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What is a Personal Finance Class?

K. Testa
K. Testa

A personal finance class usually provides students with the basics of money management. It can teach someone how to create both short and long-term financial goals. Some of the ways that it helps students accomplish those goals is through instructing them on how to make a personal budget and how to choose investment opportunities. Such a course can also show students different ways to prepare for future events, such as retirement and estate planning. The class may be taken in person or online, through either an accredited institution or a more informal venue, like an informational website.

These finance classes usually teach basic budgeting tips. Whether the individual lives alone or is a member of a large household, he or she can benefit from learning how to track income and expenditures, for example. A personal finance class might also address different types of taxes. Creating an overall picture of the household’s economic situation can help someone determine his or her priorities, and take the next steps in managing his or her finances. Some examples of more specific personal finance advice might include how to develop a savings plan and how to manage important paperwork.

A personal finance class teaches basic budgeting and how to effectively save and spend money.
A personal finance class teaches basic budgeting and how to effectively save and spend money.

Students in a personal finance class might also learn about investing for beginners. In doing this, they typically become familiar with common terms, such as diversification and risk. A basic finance class will usually cover the fundamentals of investing small amounts of money in stocks or bonds. It might also deal with the tax implications of certain types of investments.

In this kind of class, students often also learn about retirement planning. One common issue that is addressed might be the amount of income one will need to meet living expenses once he or she has retired. Instructors might also discuss benefits, including health coverage, that one might be eligible to receive. The personal finance class could address different types of retirement plans offered by employers, including employee options for contributing. On the other hand, if someone is self-employed, he or she might want to learn how to set funds aside for this purpose.

A personal finance class can also teach someone the fundamentals of estate planning, which refers to the handling of one’s assets after death. One class may offer a broad overview of this topic, while another class may provide students with more in-depth information, based on location. In the U.S., for example, most laws related to estates and personal property vary from state to state.

Choosing the right personal finance class can depend on several factors, such as one’s goals, schedule, and budget. Classes can generally be taken in person or online. Depending on the complexity or amount of information one wants to learn, he or she can opt to pay for a class or look for free courses. Some free classes are available from prestigious U.S. universities. Many also teach students how to select personal financial advisers to assist them further with meeting their economic goals.

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Discussion Comments


If a young person hasn't taken a personal finance class in high school or college, it isn't too late. Many non profit organizations, adult educations schools, and civic organizations offer such classes free of charge to help people understand how to spend, save, and invest.


@Talentryto- You are absolutely right about the need for young students to learn about personal finances. Unfortunately, the requirement to take such classes often comes after people are forced to file for bankruptcy. By learning how to manage money before they get into financial trouble, young people will have happier, more secure futures.


I think that every student should take a personal finance class, because so many young people do not know how to handle money. From saving to investing to using credit cards, learning the basics of money management will help young people stay out of debt and save for their futures.

In my opinion, every high school and college should require students to enroll in personal finance classes. Over time, I think we would see a lot less personal debt and a lot more savings if people learned about finances early in life.

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    • A personal finance class teaches basic budgeting and how to effectively save and spend money.
      By: benjaminnolte
      A personal finance class teaches basic budgeting and how to effectively save and spend money.