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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Financial Planning for Young Adults

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


Financial Planning for Young Adults (FPYA), developed in partnership with the CFP Board, is designed to provide an introduction to basic financial planning concepts for young adults. The FPYA course is organized across eight separate modules within a 4-week window. Topics covered include financial goal setting, saving and investing, budgeting, financial risk, borrowing and credit. Because financial planning is such a personal topic, you will be encouraged to define your own financial goals and objectives while we discuss concepts and provide tools which can be applied in helping you reach those goals.

Within each module, you will view a combination of traditional lecture style videos along with video vignettes that introduce financial topics for discussion among participants. The video vignettes provide a unique and exciting component to this course. Each vignette introduces a real-world scenario where financial decisions must be made and financial planning concepts can be applied. You will be challenged to think critically about each scenario and decide how you might come to a resolution if ever faced with a similar situation.

Finally, the course also includes material throughout which is focused on career opportunities in financial planning, including video interviews with actual CFP® professionals and other professionals working in this exciting and growing career area. The final module in the class is devoted to the topic of financial planning as a career.


  • Orientation
  • Module 1: Setting Financial Goals and Assessing Your Situation
    • In this module, you'll explore the "personal" in personal finance, use financial tools to assess where you are currently with your finances, and begin setting goals for where you'd like to be in the future.
  • Module 2: Budgeting and Cash Flow Management
    • In this module, we will discuss the importance of budgeting in the financial planning and management process, and resources available for cash flow management. Learners will be exposed to the basic process of budgeting, a panel discussion with practicing investment advisors, and a comparative discussion of the more common tools and methods for managing cash flows.
  • Module 3: Saving Strategies
    • In this module you'll have the opportunity to explore best practices for building a saving habit and discuss barriers to saving. Mental accounting will be introduced and considered in terms of how it can affect saving behavior.
  • Module 4: The Time Value of Money
    • Understanding why the time value of money is a very important concept -- so important it has its own module!
  • Module 5: Borrowing and Credit
    • The ability to use debt and credit to finance purchases has its advantages and disadvantages. Understanding topics related to loan repayment and how your borrowing and credit use behavior may impact your credit report is critical for being able to have access to debt and credit use in the future.
  • Module 6: Investing
    • In this module you'll be introduced to investment terms and key investment strategies. This foundation will allow you to better understand investment choices and information that you'll encounter throughout your life.
  • Module 7: Risk Management
    • This module covers risk related topics related to insurance, and introduces learners to the concept of personal risk tolerance and how it might impact individualized risk management strategies.
  • Module 8: Financial Planning as a Career
    • The module provides an overview of the career opportunities in financial planning. You will get to see what it is like to engage and assist people (clients) from a variety of walks-of life. This module is optional in terms of completion of the course certificate. There is no required assignment in this module.

Taught by

Kathryn Sweedler, Nicholas Paulson and Charles Chaffin


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4.7 rating, based on 7 reviews

Start your review of Financial Planning for Young Adults

  • Basically, I should have taken this course more than a decade earlier. To late teenagers and young adults in their early 20s, please take this extremely important and well-made course as soon as possible. While the contents of this course remain useful, to an extent, for those older than 25 years old like me, the positive yield of heeding the lessons from this course as early as possible is substantially higher (time value of money, everyone). The insights from the course creators and their invited experts have been incredible, and the material is engaging. I hope the course creators consider making detailed online courses on more specific topics with regards to non-professional financial planning.
  • Misheck Mufanebadza
    I registered for financial planning for young adults last week, my link to tools is no longer working.

    Indian economy based on our country is developing country that's why the young student do the join automatically India will be developed
  • Mary Lozano

    Mary Lozano completed this course.

    I love it!! It explains how we can improve our personal finances and the expenses we need to be aware of to have a better life.
  • Salvador Pio Alonday

    Salvador Pio Alonday completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

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  • Rajesh Ramamurthi completed this course.

  • is taking this course right now.

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