It is easy to assume that this is an overpriced attendance event. There are many ‘experts’ in the field that sell their knowledge at a high price, but there are many options out there for those being conscious of their finances looking to learn more.
Whatever you opt for, whether this be online tutorials to in-person bootcamps, financial literacy is something that needs to be enhanced, this being particularly relevant in the US.
Finance Knowledge is Low
According to a recent survey carried out by Global Finance Literacy Excellence Centre, almost two thirds (63%) of Americans are ‘financial illiterate’. To clarify, financial literacy refers to the inability to “properly understand and effectively apply various financial skills…’. Budgeting, investing and personal finance encompass this.
To contrast this, it is shown that students who are required to take personal finance courses from a younger age actually have better credit scores and lower debt as young adults. This is supporting by findings from the Brookings Institution that highlighted strong financial literacy is linked to high asset accumulation and higher than average net worth by the age of 25.
Finding the Right Course For You
Going in blind to look for a personal finance class or course for your individual needs can be a difficult task. To make this task easier, there are a couple of things you can do to increase your chances of success.
Looking for a real expert to teach you on whatever platform you choose is essential to getting the most out of your experience. A teacher that not only understands the topic but whom is also certified and has experience in the field, coupled with positive customer reviews is always a safe bet.
Checking over and reviewing the course materials will benefit you also to ensure that what you are learning is what you actually need. From saving to investing, vetting the course and the material is always a good choice.
Whilst reviewing the course material, not only does it need to meet your needs, but it must be relevant and timely. Teaching outdated practices in the ever-changing world of finance will more than likely hinder your progress. Making sure you are learning current best practices in the field will be a huge benefit, particularly relevant to your age and income.
Lastly, have a look at the learning outcomes and see if you can identify others that have finished the course and how they have utilised their newfound knowledge. Again, if the course is not actionable, there is little point in undertaking the course. There is some benefit to having background theory of the area but being able to go out and improve your financial practices from the offset is the ultimate goal.
Should I Go Online or in Person?
Ultimately this is up to you and the level in which you want to improve your financial knowledge. Online platforms such as Udemy can provide full length courses at discounted prices, enabling you to learn at your own pace.
In person courses will set you back more but will provide you with perhaps more guidance and a more rigid structure. You have to identify what will fit you needs better.
Most will start off online and, if they feel they want to further their learning, attend an in-person course. Choosing both can be an all-encompassing way to do this, but of course comes down to your commitment and level of learning.
It is worth noting that in your process of finding the right course, many will be free on the surface. A lot of options are free and of high quality, but chances are down the road you will be encouraged to purchase a financial service. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just approach with caution and know what you want, and you will be good to go!
Depending on your age, many non-profits and high schools offer free courses to aid with your financial planning that is well worth investigating. If you are in doubt about this, a financial planner can assist you in any of the tough decisions. Make sure to seek out a certified financial planner to aid you with this.
Ultimately a course in financial management is highly advised. Make sure to identify what is best for your personal needs and you will surely be on the road to better financial health.