Managing my money
Managing my money

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Managing my money

Week 1: Financial planning and the life course


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Martin Upton is your educator and guide through the course. He is Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, based at The Open University Business School. He’ll meet you at the start of each week of the course to tip you off about highlights and challenges, to remind you of what you’ve learned and to help you make the most of Managing my money. Note that each of the eight weeks of the course is designed to be studied over a period of three hours, ideally with one week being studied per week.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_money_vid_1001.mp4
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Martin Upton
Hello, and welcome to Managing my money. I'm Martin Upton, Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance based at The Open University Business School.
Before working for The Open University, I spent twelve years as Treasurer to Nationwide Building Society. I'll be your guide for this course.
Ask yourself, how does the type of person you are affect the decisions you make? Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to money? Do you know where you can put your savings to get the best return? Do you need to worry about interest rates or inflation? Do you know how decisions made by the government and the Bank of England affect you?
Regardless of how much you may already know, whether you're a student or a young family, starting your first job or planning your retirement, living on benefits or banking your bonus, you'll learn how to make the most of your money.
Through the next eight weeks, you'll see how the big news stories about the economy, taxation and interest rates affect your household accounts. You'll learn how behavioural traits and social pressures affect your financial decisions.
And you'll learn life-long practical skills using UK data and real-life examples, although the issues covered are pretty well universal wherever you live.
As you work through the course, packed with high-quality audio and video, you'll find easy-to-use tools, expert discussions and bags of practical guidance. You'll become equipped with the skills to create your own personal action plan
With real incomes falling, record low returns on savings, and people facing the prospect of working ever longer to get a decent pension, there's never been a more important time to take control of your personal finances.
At the end of each week, you'll have the chance to gauge how much you've learned in a test. Your score from these weekly tests will be added to the results of a longer test you'll take in the final week. By the end of the course, not only will you have picked up some fantastic knowledge, but you'll also have developed skills that will be really useful for further studies in finance.
We have a group of experts who'll respond to and moderate discussions. Please join in and share ideas - you can post comments on anything in the course along the way
So, Week 1. Let's start by looking at how you can structure your financial planning. We look at a model that can be applied routinely when making financial decisions. We'll also start to explore a theme that we'll return to throughout the course - how financial resources and needs change through the course of our lives. Enjoy the journey.
End transcript
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As the course progresses you’ll also meet personal finance expert Jonquil Lowe from The Open University.

Your financial profile

Some of the coolest features are the financial challenges, planners and calculators you get to explore throughout the course. See how you score in the financial bad habits test, build up your personal budget and household balance sheet, and develop your own ‘fact find’ to take away at the end of the course. Your fact find is available to use throughout the course as a record of your goals and financial circumstances. You can download your fact find now so that you’re ready to use it later this week. Record your own details and, if you wish, those of your partner.

This fact find is different to the documents you complete when acquiring financial products like investments and mortgages. The fact find for Managing my money is intended to provide a full summary our personal financial circumstances. When acquiring specific financial products your financial adviser or financial product provider (e.g. your bank) will only require details about your financial circumstances that are relevant to the financial product you are intending to acquire.

You can also access a handy short glossary to the course.

A note about financial advice

This course provides the information, frameworks and financial planning guidance needed to manage your finances and to assist in making financial decisions.

However, course contents do not constitute ‘advice’ with regard to which specific financial products you should use or which financial services providers you should do business with. Consequently the course educators and facilitators cannot answer questions about matters relating to such financial advice.

If you need specific individual financial advice you should contact an authorised financial firm or financial adviser.

This course is presented with the kind support of True Potential LLP.

The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin) is a pioneering Centre of Excellence for research in the development of personal financial capabilities. The establishment and activities of True Potential PUFin have been made possible thanks to the generous support of True Potential LLP, which has committed to a five-year programme of financial support for the Centre totalling £1.4 million


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