NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Money Management Skills Online

Money Management Skills Online


          If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to have better control of your finances, you may wish to consider an online financial management class.   Consumer Action offers a three part course that focuses on basic money skills at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level.

          Consumer Action is a non-profit, membership-based organization that was founded in San Francisco in 1971. During its more than three decades, Consumer Action has served consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies, publishing educational materials in a wide range of languages,  advocating for consumers in the media and before lawmakers, and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts and long distance services.

          Their online course- “Money Management 1-2-3” can be found at: http://www.consumer-action.org . Unit One addresses how to manage money, use credit wisely and live within your means. Topics include setting up a bank account, learning about credit, building a credit history, using credit cards, budgeting and saving, and working and career.

          Unit Two focuses on recovering from youthful missteps, managing family finances and insurance issues such as homeowner’s, health and life insurance. Topics include budgeting and money management, insurance, saving and building assets, saving for retirement, renting v. homeownership, homeownership, mortgages and investing. Unit Three focuses on retirement, downsizing, living on a reduced budget, using credit wisely, investing for income, Medicare and reverse mortgages. Topics include debt and collections, being underinsured, bankruptcy, medical expenses, estate planning, home equity loans.

          Each unit has chapter highlighting a specific financial topic and includes links to the IRS, Social Security, etc. for more info. You, the reader, can work your way through each topic without any tests, quizzes or fees for reading the material.  For example, under the topic of reverse mortgages, the online course details that a reverse mortgage allows older homeowners (generally, age 62 or over) who owe little or nothing on their property to borrow against their equity without having to make monthly payments for as long as they live in the home. Borrowers can receive a lump sum, a monthly payment, a line of credit, or some combination of these.  The course also points out if the value of the home exceeds the loan balance, you or your heirs would keep the difference. If the amount you borrowed exceeds the value of the home, the lender can’t seek additional payments.

          Add http://www.consumer-action.org to your favorite web bookmarks and check in occasionally to make one of your New Year’s resolutions a reality.


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