Affordable Personal Finance Classes

by David Sung

Last fall, findings from a Harris Interactive Survey showed that nearly a third of adults in the United States have made poor financial decisions as a result of their lack of  personal finance knowledge. The same survey also showed that more than 40 percent of adults missed out on good financial opportunities as a result of their lack of financial literacy.

Many schools are beginning to offer personal finance in the classroom because it’s important to teach money management skills early in life so good habits can hopefully be formed. But even if you don’t possess an understanding of personal finance as an adult, please don’t fret. It’s never too late to start learning financial literacy skills that can make a tremendous impact over time.

To help boost your financial literacy, we’ve compiled some suggestions on ways you can take personal finance classes that are affordable.

Local Community Colleges

Community colleges are often overlooked as places where you can broaden your knowledge of many subjects. If you inform the school that you’re interested in taking a course for just learning, the registration fees will typically be waived because you won’t be taking the course for credit. Also, instructors will know if you’re not receiving credit for the course. Therefore, they will not hold you to the same stringent requirements as the other students who are trying to acquire credit. Of course, doing all the homework will likely help you learn more.

Online Courses

Thanks to the Internet, many courses that teach personal finance basics are available online. Check with your state university or area community college to see if any of their personal finance courses are taught online. Some courses may even be taught by video.  Independent online learning courses such as Khan Academy offer a great education at the click of a button. Many of these online classes are also free, but just be sure to vet for credibility before investing time into their courses. Last summer, Yahoo! Finance compiled a list of six free Internet courses that teach personal finance that you may want to check out.

The Library

Over the years, hundreds if not thousands of personal finance books have been published. Your local library likely has plenty of personal finance books that you can browse. Before you spend hours scanning books, head online to find the best peer reviewed books and call the library to see which ones they have. Keep in mind to not browse too far back because you may start reading information that is outdated especially if it relates to stocks or other financial markets. We also suggest starting a book sharing club with other friends who have a desire to understand more about personal finance.

Personal Finance Blogs

Many people dispense personal finance knowledge via their blogs. Many of these bloggers rely on their readers for income, so it’s a good bet that they’ll only want to provide good information. Yahoo! Finance published a list of the top personal finance blogs last year that you may want to consider. Finally, for even more information on personal finance, take a look at these personal finance experts on social media and personal finance investment myths. We have also published some of our own personal finance infographics.

Where have you found great personal finance advice? Leave a comment and let us know!

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