term costs of your student loan.

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes to 3 hours

Even if homeownership seems years away, you can get an introduction to the homebuying process with this straightforward course from Khan Academy. It will teach you about home equity and mortgages, as well as discussing the pros and cons of renting versus buying. If you’d like to learn more about the financial side of housing, this course could be for you.

Duration: Self-paced

8. Financial Planning for Young Adults; Coursera

If you set aside three to four hours per week, you could finish this financial planning course from Coursera within a month. This comprehensive online course, whose instructors include educators from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, goes over financial goal setting, budgeting, borrowing, credit, saving and investing.

Along with viewing lectures, you’ll also watch examples of financial decision-making in real-world scenarios. After taking this course, you should have the tools to make savvy choices and reach your financial goals.

Duration: 20 hours

9. Decentralised Finance; FutureLearn

If you want to learn about “blockchain, Ethereum, and the future of banking,” this four-week course is right up your alley. Hosted by RMIT University researchers, the course will cover the applications of blockchain in finance broadly, as well as other emerging technologies in the space.

You can sign up for this self-guided course for free, but be aware that you only have four weeks of access before you’d have to sign up for a paid account to access other courses on the FutureLearn platform.

Duration: 3 hours per week for 4 weeks

10. Understanding Loans; Udemy

Americans owe more than $1.75 trillion in student loans and over $850 billion in credit card debt. Whether or not you have loans currently, it’s important to understand how loans and lines of credit work so you can avoid taking on burdensome debt.

This one-hour course from Udemy goes over secured loans, unsecured loans, term loans and revolving credit so you understand how each type of debt works.

If you’ve got student loans, you might also look into Udemy’s course, “Tools and Strategies to Pay Off Student Loan Debt Quickly.” Although this course isn’t free ($19.99 at the time of writing), it could be useful for learning about repayment options and ideas for boosting your income.

But on the other hand, you don’t need to pay money to find excellent student loan advice. Take a look around Student Loan Hero for almost anything you need to know about school debt, including this guide on how to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule.

Duration: 49 minutes

Free personal finance course FAQs

It may eventually be in your interest to pay for personal finance education, particularly for live or in-person training where you can get your questions answered immediately. To begin your education or to start specializing in particular topics, however, you can sign up for free personal finance courses without commitment.

How can I learn about personal finance for free?

There are a wide variety of free personal finance courses from reputable online platforms like Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, Skillshare and Udemy. These platforms could be a good place to start, as you only need access to a device with internet service. There are other ways to learn about personal finance for free, though. You might also look into resources at your local library, for example. Your neighborhood bank or credit union might also offer educational materials or even sponsor a financial planning event where you can pick the brain of a Certified Financial Professional (CFP).

Which free personal finance course should I try?

It really depends on both your experience level with personal finance and what topics you’re aiming to learn about. If you’re completely new to managing your money, for example, you might prioritize courses about building your credit history and establishing a budget. If you’ve been exposed to personal finance education in the past, on the other hand, you might take courses that increase your knowledge around more complex topics like debt repayment and investing. If you’re not sure where to start, consult our list of free personal finance courses.

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