Even if you don’t own your own business, familiarizing yourself with accounting can benefit you in many ways. It can help you to better manage your personal finances, and it can give you the skills to offer freelance services to others. Fortunately, you won’t need a student loan to gain a basic understanding of accounting. You can get started with these free courses.

Introduction to Time Value of Money

Offered by the University of Michigan, this course covers how time plays a factor in the value of money. In particular, the aspects of annuities are covered in the course. During the 13-hour course, you will participate in exams, quizzes, videos, and reading assignments that will help you grasp the concepts taught in the course. Previous students have praised the course for giving them a better understanding of how time affects money’s value. Students have also said the course gave them a more thorough understanding of their personal finances.

Taxes and Decision Making

Indiana University offers this course online for free as a part of their Micromasters Accounting Program. The 12-week program is designed for students in their junior or senior year of a bachelor’s degree program. During the course, students will learn how IRS tax laws affect individuals and couples. They will also learn how different financial tools help individuals and businesses make the most of their net income. 

Managerial Accounting Fundamentals

This is an online beginner course offered by the University of Virginia. The course focuses on teaching the fundamentals of costs in business and how to represent them in easy-to-read graphs. The course also teaches how to analyze cost in relation to volume and profit, as well as going over other basic concepts and processes in handling business-related costs. Upon successfully completing the course, you can purchase a certificate that you can display in a resume, cover letter, or online profile.

After you complete these free accounting courses, you can search for more or pursue an accounting degree with a local university. If you do decide to pursue your degree, the credits you earned from taking these courses may be transferable. Even if they can’t be used as credits, you’ll still have the knowledge you gained from taking those previous courses. That can help you obtain your degree more easily.