At a Glance
Finances are one of the leading stressors individuals around the world face on a daily basis. A large portion of this stress, however, is derived from the fact that many people have simply never been exposed to personal finance before. Rather than throwing yourself straight into the fire, consider taking some of the best financial literacy courses to give yourself a step up in your understanding of money.
In this article, you’ll learn:
The amount of Gen Z adults who scored 51%-100% on a financial literacy test, compared to 48% of millennial adults, 48% of Gen X adults and 59% of baby boomer adults in 2021.
Comparing the best personal finance courses
|Khan Academy’s Personal Finance||Free||12 Hours||Self-guided||Beginner|
|Udemy’s Personal Finance 101: Everything You Need to Know||Free||3 Hours||Self-guided||Beginner|
|FINRA Smart Investing Courses||Free||Variable||Self-guided||Intermediate|
|Duke University Behavioral Finance Course||Free||5 Hours||Self-guided and Assisted||Advanced|
|Ramsey Solutions’ Ramsey+ Financial Peace University||$79.99||Variable||Self-guided and Assisted||Intermediate|
|The Income Tax Course from H&R Block||$0-$142 based on materials||62 Hours||Self-guided and Assisted||Advanced|
Closer look into the best courses on personal finance
1. Khan Academy’s Personal Finance
Description: Khan Academy has become one of the most recognizable names in the educational space and for good reason. The courses offered by this brand provide insightful knowledge into a number of topics and their personal finance course is no exception.
As one of the best courses on personal finance available, this course will cover topics including:
- Saving and budgeting
- Interest and debt
- Investments and retirement
- Income and benefits
- Car expenses
- Paying for college
The entire course is self-guided and allows a person to go at their own pace, making it great for those who like to take the time to review different topics.
Duration: 12 hours of video content
- Multiple different topics covered under one single course
- The course is completely free of charge
- Long overall length means adequate time is spent on each subject
- Many of the learning pages link out to other learning sites, which can be confusing for readers
- No teachers available to assist with questions related to the topics
2. Udemy’s Personal Finance 101: Everything You Need to Know
Description: Udemy may be a lesser known brand as compared to Khan Academy, but that doesn’t mean their Personal Finance 101 course is worse. Serving as a quick three-hour course that covers the basics of personal finance, a person can learn a lot from this course. There is absolutely no prior financial knowledge or experience required in order to complete the course, and no external software is required either. As an added bonus, Udemy does not require those taking the course to have any knowledge of mathematics or statistics. The topics covered include:
- Developing a financial foundation
- The basics of bank accounts
- The basics of credit cards
- The basics of taxes
- The basics of loans
- Everything to know about debt management
- How to finance your education
- The basics of investing
- The basics of car shopping
Duration: 3 hours of video content
- The Udemy personal finance course is completely free of charge
- The topics covered within the course are highly applicable to the average person’s life
- Few topics covering ongoing financial management
- The course is relatively short compared to others on this list
3. FINRA Smart Investing Courses
Description: Rather than focusing on specific personal finance skills that relate to everyday life, this best online personal finance course by FINRA focuses on investing. There are six sub-courses a person can consider taking including: Setting Investment Goals, Defining Terms, Risk and Return, Rate of Return, Diversification, and Fees and Expenses. The average person should, at some point in their life, dive into the world of investing, and these FINRA Smart Investing Courses aim to make that happen.
- Investing focuses classes help participants grow their wealth over time
- The course is completely free to take
- FINRA is an accredited and registered financial protection organization
- The courses only focus on investments and no other areas of personal finance
- The topics covered arguably require some financial background to properly comprehend
4. Duke University Behavioral Finance Course
Description: Most people have heard of the accredited Duke University at some point in their life, but did you know they offered financial education courses online and completely free of charge? Their behavioral finance course focuses on the thousands of decisions a person makes in a given day and how the biases of those decisions can impact a person’s financial standpoint. This is a self-guided course, but the material is laid out by Emma Rasiel who is the accredited Professor of the Practice of Economics for the University.
Duration: 5 hours self-guided
- Free personal finance course offered by a top University in the nation
- Mid-length course helps to ensure participants can stay engaged without needing to take too many breaks
- The topics covered in this course require some level of financial background
- The topics covered focus more on economics and social studies as opposed to pure personal finance
5. Ramsey Solutions’ Ramsey+ Financial Peace University
Description: While all of the above are the best free online personal finance courses, the Ramsey Solutions’ Ramsey+ Financial Peace University is a unique paid for option to consider. Covering the broad topic of how to pay off debt fast and start saving money for the future, this course aims to help a person stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. The promise is that a person can pay off their debt without two years, but that in just three months a person can start feeling significantly better about their money.
- Over 10 million people have completed the course as of this point in time
- Ramsey Solutions’ Ramsey + offers a wide range of courses and a community of like-minded individuals looking to improve their financial position
- The course is not free and costs $79.99
6. The Income Tax Course from H&R Block
Description: H&R Block is known around the country for helping people with their taxes, but did you know that they also offer material to help the everyday American understand these taxes? The Income Tax Course from H&R Block is targeted towards future tax preparers, but anybody can learn something new from this course. Trainers in the field assist during the process to answer any questions that may arise, but the course is mainly self-guided and has real-life tax preparation exercises. The topics covered include:
- Tax filing
- Wages and income
- Self-employment income
- Retirement contributions and distributions
Duration: 62 hours
Cost: Free, $99-$142 for additional materials
- Assistance from professionals in the field who can help answer any questions that may arise
- Free for those who don’t purchase additional materials
- Long course that has plenty of content to absorb over what will likely be multiple weeks
- Tax topics can be quite dry, and the course may take a while to get through
- The course can be expensive if a person purchases all the bells and whistles with it
Who should take a personal finance course?
Nobody in the world is above taking a personal finance course, as there are a number of nuances to personal finance that can make it difficult to understand. On top of this, there are always new tips and tricks to learn when it comes to managing personal finances, which a personal finance course can outline.
It is certainly possible for a person to teach themselves everything there is to know about personal finance. However, personal finance is such a broad topic that it’s easy for a person to accidentally get stuck on the wrong topics. This is where the guidance of a personal finance class can be particularly helpful, as only the most important topics are covered.
The best way to learn about personal finance is to invest in a starter course that can go over all the necessary basics. A person can then begin self-studying and learning more information on their own, or they can choose to invest in some of the best personal finance courses that come at a higher price, yet cover more intricate topics.
For those who haven’t had any sort of background in finance, specifically personal finance, a class instructed by a teacher or even self-guided can be extremely beneficial. Some people may be embarrassed to be enrolled in financial education courses, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with educating yourself on anything and everything to do with personal finance.