Do you want to get better at personal finance? In this guide, we’ve highlighted some of the best personal finance courses and personal finance books to help you gain control of your money.
Even if everything else in your life is under control and working well for you, if you’ve got bad money habits, you’re going to be stressed out. Personal finance is something that everyone needs to study and, yet, most do not.
Fortunately, personal finance is not difficult to learn and master. There are tons of resources out there that will help you gain control of your finances and help you develop good money habits.
In this post, we’ve covered seven of the best personal finance courses on the web and provided a few great personal finance books as well. These resources are excellent places for personal finance beginners to start.
Table of Contents
I. Best Personal Finance Courses
1 Dave Ramsey – The Proven Personal Finance Plan
3 The Core Four of Personal Finance
4 Financial Planning for Young Adults
5 Personal & Family Financial Planning
II. Best Personal Finance Books
1 The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
Best Personal Finance Courses
1. Dave Ramsey – The Proven Personal Finance Plan
Enrolled: 6 million+
Dave Ramsey is sort of the “Godfather” of modern personal finance. His book, Total Money Makeover is one of the highest seeling personal finance books of all-time thanks to its simple and straightforward seven step plan for getting out of debt and building wealth.
Hi course, The Proven Personal Finance Plan expands on the topics discussed in Total Money Makeover. The course consists of nine different lessons, starting with building an emergency fund, sticking to a budget, and paying off your debt, and goes into more advanced topics like insurance, retirement planning, and real estate.
Ramsey’s course also comes with a 160-page interactive workbook that, if followed, will help you create good money habits.
All-in-all, if you don’t mind paying a premium for a well-structured course built on sound personal finance principles, then Dave Ramsey’s course is a great place to start.
- Dave Ramsey is regarded as one of the top minds on personal finance
- Nine lessons will take you from beginner to pro
- Exclusive access to EveryDollar Plus—a highly regarded budgeting app
- The course grants you access to an online community
FPU has helped me stay disciplined by encouraging me to see past all the things and experiences other people have and focus on what I have and can do. I’m thankful for how clear the Baby Steps are and am starting to see them work in my life.
I have had such an amazing experience in FPU! My leaders were outstanding, the group was so supportive and helpful. I feel like I learned a few things, but I mostly feel like my entire outlook on money and how I spend/save have been altered in the best way possible!
2. Personal Finance (edX)
Length: 5 weeks
If you’re looking for a more academic-style approach to personal finance, this course—and a few of the options listed below—might be better for you. This course, Personal Finance, is taught by Sugato Chakravarty, an economics professor at the University of Purdue and is offered through edX.
The course is estimated to take about 5 weeks to complete and will cover topics such as, how to make better financial decisions, the time value of money, stock market/investment basics, and retirement saving, to name a few.
The course is completely free to take, but for $49, edX will give you a certification (after you’ve completed the course) that you can use on your resume.
- Covers everything from the basics of personal finance, to advanced topics like stock markets
- Consists of about 5 weeks of material
- A certification of completion is available for $49
- Sugato Chakravarty is a professor of economics at the University of Purdue
3. The Core Four of Personal Finance (Udemy)
For those of you that have taken courses on Udemy and enjoy learning on the platform, The Core Four of Personal Finance is worth checking out. Taught by Son Han, this course breaks personal finance down into four core principles.
The course covers topics such as, investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, debt management, reducing expenses, and saving for retirement.
Currently, just over 18,000 students have enrolled in The Core Four of Personal Finance and the course has received a very positive rating of 4.5/5. It also only costs $13.99 and you get a certificate once you’ve completed the course. (Although, when comparing the value of a certificate of Udemy vs Coursera or edX, a certificate from Udemy might not be as valuable.)
Ultimately, if you’re looking for an affordable nd simple beginner’s course to personal finance, this course is worth checking out.
- The course has been taken by over 18,000 students
- Generally rated as a quality course with a 4.5/5 rating
- Covers the important principles of personal finance
- Consists of four hours of on-demand video
By Sair D
This course is amazing, I would recommend Son’s lectures to anyone wanting to get a good basic financial grasp. I highly recommend for high school students and young adults!
By Kenneth G
I am 36 and I was never properly taught how to manage money. So because of that lack of information, I have made some serious mistakes that have been haunting me for several years. After taking this course, I feel like I have some sort of game plan and tools to help financially unburden me. I know it won’t happen in a day but at least I have hope. Thank you so much, Son!!!
4. Financial Planning for Young Adults (Coursera)
Another University-based personal finance course worth checking out is Financial Planning for Young Adults from the University of Illinois on Coursera. The course is taught by three instructors, Nicholas Paulson, Charles R. Chaffin, and Kathryn L. Sweedler.
This four-week course consists of eight different modules that cover topics like, setting financial goals, assessing your current financial situation, budgeting and cash flow, saving, investing, and risk management.
Like most Coursera courses, the course is free to audit, but you can pay $49 and earn a certificate once you’ve completed the course.
- Taught by economics professors from a leading University
- Consists of eight modules spread across eight weeks
- Has been taken by over 23,000 students
- Has received a positive 4.5/5 rating from reviewers
By Carmen A
The course is well organized for people to understand the basics of financial planning. The teachers were very helpful and the discussions and graded activities did help a lot. They also give really good material and websites to learn more in depth if you want to.
By Erin H
I found this course a great overview of the concepts of financial planning: budgeting, borrowing, lending, and investing. The content was thorough and clearly laid out. I would recommend this course to someone who is interested in having an introduction to this topic or as a refresher.
5. Personal & Family Financial Planning (Coursera)
Last but not least, we have Personal & Family Financial Planning taught by Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D on Coursera. Gutter is a professor at the University of Florida, and in this comprehensive 9-week course, he takes you through both the basics of personal finance as well as some more advanced topics.
The course covers financial statements, budgeting, income taxes, handling credit, risk management, and investing, to name a few.
Over 49,000 students have enrolled in Personal & Family Financial Planning and the course has received a very positive 4.6/5 rating from the students who have left reviews.
The course does go a bit more in-depth than other personal finance courses, but it is a great place for beginners to start as well.
- Covers both beginner and advanced personal finance topics
- 9-weeks of study and content
- Has been taken by over 49,000 students
- Has received an average rating of 4.6-out-of-5
By Ashley W
I absolutely love this course! Recently I decided to become a FInancial Coach and the information here is very detailed & explained well. This course has given me a good refresher, and I’ve also learned some new things. I now have the confidence I needed to better assist my clients since starting this course. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful course!!
By Joe A
I didn’t purchase the course so didn’t do the quizzes, but the topics covered are so enormously important, regardless to the contents which is too broad to review in one course I gave it five stars just for bringing them up and presenting them to the public.
Best Personal Finance Books
1. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
In the arena of personal finance books, there are a handful of options out there that stand out. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley is definitely one of them. Stanley’s classic is one of the best-selling personal finance books of all time.
The book stresses the importance of living below your means and highlights how real wealthy people live, invest, and build their fortunes. It also outlines how ordinary people, through sound personal finance principles, can become millionaires.
2. The Total Money Makeover
We touched on The Total Money Makeover and Dave Ramsey above in his The Proven Personal Finance Plan course. However, if you’re looking to get the core of the principles that Ramsey teaches without having to pay the premium that his course costs, you can just pick up The Total Money Makeover.
Like The Millionaire Next Door, The Total Money Makeover is one of the best personal finance books ever written. Ramsey goes over the importance of getting out of debt and creating (and sticking to) a budget. Ultimately, the information in this book is perfect for the average debt-ridden American to help them improve their financial situation.
3. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Ramit Sethi is a popular money blogger (iwillteachyoutoberich.com) who goes a bit against the grain of popular personal finance advice. He doesn’t tell you to stop paying a few bucks per day for latte, but, instead, focuses on how you should manage your money through investments.
This book is perfect for anyone looking to improve their financial situation, but it is particularly geared towards 20-year-olds who have the investing advantage of youth.
Taking the time to understand and implement key personal finance principles can transform your life. In this guide, we’ve covered a number of excellent personal finance resources to help you get started. So, if you’re looking for the best personal finance course to get started, or a good personal finance book to pickup, one of the options listed above should work for you.
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