Online courses

5 top things I learned from taking a FREE financial planning course

After just the first week module

On April 15th Coursera turned 9, which consequently means they are offering 9 courses for free, for a limited time!

Hurry, as these courses are available until April 30th!

“Coursera is turning 9 and we want to celebrate with you! Your drive to #LearnWithoutLimits is why we’re here. To celebrate, we’re highlighting 9 courses and offering you a limited-time opportunity to earn a free certificate for one of these courses:

The courses offered vary widely and you are sure to find something that piques your interest. I’m eager to complete at least two! Firstly, I chose the Financial Planning for Young Adults course offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This particular course is peer-reviewed, which is exciting in and of itself.

I chose this course because I’m well into my second year of working and thus earning a salary, and currently lost when I consider:

  • getting additional life insurance?
  • have a portfolio? (whatever that is)
  • how to save more efficiently?
  • budgeting?

In all honesty, it’s not clear to me how to best handle my money. If I am more informed on these aspects I can consider other interests, goals, paths and even careers.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far, after the first week module

1. Money personalities

There are 5 major ways to describe your money personality. Take the free Money Harmony quiz and learn very quickly a lot about how you deal with money. For further reading check out Olivia Mellan’s website and book.

2. Dream big (but everyone kind of has the same ideas)

When they conducted street interviews and asked passerbys the age old question: What would you do if money wasn’t an object? You’d be surprised to find out the answers don’t vary all that much:

  1. Buy a house/car/property (for my parents, etc)
  2. Travel the world
  3. Donate
  4. Stay in school (lifelong learning!)
  5. Go crazy and spend it all

But that’s truly, and really about it.

3. Measurable goals

Research has proven time and time again that people who write out their goals in specific terms are more certain to reach them. Make your “dreams” measurable through SMART goals.

4. Personal balance sheet (also called: Net Worth statements)

Identify your assets(+) and liabilities(-) to measure where you are now, and compare over time. Personal balance sheets are handy on a (minimum of a) yearly basis

Find an example of a balance sheet here.

5. Life cycle of the net worth

There is a definitive life cycle of net worth. In the beginning the checks are not in balances due to large loans such as student debt, mortages, etc. People are usually amassing more wealth as they age, and debts shrink. This sorta peaks at the age of retirement. Net worth life cycles may vary.

The abovementioned are a few things I have learned from just the first week module. Though most of these might sound like common sense, there’s nothing like a college professor explaining them into detail.

Hurry and choose your FREE coursera course today, you won’t regret it! Which course will you be starting?

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