100 Free Open Courses to Be Your Own Financial Planner

In today’s economy, the smart financial planner is the one looking after his or her own money. Spend some time becoming acquainted with the various aspects of the financial world with these classes that cover everything from the basics of accounting and investing to learning about markets and understanding the impact of a global economy on finances. By the time you finish with this free education, you will know exactly what to do with all that money you saved on classes.

Financial Basics

From the fundamentals of finance to getting out of debt to learning how to face a decrease in income, these classes will help you get a firm grip on your finances. Specifically, these courses can be immensely beneficial for students getting an online bachelor degree in finance

  1. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning. Learn the basics of getting personal finances in order and planning for the future with this class. [UC Irvine]
  2. Finance Theory II. Gain the necessary tools to make sound financial decisions with the information learned in this course. [MIT
  3. Family Finance. Identify, establish, and implement personal financial goals in this class that also provides tools and services for use. [Utah State University]
  4. Money 101. Learn from such helpful topics as budgeting, getting insurance, investing for retirement and college, and taxes. [CNN Money]
  5. Managing Your Money. Work your way through these four lessons to learn what not to do and how to get yourself on the path to good finances. [Suite101.com]
  6. Understanding and Controlling Your Finances. Study such topics as gaining control, 401(k) plans, investment options, buying a home, and more. [BGY Publishing]
  7. Where Does My Money Go?. Find out how to create a “priority spending” plan to help you save your precious earnings. [CredAbility U]
  8. When Income Decreases but the Bills Don’t. Whether you’ve been laid off or are facing a reduction in income, take this webinar to learn what measures you can take. [Money Management International]
  9. Let’s Talk-Couples and Money. Fighting about money is one of the biggest stresses in a marriage. Learn how to communicate with your partner or spouse about money. [Money Management International]
  10. Credit Management Coach. This short tutorial offers a short quiz and solutions to your credit difficulties. [Bethpage Federal Credit Union]

Debt and Credit

It’s no big surprise to learn that after years of living on credit, many Americans now find themselves in debt. If you need to learn how to get a handle on debt and live with credit wisely, then check out these classes.

  1. Personal finance: Debt and borrowing in its wider context. Explore debt, the cost of debt, household debt, and the borrowing process in this class. [The Open University]
  2. How to Manage Personal Debt. Take this course to get your debt under control. The course is free, but if you want to take the exam, it will cost $24.95. [Distance Learning Center]
  3. How Do I Get Out Of Debt?. Learn how to pay off debt and live within a workable budget. [CredAbility U]
  4. Put you Debt on a Diet. Follow this plan to get yourself out of debt faster. [Money Management International]
  5. Your Credit Report and Credit Score. Take the mystery out of the sometimes elusive credit score and learn why it is important to your financial health. [Money Management International]


Take these classes to become an expert in accounting so you have a better understanding of your finances.

  1. Introduction to the context of accounting. Learn all the basics of accounting in this course. [The Open University]
  2. Accounting Basics. Study balance sheets, cash flows, and more in this class that covers the fundamentals. [AccountingCoach.com]
  3. Financial Accounting. This class teaches students to understand financial, managerial, and tax reports with an emphasis on the relationship between accounting and economic events. [MIT]
  4. Financial Accounting. Learn basic accounting principles in order to prepare, understand, and use financial statements. [College of Eastern Utah]
  5. Financial and Managerial Accounting. Investors and managers will benefit from this intensive class that looks at the preparation and interpretation of financial information. [MIT]
  6. The Art of Counting. Practice learning about and using numbers in this math class that offers a unique approach to numbers. [MIT]
  7. Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Change. Students will “examine and critique accounting frameworks” across a variety of applications in both US and foreign environments. [MIT]
  8. Accounting Concepts Tutorial. Learn about accounting concepts, debits and credits, and more in this simple tutorial complete with worksheets. [FSO-Financial Management]
  9. Accounting. Get the basics in this class that covers such topics as accounting for accruals and deferrals, double-entry accounting, and more. [Simple Studies]
  10. So, you want to learn Bookkeeping!. This 7-lesson class includes quizzes, games, and tests and will teach you the basics of bookkeeping. [Bean Counter]


Demystify the world of taxes with these classes and presentations.

  1. Taxes and Business Strategy. Students will learn to implement tax strategies while also recognizing tax planning opportunities. [MIT]
  2. Online Income Tax Course. Take this free course to learn all about filing personal income tax forms. [The Tax College]
  3. Tax Class. This site offers a plethora of tax information and articles about a variety of subjects. Take the time to read through this to become knowledgeable about several tax topics. [The Tax Prophet]
  4. Small Business Video and Audio Presentations. Learn all about taxes from the IRS in these helpful presentations. [Internal Revenue Service]
  5. Tax Information for Individuals. Get information on tax changes, tax incentives, taxpayer rights, and much more from the IRS. [Internal Revenue Service]
  6. GAO: understanding the tax reform debate. Download this paper to get the history and learn about the future of federal tax policies. [The Free Library]
  7. Become a Tax Expert. This short, informal course will help you understand tax policies. [The Banneker Center]


Considered an investment and an important part of your financial portfolio, learn about insurance and how it affects finances with these classes.

  1. Managed Care and Health Insurance. Learn about the major issues involved in health insurance and managed health care. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  2. Public Economics II. Study aspects of the economy that affect the public in this class that touches on social insurance programs and health care policy. [MIT]
  3. Fully Covered. Get the lowdown on the basic types of insurance and discover why you need insurance to protect yourself and your family. [CredAbility U]
  4. Understanding Insurance. Find out the basics about life insurance, investment products, and more in this tutorial. [RBS Wealth Management]


Learn about economics from these courses so you can understand how finances work within a world full of many influences that can affect markets, economy, saving, and spending.

  1. Introduction to Economics. Cover the basics in economics with topics such as the history and principals of economics and public vs. private sectors of the U.S. economy. [Utah State University]
  2. Economics. Use online workbooks and experiments to learn the basics about macroeconomics in this class. [Carnegie Mellon]
  3. Economics Basics. Learn about supply and demand, elasticity, monopolies, and much more as you get the fundamentals for what makes up the study of economics. [Investopedia University]
  4. Principles of Microeconomics. This introductory course is great to get a foundation for the concept of microeconomics. [MIT]
  5. Principles of Macroeconomics. Get the basics in macroeconomics, focusing on macroeconomics in the U.S. as well as other economies. [MIT]
  6. Introduction to Statistical Method in Economics. If you plan to know much about economics, you must have a solid foundation in statistics in order to make sense of the data you will be analyzing. This class provides the tools you need. [MIT]
  7. Economic Analysis for Business Decisions. This course examines the topic of microeconomics and teaches basic analytic tools to help the student make smart economic decisions. [MIT]
  8. Behavioral Economics and Finance. Understand why people react the way they do with this course that examines a wide variety of topics that incorporate psychology into economics. [MIT]
  9. Applied Economics for Managers. Exploring the results of scarcity on the market, this course teaches ways economists study consumer reactions as well as the markets’ response to these reactions. Students with an online bachelor’s in Management may benefit from this resource as well. [MIT]
  10. Special Topics in Economics: The Challenge of World Poverty. Thinking about the various potential agents of change for world poverty and who ultimately is responsible, this course offers a thought-provoking opportunity to examine the possibility of impact on poverty through economics. [MIT]
  11. Economics Research and Communication. This course will teach students how to do original research on economic questions with a hands-on approach. [MIT]
  12. Applied Macro- and International Economics. Using case studies, this course takes a look at the macroeconomics of businesses. [MIT]
  13. Economic Applications of Game Theory. Take a look at Multiperson Decision Theory as it applies to economics. [MIT]
  14. Public Economics. This course examines the reasons for government involvement in the economy, the extent of that involvement, and reactions by private agencies to that involvement. [MIT]


Investing is the way to get ahead financially. Whether you just want an overview of investments or are interested in specific types of investments, these classes will help you learn what you want to know.

  1. Investments. With an analytical approach, this course teaches how to make sound financial investment decisions based on financial theory and empirical evidence. [MIT]
  2. Investment Risk. This course focuses on risk aversion, qualifying risk, risk factors, and discounted cash flow and the net present value rule. [The Open University]
  3. Investing 101. This class from Forbes will offer the basics on investing as well as ways to tailor your investments to your needs. [Investopedia University]
  4. Investing for Your Future. Take this 11-unit course to learn the investing basics including fixed-income investing, mutual funds, and investing small dollar amounts. [Rutgers Cooperative Extension]
  5. Equity Finance. Learn all about equity in both the public and private sector in this course with a decidedly international flair. [The Open University]
  6. Real Estate Finance and Investment. Covering the basics of real estate investing and financial decisions, this course will examine individual properties and deals. [MIT]
  7. Advanced Topics in Real Estate Finance. Learn about trends and developments in the real estate industry with this advanced class. [MIT]
  8. Exploring Real Estate Investments. Study types and characteristics of real estate, the advantages and disadvantages of real estate investing, and more in this class. [Investopedia University]
  9. Financing Economic Development. This class explores tools and program models for financing economic development with a close look on New Orleans after Katrina. [MIT]
  10. The Law of Mergers and Acquisitions. Understand legal implications and complications of both friendly and unfriendly M&A in this class. [MIT]
  11. Bond Basics. Get all the basic information about bonds, understanding them, and purchasing them in this class. [Investopedia University]
  12. Mutual Funds. Learn about the different types of mutual funds, the costs associated with them, how to read a mutual fund table, and more. [Investopedia University]
  13. Risk and Diversification. This class teaches students how to diversify their portfolio and how to analyze investment risk. [Investopedia University]
  14. Buy the House that I Love or Love the House that I Can Afford. Take this webinar to learn about price ranges available to you, additional costs involved in the home-buying process, and determining a budget to afford what you want. [CredAbility U]

Understanding Markets

Understanding markets will help you not only become a better predictor of how to invest your money, but will also help you feel more confident in the investments you make.

  1. The financial markets context. This course examines financial markets as well as the Efficient Markets Hypothesis. [The Open University]
  2. Financial Management. Take a look at corporate finance and capital markets in this course, which relies heavily on using empirical research in managerial decisions. [MIT]
  3. The Law of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. Focusing on mergers and acquisitions, the course also looks at financial services and financial markets in this introductory business law course. [MIT]
  4. Innovation, markets and industrial change. With a heavy emphasis on technology’s impact on innovation and industrial change, this course examines the relationship between innovation, technology, and market changes. [The Open University]
  5. Advanced Stochastic Processes. Important for anyone wanting to follow the stock market or exchange rates, this class helps students understand the processes that drive these types of less-predictable environments. [MIT]
  6. Real Estate Capital Markets. Learn about the capital market sources for real estate financial capital and how the markets value these investments. [MIT]
  7. Japanese Financial Markets and Institutions. Find out about Japanese financial markets with this class. Some of the information is in Japanese, but the videos are in English. [Keio University]
  8. Economy and Business in Modern China and India. This course explores the markets in these two countries, which are quickly becoming major players in the global economy. [MIT]
  9. Influences on accounting regulation. Study historical and present-day influences on financial rules and regulations in markets around the world. [The Open University]
  10. Investing for Beginners. With a strong emphasis on learning about and understanding the stock market, these lessons and accompanying quizzes will help you grasp the basics. [About.com]
  11. Stock Basics. Get the basics about stock markets here and you’ll be on your way to becoming a wise investor. [Investopedia University]
  12. Stock-Picking Strategies. Learn several different strategies for selecting stocks and decide which work best for you. [Investopedia University]
  13. Forex Tutorial. Long been an investment of corporations or the wealthy elite, currency trading is now available for everyone. Take this class to learn what you need to know about foreign exchange trading. [Investopedia University]
  14. Analyzing Chart Patterns. Learn what security charts can tell you about investing and understanding the markets in this class. [Investopedia University]

For the Entrepreneur

Whether you are just starting out or have been running your business for a while, it’s never too late to learn how to protect and help your financials grow.

  1. Early Stage Capital. This course offers lessons on start-ups and early stage capital generation with a focus on building relationships with investors and advisors. [MIT]
  2. Entrepreneurial Finance. Entrepreneurs will benefit from this course that looks at raising money for technology-based companies and the early stages of company development. [MIT]
  3. Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager. This law class educates the student in the basics of the legal issues that affect a business from start-up to going public. [MIT]
  4. Business Analysis Using Financial Statements. The purpose of this course is to prepare the student to successfully use financial statements as a tool to understand and place a value on businesses. [MIT]
  5. Managerial Economics. This course covers the basics of microeconomics as it pertains to management decisions and is a must for any entrepreneur. [Utah State University]
  6. Payroll 101. This tutorial explains the basics of payroll for small business owners. Be advised the tutorial is sponsored by a payroll management service. [Intuit]
  7. Financing and Accounting. The series of 30-minute courses here help with assessing financial needs, offer a financial primer, an introduction to accounting, and information about applying for a loan for your small business. [US Small Business Association]
  8. Understanding Financial Statements: What do they say about your business?. This tutorial gives you the basics for learning about the importance of financial statements. [University of Arkansas of Little Rock]

International Finance

With the rapid globalization of financial markets, anyone interested in watching the financial world or becoming a wise investor should understand and keep abreast of international finances. These classes will help you learn what it’s all about.

  1. The Politics of Global Finance Relations. This course examines the impact of globalization of finance on American politics and policy as well as international relations. [MIT]
  2. Capital Markets. This course focuses on global capital markets and teaches a working knowledge of investor relations. [UC Irvine]
  3. International Trade. Look at international trade and finance as well as current topics such as globalization, free trade, and more. [MIT]
  4. International Relations: New Approaches in a Complex World. Learn about global economy, the World Trade Organization, Latin America, and more in this class that examines the changes that have taken place in the global business world. [Harvard]
  5. Managing local practices in global contexts. This course covers a lot of ground as it examines several aspects of business in the globalized environment. [The Open University]
  6. Economic Development, Policy Analysis, and Industrialization. Examine how government plays a role in developing countries that affects global business. [MIT]
  7. Working in a Global Economy. Study global economy and the practice and policy changes that have occurred since the development of the current “new” economy. [MIT]
  8. Globalization, Migration, and International Relations. Learn about globalization and its impact on businesses and people around the world. [MIT]
  9. Marketing, Microchips and McDonalds: Debating Globalization. Discussing what globalization means and the impacts it has on the global community, this course provides a firm foundation in understanding globalization’s impact economically, socially, and culturally. [MIT]
  10. Global Markets, National Policies, and the Competitive Advantages of Firms. This course looks at the fast-changing world of global markets and examines how national policies are no longer adequate for today’s global economy. [MIT]
  11. Media in Cultural Context. Learn about how culture defines itself through TV programs and how international markets are impacted by these identities. [MIT]
  12. International Economics. This course offers an introductory look at international trade theory, policy, and international finance. [Utah State University]
  13. International Political Economy of Advanced Industrial Societies. This advanced course examines international trade, international monetary and financial relations, and security. [MIT]
  14. Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries. Examine economic concerns, especially as they pertain to government and culture, in developing countries. [MIT]