Introduction and guidance
The Open University has joined forces with MoneySavingExpert (MSE) to produce this new free badged course to give you the skills and knowledge to master your finances. The course was written by The OU, with MSE providing support and guidance.
Packed with videos, audios, quizzes and activities, the course covers all the key aspects of personal finance.
The course starts by looking at how to be savvy when spending money and at the behavioural and marketing pressures that try to influence what consumers buy. It then looks at budgeting and the impact of tax on household finances. Borrowing money is something virtually all households are familiar with but it can cause financial problems. The course explains how to borrow money sensibly if necessary, whether it’s a loan to buy a car or a mortgage to buy your home. Do you want to save or invest money? The course looks at simple savings accounts but also investments such as shares, commodities or property. It explains what is involved and the risks you expose yourself to as you look for a higher return on your money. The course finishes by getting to grips with the complexities of pensions. It will help you to think about your options when retiring, such as how much your state pension will amount to, supplementing this with an occupational or personal pension, and what you can do if your pension provision falls short of what you need.
This free course lasts 12 hours and is comprised of six sessions. You can work through the course at your own pace. The six sessions are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:
- Making good spending decisions
- Budgeting and taxation
- Borrowing money
- Understanding mortgages
- Saving and investing
- Planning for retirement
Each session should take you around 2 hours to complete. At the middle and end of each session there is a quiz to help you check your understanding. And, if you want to receive a badge and formal statement of participation, at the end of Session 6 there is a quiz which you need to pass.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- budget effectively and know how to make good spending decisions
- understand how income is taxed
- understand how and when to borrow money responsibly
- understand savings and investment products – including their different risks
- plan for retirement and know what to do if a projected pension is insufficient.
Moving around the course
In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each session, you will find a link to the next session. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.
It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.
You will find that some words are highlighted. You can hover over the highlighted word to see the definition, or if you click on the link, it will go to the glossary page at the end of the session. A definition of all the key terms highlighted throughout the session are in the glossary.
The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.
MoneySavingExpert.com have created a thread on their Forum to provide you with a community to discuss your progress, and chat to other students as you work through the course.
Open the link in a new tab or window and come back here when you’ve finished.
This resource is part of the ‘Wellbeing and Mental Health Collection’ collated by The Open University in Wales. You can find out more and discover other courses, articles and interactives on the collection homepage.