Learn Financial Literacy
What is Financial Literacy?
If you want to make better decisions about your money and resources, you’ll need financial literacy. You must understand the intersection of personal finance, financial concepts, and financial planning to build on your current wealth and provide long term stability. It can be tough to make the right decisions about your money if you don’t know what your options are. There are many components to wealth, and money is only a part of that picture. Financial literacy helps you see your entire financial picture in a clear light so that you can make the best decisions about your financial goals.
Learn about Financial Literacy
We can’t understate the importance of financial literacy. Financial decisions can’t be made in a vacuum. Resource and money management requires an understanding of the economic landscape and how to prepare for future occurrences. If you want stability, you need a solid foundation in financial education. That doesn’t mean you need years of school, necessarily, but the more you understand about the different aspects of financial literacy, the more prepared you’ll be to make these big decisions that can affect not only your organization but your personal life as well. There is so much advice out there about finances, how can you be sure what to trust?
Financial Literacy Courses and Certifications
edX has partnered with leading institutions and thinkers in the world of finance to bring you the most up to date and appropriate financial training. You can take courses in a variety of financial subjects without worrying that the advice is outdated or worse incorrect. Whether you’re learning beginning concepts like interest rates or complex ideas like those in many financial services, edX.org can help. If you’re looking for financial training within a business context, there are many targeted courses and certifications available. You can learn foundational concepts in risk management with a professional certification series from IIMB or build skills in management accounting with professional certification from ACCA. Other choices include courses in financial analysis (Babson), decision making (USM), and corporate accounting (IIMB). There’s even a course on FinTech and ethics from HongKong Polytechnic. Personal finance training is also possible with courses on money management, financial planning, and retirement savings for individuals. These courses prepare you for financial situations, both short term and in the future. You’ll be able to build peace of mind through emergency funds and long term wealth building.
Financial Literacy – Stability for the Future
Whether you’re making a career of financial literacy or wanting self-improvement, the courses offered through edX.org give you the knowledge and expertise to improve your financial future. The financial choices you make today for yourself or your organization affect your future wealth. Make sure your financial resources have the best chance of success. From spending habits and personal financial literacy to big-picture understanding of corporate financial wellbeing, a large portion of your future success depends on foundational knowledge. Build those skills and set yourself up to succeed.
Are You Teaching Financial Literacy To High School Students?
The teaching curriculum consists of fourteen lesson plans & worksheets designed to augment a semester course in life skills and personal finance management. The Teacher’s Guide, compiled in a separate, easy-to-use notebook, includes an outline of the curriculum:
- Lesson objectives
- Suggested resources
- Teaching notes
- Chart indicating appropriate age groups for the key learnings offered in each lesson
- Presentation slides
- Answer keys to worksheets (when necessary)
Lesson One: Making Personal Finance Decisions
Each day, we are faced with many decisions. While most decisions are simple, such as “what should I wear?” or “what should I eat?,” others are more complex, such as “should I buy a new or used car?” As decision-making skills are used and improved, a person’s quality of life is enhanced. Wiser choices result in better use of time, money, and other resources. This introductory lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn more about decision-making. The lesson starts with an overview of the decision-making process followed by a discussion of various internal and external factors that affect decisions.
Lesson Two: Making Money
Building your career is one of the surest ways to increase income and make money. When planning for the future, one of the most critical financial decisions is determining your career path. In this lesson, students will be encouraged to consider various topics related to career planning and the financial aspects of employment. This variation of the decision-making process can help a person match personal abilities and interests with appropriate employment opportunities.
Lesson Three: The Art of Budgeting
A personal budget is a financial plan that allocates future income toward expenses, savings, and debt repayment. “Where does the money go?” is a common dilemma faced by many individuals and households when it comes to budgeting and money management. Effective money management starts with a goal and a step-by-step plan for saving and spending. Financial goals should be realistic, be specific, have a timeframe, and imply an action to be taken. This lesson will encourage students to take the time and effort to develop their own personal financial goals and budget.
Lesson Four: Living on Your Own
As young people grow up, a common goal is to live on their own. However, the challenges of independent living are often quite different from their expectations. This lesson provides a reality check for students as they investigate the costs associated with moving, obtaining furniture and appliances, and renting an apartment.
Lesson Five: Buying a Home
For many, buying a home is the single most important financial decision they will make in their lifetime. However, the process of becoming a first-time homebuyer can be overwhelming, and requires a foundation for basic home-buying knowledge. This lesson will provide students with information on buying a home and where and how to begin the process. After comparing the differences between renting and buying, students will be introduced to a five-step process for home buying. This framework provides an overview for the activities involved with selecting and purchasing a home.
Lesson Six: Banking Services
If the fee for an ATM transaction to withdraw money is $1 and a person withdraws money twice a week, the banking fees for that person will be $104 a year. Over a five-year period, those fees invested at five percent would grow to more than $570. Most students know that banks and other financial institutions (credit unions, savings and loan associations) offer a variety of services. However, few people know how to make wise choices when using financial services. In this lesson, students will learn about the different types of financial service products available and the features of each.
Lesson Seven: Credit
In today’s world, credit is integrated into everyday life. From renting a car to reserving an airline ticket or hotel room, credit cards have become a necessary convenience. However, using credit wisely is critical to building a solid credit history and maintaining fiscal fitness. While most students have a general idea about the advantages and disadvantages of credit, this lesson provides an opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail.
Lesson Eight: Credit Cards
What is APR? What is a grace period? What are transaction fees? These and other questions will be answered in this lesson as students learn about credit cards, and the different types of cards available and features of each, such as bank cards, store cards, and travel and entertainment cards.
As students start to shop for their first (or next) credit card, this lesson will make them aware of various costs and features. Included in this section is a discussion of the methods for calculating finance charges. Various federal laws protect our rights as we apply for and use credit cards, such as procedures for disputes and protection from card theft and fraud. In this lesson, students will also be given an opportunity to analyze the information contained on a credit card statement.
Lesson Nine: Cars and Loans
“Should I buy a new car or a used car?” “Where is the best place to finance my automobile purchase?” “Is it better to take the rebate or the low-rate financing plan?” These are typical questions asked by people buying vehicles. In this lesson, students are asked to identify costs associated with owning and operating a motor vehicle. Since these costs are commonly underestimated, guidelines are provided on how much to spend when buying vehicles.
Lesson Ten: The Influence of Advertising
In today’s modern world, advertising seems to be everywhere we look; online, television, billboards, magazines, newspapers, on buses, grocery carts, even cell phones. In addition, some forms of advertising can be subliminal, such as the strategically-placed soda can in a movie. We can’t help but be influenced and manipulated as consumers. In this lesson, students will become aware of the various techniques and appeals used to influence consumer behavior.
Lesson Eleven: Consumer Awareness
Decisions, decisions. With so many choices available to us, how can we be sure we’re making the right decision? Wise consumer buying starts with a plan. Using a systematic purchasing strategy will provide students with an ability to make more effective purchases. Comparative shopping techniques will be discussed to encourage students to carefully consider price, product attributes, warranties, and store policies. Next, this lesson covers a variety of buying methods, such as buying clubs, shopping by phone, catalogs, online, and door-to-door selling.
Lesson Twelve: Saving and Investing
Saving just 35 cents a day will result in more than $125 in a year. Small amounts saved and invested can easily grow into larger sums. However, a person must start to save. This lesson provides students with a basic knowledge of saving and investing. The process starts with setting financial goals. Next, a commitment to saving is discussed.
Lesson Thirteen: In Trouble
The material in this lesson will help students become aware of the warning signs of financial difficulties. This lesson includes information on where to go for debt consolidation help and for nonprofit credit counseling.
Lesson Fourteen: Consumer Privacy
In today’s information age, keeping your personal financial information private can be challenging. What you put on an application for a loan, your payment history, where you make purchases, and your account balances are but a few of the financial records that can be sold to third parties and other organizations. This lesson, with attached budgeting activities, will encourage high school students to take the time and effort to develop their own personal financial goals and spending behaviors.
In an effort to give you the most up-to-date information for teaching and making personal financial decisions, we’ve compiled the following lists of periodicals and organizations that can enhance your use of Practical Money Skills for Life.
More Resources for Students: The Cost of College
The cost to attend college has soared faster than almost any segment of the economy over the last 30 years. The average cost for students attending a public university is up 213% ($3,190 in 1988 to $9,970 in 2018), while private school is up 129% ($15,160 to $34,740) over the same time period.
That’s the primary reason Americans are $1.4 trillion in debt on student loans.
The good news is that are hundreds of online sites offering tips on not just what it will cost, but what you can do to pay for it. So, take a deep breath and check out these sites that should help you find a college you can afford to attend.
- www.collegedata.com: This is a wonderful resource for everything from cost factors to how to apply to how to pay your own way.
- www.trends.collegeboard.org: They specialize in providing historical data on college pricing, financial aid and what your degree will be worth when you graduate.
- https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider/costs: This is the site for the Department of Education, which provides approximately 67% of college financial aid. You will find detailed evaluation of costs and financial aid here.
- https://www.aie.org/: This site offers answers on the cost of college, how to finance it and even how to manage money while you’re there.
- https://nces.ed.gov/: This is a government site that collects and analyzes date from every college and provides accurate data on average cost of attendance.
- www.mykidscollegechoice.com: Very focused on finding a college you can afford and ways to pay for it.
- www.collegecountdown.com: Asks and answers questions about actual costs of college, school that fit you financially and how to evaluate offers you receive from colleges.
8 Fun and Free eLearning Courses That Teach Financial Literacy to Young Adults
BySamantha RoseSamantha RoseSamantha Rose is a personal finance writer covering financial literacy for OppU. Her work focuses on providing hands-on resources for high school and college-age students in addition to their parents and educators. Updated on December 10, 2021
Access hundreds of hours of financial lessons for free.
Schools across the country have closed their doors in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Students have been sent home and classrooms are empty.
But learning doesn’t have to stop.
eLearning programs provide educational materials that students can access from home. And courses from a range of sources teach all subjects offered at school — including personal finance.
Here are eight online programs that are free and have financial literacy lessons tailored toward young adults.
The Financial Planning for Young Adults course was created by the University of Illinois in partnership with the CFP Board. It is hosted on Coursera, a free online learning platform that offers courses in a variety of subjects, including personal finance. Access to audit the course is free — simply create an account.
The course provides an introduction to financial-planning concepts. Tailored to young adults, the topics include financial goal setting, budgeting, saving and investing, borrowing and credit, and risk management. It is organized into eight modules that span a four-week timeline. Each module introduces a financial concept through videos and quizzes — encouraging discussion and real-world applications beyond the lesson.
If students are interested in becoming a financial planner, they’re in luck. The final module is devoted to exploring financial planning as a career. The module includes video interviews with CFP® professionals.
Wells Fargo created the Hands on Banking® eLearning center to provide free financial resources. These resources are available to anyone interested in learning how to manage their finances.
Read the informative articles spanning topics like banking basics and money tips for students. Or take the self-directed courses to learn about financial management at each stage of life.
The course hub includes financial materials for adults, young adults, and students customized by grade level — elementary, middle, and high school.
OppU — that’s us — is the financial education platform of OppLoans. We deliver a free, standards-aligned online curriculum that covers the core topics of personal finance. The online lessons are structured as four modules: spending, budgeting and saving, credit, and debt and loans. Lessons consist of interactive videos and quizzes.
All materials are free to use. Just create an account to track your progress in the courses.
Interested in further learning opportunities? OppU publishes financial articles providing tips, resource lists, and other materials, like worksheets and ebooks.
Ages: College and above
Are you a student interested in building an individualized personal finance plan?
Coursera offers another great personal finance course: Personal and Family Financial Planning. The course was created by the University of Florida and Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D., a professor of family, youth, and community science.
In addition to covering the basics, the course expands on the topics of investing and risk management, among others. It was designed to encourage participants to critically evaluate and change their money habits.
Although this course is advertised as open to all ages and experience levels, college-age students may receive the most value. To audit the videos, create a free Coursera account.
Haven’t heard of Udemy before? It’s an eLearning platform used by professionals and students. The Udemy course, Personal Finance 101, contains everything you need to know about personal finance. Seriously.
The course includes 53 lectures for a total of three hours worth of video content. It’s designed with beginners in mind, teaching practical skills from taxes to credit cards. Don’t worry, hard math skills aren’t required.
All you need to do is create a free Udemy account to access this course.
If you haven’t created a free edX account yet, what are you waiting for? The edX platform contains thousands of eLearning videos.
The Personal Finance Planning course is sponsored by Sugato Chakravarty, a professor of consumer economics and management at Purdue University. It contains four independent modules: credit, investments, insurance, and retirement.
This personal finance course explores real-world examples and practical solutions to financial problems. Even if the solutions aren’t applicable to your daily life — as they vary in relevance based on your age and priorities — you’re guaranteed to learn at least one new thing.
Khan Academy offers online personalized learning materials to empower students outside of the classroom. Their eLearning courses are full of practical exercises, real-world applications, and instructional videos.
Check out Khan Academy’s Saving and Budgeting unit for a brief overview of how to manage your finances. Learners will start by identifying their overarching financial goals. Answer a few questions to determine your priorities. Then, create a budget backed by basic strategies for financial management.
The best part is that eLearning at Khan Academy is free. That means endless browsing in the platform’s library of trusted articles, videos, and exercises.
Ages: College and above
- SAM courses
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is a nonprofit dedicated to financial empowerment. The NEFE’s Smart About Money (SAM) program is an expert-backed financial education resource free to all consumers.
SAM offers personal finance courses, complete with quizzes, calculators, worksheets, and additional reading materials. This makes it a great digital resource for young adults interested in pursuing financial health and wellness. Be sure to check out the education and career-related articles, which provide tips on back-to-school budgets and saving for college.
With schools closed across the nation, educators and parents are turning to eLearning to help young adults continue their education. Check out these resources for free and fun personal finance lessons that students can complete at home.
Have you taken a financial literacy eLearning course? Tell us which one @OppUniversity.
Online High School Course Description
Prerequisites: Introductory Algebra or equivalent
Financial Literacy offers an engaging, scaffolded curriculum that introduces key topics and principles necessary to financial literacy. The one-semester course covers earning and spending; savings and investing; credit and debt; protection of assets; and financial planning and decision-making. Through real-life scenarios and hands-on activities, the course explores choosing among banking and investment options, shopping for an auto loan, choosing among career and college options, financing options for continuing education, planning for retirement, and creating and living within a budget. As a social studies course, Financial Literacy is designed to complement courses in Economics and Mathematics for Personal Finance.
This course is built to state standards and further informed by standards from the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy’s National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education.
To assist students for whom language presents a barrier to learning or who are not reading at grade level, Financial Literacy includes audio resources in English.
This course is aligned with state standards as they apply to Financial Literacy and adheres to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Problem Solving, Communication, Reasoning, and Mathematical Connections Process standards.