Sometimes it can feel like effective money management is one of those skills that you just have to be born with. Really, though, it’s something that we all have to learn at one time or another – so if you haven’t been lucky enough to get a good financial education at school or from your parents, that doesn’t mean it’s too late.
First of all, you can find plenty of information on blogs like this one – and if you’re just looking for a few tools or tips then that might be all you need. However, if you’re struggling to find what you need or would like a little bit more structure then it might be time to delve into a personal finance course.
What will I learn?
A personal finance class is likely to go right back to basics: you’ll learn about the different financial products and services that are available, how to set up a budget, managing credit and debt and plenty of other everyday essentials. You might cover the basics of thing like buying property and investing, too.
This isn’t the same as developing financial skills for career development. Personal finance classes are all about helping you develop the skills that you need to take control of my money.
What courses are available to me?
If you want to do a physical course then you’ll need to do some research to find out what’s available in your local area. Local colleges will sometimes run evening classes on this topic, and charities sometimes host classes aimed at people who are particularly struggling. There may be a fee for registering, especially if you want to attend a college.
Otherwise, you can find a range of different options online. Several online learning platforms provide money management classes that are either free or low-cost – for instance, Udemy.com offers a class covering what they call the four pillars of personal finance for under 20 quid, while Alison.com has a financial literacy module that is completely free. You can check the course summary and read reviews before deciding on a class that seems right for you.
Aside from the obvious cost benefit, online classes are great because you can go over materials in your own time and from wherever you happen to be. The downside is that it’s not always as easy to all questions, so you may find it difficult to get extra support if some of the information is unclear.
What if I want information tailored to me?
A personal finance teacher will help you to understand the general principles of money management. What they won’t do is dive into your unique financial situation and make recommendations tailored to you. If that’s what you’re looking for, you may need to speak to a financial adviser instead. You can pay an adviser to give you information based on your individual circumstances – or, if you need advice because you are struggling with financial problems, you may be able to get free help.
It’s never too late to learn how to look after your money, and once you get started you’ll find that even a little bit of information can really help to ease stress and put you back in control.