Saturday, June 14, 2008


I noticed a Google advertisement on my blog for iVillage (a web site geared towards women) personal finance classes on iLearn so I decided to check it out and took the on-line course: "Get a Grip on Your Family's Finances."

iLearn courses are free, practical, led by expert instructors, and available around the clock to work with your schedule.

Each on-line class includes a lesson, quizzes to test understanding and homework projects. A brief description of the lessons of the on-line course I took are below.

  • Lesson 1: Financial Planning Is a Family Affair
    No matter who the primary breadwinner or chief bill payer is, everyone in the family can play a role in mapping out your financial future. We'll take a look at family dynamics and show couples how to share roles and responsibilities in a way that works for them.

  • Lesson 2: Setting Your Financial Goals
    Financial planning starts with a fun exercise: deciding what you want in life. In this lesson you examine some typical family goals and discuss ways to approach goal-setting that combine wishful thinking with financial reality.

  • Lesson 3: Career Decisions That Affect Everyone
    Career decisions affect everyone in the family, regardless of who's earning the actual wages. This lesson discusses some of the key decisions many families face about working and retirement, and how to go about resolving them.

  • Lesson 4: Embarking on a Savings Plan
    You can spend it now or spend it later. Or, to put it a better way, you can spend a little now, or you can save and invest it and have a lot more to spend later on the things you really want. This lesson talks about popular savings vehicles.

  • Lesson 5: Managing Your Cash Flow
    This lesson shows you how to examine where your money goes in a way that enlightens but doesn't blame. It also features smart shopping tips and ideas for instilling spending discipline in children (and anyone else in the family who needs it).

  • Lesson 6: Investing for the Future
    In some families, one person makes all the investment decisions; in others it's a joint project. To make sure all parties are up to speed on the basics of investing, this lesson covers the foundation and provides enough information to get you started.

  • Lesson 7: Protecting What You Have
    Insurance is one of those things you hope you never need. But it's essential for any family that has assets to protect. This lesson discusses the major types of insurance, how to determine how much you need, and how to choose your policies wisely.

  • Lesson 8: Thinking the Unthinkable
    One of the kindest things any family can do is to anticipate the deaths of family members and make arrangements ahead of time -- while everyone is rational and thinking this could never happen. This lesson covers estate-planning basics.

Although I found this iLearn course pretty basic, I would suggest it to friends or readers who are just starting to focus on personal finance.

No comments: