MARTIN Lewis' MoneySavingExpert is launching a free online courses to teach you how to manage your money effectively.
The consumer guru has teamed up with The Open University to launch MSE's Academy of Money course to "redress the balance" by training up consumers to take control of their cash.
It's made up of six two-hour long study sessions that cover a wide range of consumer finance issues, like how to budget and how taxes work.
Another key topic that the course covers is mortgages, something that many Brits don't understand or find overwhelming.
The session will take learners through interest rates, repayments and possible penalties.
The course also covers how to make good spending decisions by examining the behavioural and marketing pressures that influence purchasing decisions.
What's on the MSE's Academy of Money course?
MSE has teamed up with The Open University to run a free online course to help students understand money.
It consists of six two-hour sessions. These are the topics that it covers:
- Making good spending decisions: Examine what behavioural and marketing pressures influence purchasing decisions.
- Budgeting and taxation: Learn how to calculate net income, explore expenditure patterns, how national insurance and income tax works, and how to plan to build a successful budget.
- Borrowing money: Looks at how different types of debt work, the differences between them and the dangers.
- Understanding mortgages: This session gives a grounding in how they work, interest rates, repayments and possible penalties.
- Saving and investing: This session explains the difference between saving and investing, plus how to understand different types of saving vehicles and the basics of investments such as shares, bonds and commodities, and the associated risks.
- Planning for retirement: Understand how state pensions, occupational and personal pension schemes work and the differences between them – it’s designed both for those imminently retiring and for those who have many years to go.
The saving and investing segment explores the difference between the two, and explains what is meant by shares, bonds and commodities.
The final session focusses on planning for retirement, and covers how state, occupational and personal pension schemes work and what the difference is.
The course is flexible so you don't have to complete it a set timeframe, or you can choose to just take on a few of the topics rather than all of them.
Of course, it's not the only free money management course out there.
The Money Charity also runs a series of free online courses with similar focusses, while The Open University also runs other free money management courses if you're looking for something more specific.
There are also a whole host of free online resources out there run by charities to help you understand personal finance, such as on the Money Advice Service, StepChange and Turn2Us.
But the added bonus of the MSE course is that at the end, students will achieve an Open University digital badge and a free downloadable statement of participation, which you can add to your CV.
It's free to sign up to the course and its available via The Open University from today (May 21).
Christopher Woolard from the Financial Conduct Authority said that the course will help "hone people's financial skills".
Martin Upton, senior lecturer in finance at The Open University added that it's particularly important to improve the public's money management skills, particularly with the financial pressures put on households by the pandemic.
MSE's Martin Lewis said: "With such financial turmoil across our society, it’s crucial everyone is properly financially educated, so we can improve our nation’s poor financial capability, entrenched by a lack of early-life money lessons going back decades."
He added: "Education is a form of financial self-defence, and so we’re delighted to encourage people to tool themselves up in our "Academoney"."
Today, the MoneySavingExpert warned caravan park firms about refunding customers.
He's also urged people not to fall for cruel scammers who are hoping to use the pandemic to trick you into handing over cash.
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