Free financial advice sources – start learning
To be financially literate is to be financially successful. Financial literacy is the buzz phrase of the day. Everyone is concerned, well, almost everyone — from global leaders to governments to teachers to unions to non-profit organisations due to the global decrease in financial understanding.
Maths is an integral part of managing your finances; maths is the start of gaining financial literacy. If truly honest, most people will tell you they don’t like maths; they were never any good at it; they could maybe figure it out — if they just took the time; they couldn’t be bothered in school, it all seemed so pointless; they didn’t like the teacher, etc.
And the best excuse of all, they can’t afford to take classes or hire a tutor.
Free. What about learning finance for free? No excuse then, is there?
Today’s article will discuss some high points of four popular, successful, easy to use, absolutely free online financial literacy programmes available to the world over. Each of these amazing, relevant website programmes provides their perspectives on finance learning basics while also providing some very individualised, unique features. Teachers and educators are also encouraged to utilise these wonderful services — free. You will need access to a computer or a smart phone.
1. Practical Money Skills For Life: established and sponsored by Visa (http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/). Yes, Visa — the credit card company! For more than 21 years, Practical Money Skills has equipped people of all ages worldwide with money-management tools and resources. Visa has accomplished this success by partnering with more than 30 countries ranging from Australia to Honduras to Saudi Arabia to Vietnam to the US. Bermuda is absent from the list.
The flagship programme offers curriculum, educational games, mobile apps, videos and financial calculators, as well as financial literacy theatre roadshows, radio series, storytelling sessions and personal finance research. The website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all play a crucial role in Visa’s efforts to teach consumers about personal finance.
Financial football: Visa’s financial football is a fast-paced, sports-themed game, but it’s also a learning tool, complete with lesson plans for school curriculum. The game was developed with help from the NFL and New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, and more recently with NFL stars Brian Cushing and Thomas Davis. http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/play/financial_football
Financial soccer: not be to outdone, soccer is another featured game http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/play/financial_soccer
2. Smart About Money: Get Smart About Money. Free online courses. At your own pace. On your own time. Start with Money Basics. Choose Your Own Course. SAM is completely free, unbiased, customisable, financial education sponsored by the US National Endowment for Financial Education. https://www.smartaboutmoney.org/
SAM is tailored to the individual, geared to starting with the absolute financial basics while providing motivation to move forward with self-assessment, learning and financial success. Two very interesting sections: One is focused on My Financial Well Being that walks you through: sizing up your financial situation, analysing your circumstances, developing a financial game plan, and conclusion with lists of financial well-being resources.
Two is the SAM Budget Wizard, a calculator tool to help you put together your personal budget.
3. Khan Academy: you can learn anything. For free. For everyone. For ever. Their mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. World class financial supporters include Bank of America, Comcast, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, College Board, Google, AT&T, The Walt Disney Company, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Oracle and many individuals.
An absolutely, extraordinary website and financial literacy mission for the world. Started by one man, Salman Khan, whose interest in education began while tutoring his cousin, Nadia. Initially communicating via an internet tool, Mr Khan began posting his mathematics tutorials on YouTube in 2006. After 6,500 videos on the topics below and more later, and the rest is history. Maths by subject. Maths by grade. Science and engineering. Computing. Arts and humanities. Economics and finance. Test prep. College, careers and more. This website welcomes anyone, any age to learn for free.
Try the Hour of Code (for teachers and parents). Drawing with code. Creating webpages. Creating SQL databases.
4. 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: A free public service brought to you by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Explore the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy life stages: a tween or teen, a student, employed, a couple, a parent, a homeowner, in crisis, retired. https://www.360financialliteracy.org/
The 360 Degrees challenges you from the first page of the website. Try the “Bank on It” game. Challenge your co-workers, friends, family, or people around the world to put your financial smarts to the test. Don’t know where to start, they ask? Simply answer three questions about where you are in life and 360 creates a free plan personalised to your financial needs, loaded with articles, calculators and social media presentations such as “Money minutes: personal finance 101”. The “Ask the Money Doctor” reader FAQ with all prior questions listed with answers by American CPAs encompasses more than 165 pages.
Reminder: these programmes do have some American-centric focus. However, the calculators are extensive, while many of the other sections can be utilised across the individual spectrum whether American connected or not. Math is a universal language.
We need maths (and finance) understanding more than ever. To repeat, it is an integral part of managing your finances. Otherwise, you will remain at the control and mercy of others.
Who wants that? No one. Your challenge. Take advantage of all these programmes have to offer. No one will know your scores except you and you cannot lose, you can only improve your life financial skills.
Teachers, educators, organisations, government: those wanting to start financial literacy programmes, feel free to use these resources, possibly the Visa programme, as it appears that components were utilised (with the local construction industry) during the tenure of Paula Cox, the former Premier.
• Martha Harris Myron CPA, JSM: Masters of Law, International Tax and Financial Services.
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