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Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making

Learn how the financial world works and how to manage your finances to make smarter decisions.

1,216 enrolled on this course

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making

Develop the tools to take control of your finances

From evaluating different types of loans, choosing whether to rent or buy, or deciding whether to go to university, it’s important to understand the value of each financial decision.

On this six-week course from The University of Michigan, you’ll understand how the financial world works while developing the frameworks that will help you make everyday financial decisions.

Discover the Time Value of Money

If you were given the choice of receiving a lump sum now or the same lump sum in two years, which would you choose? It may seem obvious to take the lump sum now, but there’s an important concept behind why: the Time Value of Money (TVM).

This course will guide you through the many applications of finance, including TVM and how interest and compounding affect the value of money over time.

Explore smarter budgeting and financial planning

When managing limited financial resources, the biggest asset is often financial planning and smart budgeting.

You’ll look at how to effectively plan your finances and allocate scarce financial resources in a value-add way, using the skills you’ve developed to make smart choices. This course covers the benefits of saving for the future, taking a loan, and how to simplify complex financial decisions, among other things.

Understand the complex world of stocks and bonds

The stock market can be a daunting topic to dive into, but it can also be a useful tool in effectively managing your finances.

This course will take you through the basics of stocks and bonds, what they are, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and how they work in the real world.

What topics will you cover?

You will be able to value the impact of different choices available to you: from renting or buying, evaluating car, home and student loans, or deciding whether to go to college versus pursuing a new idea to simply understanding how the financial world works.

You will understand Time Value of Money and stocks and bonds, and learn to allocate scarce resources in a value-add way, adopting smart tools for making every day decisions.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Apply frameworks and tools to make smart financial choices
  • Demonstrate understanding of Stocks and stock market
  • Demonstrate understanding of Bonds and bond market
  • Demonstrate understanding of time value of money

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in improving their financial literacy and learning how to think clearly about important financial decisions.

Who developed the course?

University of Michigan

As the #1 public research university in the United States, U-M has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years, with 102 Grad programs in the top 10 — U.S. News & World Report (2019).

  • Established

  • Location

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • World ranking

    Top 30Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Join this course

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  • Access to this course for 8 weeks



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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$279.99 for one year

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