resources en-US Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Young man using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A growing number of leading business schools and universities are offering free personal finance courses online. Why not take advantage of these sophisticated resources to grow your knowledge and take your finances to the next level? (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">10 Places to Get Free Personal Finance Classes</a>)</p> <p>These free online courses are sometimes known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Many are either based on university courses, or actually are the same university courses that have been offered to paying students on campus. Although you will not get credit toward a degree for taking a free class, you can certainly learn a thing or two that will help you manage your finances and become a better negotiator, entrepreneur, and investor. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making</h2> <p>This <a href="" target="_blank">introductory personal finance course</a> through the University of Michigan covers the basics of personal finance, teaching frameworks and methods that will better equip you to make sound everyday financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 5&ndash;6 hours per week.</p> <h2>2. Behavioral Economics in Action</h2> <p>Offered through the University of Toronto, <a href="" target="_blank">Behavioral Economics in Action</a> teaches students how economics drives consumer decisions and how to develop tools that lead to better financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 4&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>3. Personal Finance</h2> <p>Purdue University offers <a href="" target="_blank">Personal Finance</a>; Improve your money management by improving your understanding of key personal finance concepts such as investments, credit, and insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 5 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>4. Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society</h2> <p>The Wharton University of Pennsylvania offers an online course on <a href=";awc=6798_1502742497_0d3411ef1fd94a7d7eb647004262589a&amp;utm_source=aw&amp;utm_medium=affiliate_partner&amp;utm_content=text-link&amp;utm_term=301045_" target="_blank">learning to understand global trends</a>, including how you can use that knowledge to make better financial decisions and investments.</p> <p>Time commitment: 7 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>5. How to Start a Startup</h2> <p>With Stanford University's video course <a href="" target="_blank">How to Start a Startup</a>, you'll learn the fundamentals of launching a new business; including how to develop product ideas, make sales, market products, and hire your first employees.</p> <p>Time commitment: 1,000 minutes of video.</p> <h2>6. Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</h2> <p>Another Stanford video course, <a href="" target="_blank">Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</a> covers the basics of stocks and bonds, including how value is established, what affects market prices, and what you actually get when you buy a stock or a bond.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>7. Finance Theory I</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Finance Theory I</a>, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches you how the economy and capital markets work, including an introduction to complex investment instruments such as derivatives and options.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>8. Retail Fundamentals</h2> <p>Learning <a href="" target="_blank">how retail works</a> can give you an advantage as a consumer. This course from Dartmouth covers the basics of how businesses select inventory and set prices to maximize profit.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>9. Economics of Money and Banking</h2> <p>This course from Columbia University teaches the <a href="" target="_blank">basics of banking and monetary policy</a> and offers insight into the financial crisis of 2007&ndash;2009 from the perspective of financial institutions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 13 weeks, 5 hours per week.</p> <h2>10. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator</h2> <p>Negotiating effectively is one of the most effective ways to get ahead financially. This course from Yale promises to &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">help you be a better negotiator</a>&quot; by teaching tactics and tools to reach a better deal.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>11. Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</a> from the University of Florida teaches the fundamentals of personal finance and money management including budgeting, credit, and taxes.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>12. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</h2> <p>Khan University's <a href="" target="_blank">Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</a> course teaches the basic principles that will allow you to grow your money through investments and protect your money through insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>13. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</h2> <p>In the course <a href="" target="_blank">Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</a> through the University of Geneva, you'll learn about active vs. passive investing and how to evaluate the performance of your investments to achieve good long-term returns.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 1&ndash;3 hours per week.</p> <h2>14. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href=";lesson=001&amp;topic=1&amp;page=1" target="_blank">Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</a> from UC Irvine aims to teach you how to set and reach your financial goals by improving your knowledge of personal finance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 30 hours.</p> <h2>15. Free Online Personal Finance Course</h2> <p>This <a href="" target="_blank">personal finance primer</a> from the University of Arizona will teach you how to navigate the perils of today's consumer economy by mastering personal finance principles.</p> <p>Time commitment: 15 hours.</p> <h2>16. Econ 252: Financial Markets</h2> <p>Become a smarter investor with this <a href="" target="_blank">economics course</a> from Yale, which aims to help you understand the inner workings of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and securities markets.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>17. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</h2> <p>If you are thinking about starting a business, <a href="" target="_blank">New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</a> from the University of Maryland will help you figure out how to fund your venture.</p> <p>Time commitment: 3&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>18. Marketing in a Digital World</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Marketing in a Digital World</a>, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will teach you how digital tools are revolutionizing the way products are bought and sold, and how this is providing unprecedented advantages for consumers.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 6&ndash;8 hours per week.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href=";;description=Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training entrepreneurship freebies investing learning massive open online courses money management online courses resources Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2028482 at What frugal lessons can we learn from the demoscene? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-frugal-lessons-can-we-learn-from-the-demoscene" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src=" dreams.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The &quot;<strong>demoscene</strong>&quot; loosely refers to an underground computer art movement where the emphasis is on creating <strong>amazing-but-compact <em>demonstrations</em></strong> &mdash; hence the name. Modern geeks and deals have been married as early as the advent of tech flea markets, but the demoscene is special.</p> <p><object width="475" height="297"> <param name="movie" value=";showsearch=0&amp;rel=0&amp;fs=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;ap=%2526fmt%3D18" /> <param name="wmode" value="window" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed width="475" height="297" src=";showsearch=0&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;autoplay=0&amp;ap=%2526fmt%3D18" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="window"></embed></object></p> <p>The demoscene has illicit roots grounded in software piracy. Basically, an individual or small team would go beyond &quot;cracking&quot; a game to break its copy protection: they'd also put a visual tag, or &quot;loader&quot;, before the game started. Like real-world graffiti, these served as the mark of a demo group, often containing text shoutouts of respect and inside jokes.</p> <p>As the form matured, demos became strong enough to serve as their own standalone shows, and conventions were hosted around them. The amazing thing about so many of these demos &mdash; and what I mean by &quot;compact demonstrations&quot; &mdash; is they were <strong>extremely resource-light</strong>, relying on insanely deep knowledge of making a computer do tricks not envisioned with its original hardware specs: faux 3D on primitive hardware, extending the screen borders, etc.</p> <p>What does all of this have to do with making smart choices saving money? Here are <strong>3 effective lessons we can apply from the demoscene</strong>:</p> <h2>1. Be resourceful yet fun</h2> <p>In an era when 500 gigabyte hard drives are common, it's easy to slack off and not be astute about tidying your files. The demoscene has long prided itself on tapping into the potential of severe constraints: even today, there are demogroups working on old computers like the Commodore 64 and Amiga, squeezing surprisingly tasty juice out of their ancient husks. There are <a href="">&quot;64K&quot; competitions</a> which means your demo <em>must</em> fit into 64 kilobytes or less. To put that in perspective, that's like a drop in the bucket of a modern PC's memory.</p> <p>With such tight limits, every single line of code must be put to good use. Anything nonessential is trimmed; techniques like procedural generation (using math to create graphics on the fly, rather than prerendered) are employed wisely. <em>And</em> there almost always is music, too! It may not sound like Top 40 radio hits, but is carefully crafted with catchy melodies.</p> <p><strong>If you can do more with the same resources, you should.</strong> A sage bargain hunter strives to save money and scrimps when needed. But that's not to be mistaken for a miser who gets little pleasure out of life because their tightfisted spending is depriving them of fun. Even if you're making meals on a budget, infusing them with color and zest is preferable to sulking over gruel. In much the same way, some of the greatest demoscene stars came from war-torn parts of Eastern Europe, where not only did they not have access to the latest Western technology, they had an overall lower quality of life to contend with. And yet, you might not know that when gazing at the vibrant spectrum of their demos.</p> <p>It's not enough to save. <strong>To prosper from your healthy habits, you must enjoy, and flourish.</strong></p> <h2>2. Tight teams help you win</h2> <p>Many of the greatest demos were made by a triad: a coder, an artist, and a musician. There are edge cases and exceptions to this, sure, but these 3 archetypes show up time and time again. The individuals may possess overlapping skills, but having <strong>a core group enforces both trust and helps you catch mistakes you might miss on your own</strong> &mdash; especially if you're groggy from hours of creative spelunking &quot;inside the machine&quot;.</p> <p>Even veteran deal mavens are prone to making errors like forgetting a product's predicted lifecycle and buying it <em>just</em> before the newest model is introduced, when prices drop on the prior line. Lacking that knowledge can be costly, and with so much of a dataglut on the Net, it can be tough to pinpoint what you need <em>before</em> you spend. That's why you need someone who knows your tastes, and even with machine-assisted matching, there's no substitute for human intuition. Hot deals are often time-sensitive and stock-limited, so while polling the masses (e.g., on Twitter) can be useful, <strong>keep in mind they're looking for the same deals as you</strong>. It's a <em>dog-eat-deals world</em> out there.</p> <p>That's why in addition to tools, it helps on several fronts to have a &quot;tight team&quot; when dealhunting. It doesn't have to be a formal group with a name (although like superheroes, that can be fun). Just some friends you've organically come to trust over the course of multiple purchases, who you'll watch out for in kind. Another plus: <strong>you could save when doing &quot;bulk buys&quot; for stuff your team wants,</strong> instead of having to hunt down a stranger. (But we're all strangers in the beginning, so get started!)</p> <h2>3. Iterate, iterate, iterate your tools</h2> <p>&quot;Iterate&quot; is sort of a geeky word, but it basically means to do something over and over again. Not just the <em>same</em> thing, but to build on an established base. Many demos do this: for instance, a landscape that continues to unfold across the screen, or you may be familiar with fractal art you can infinitely zoom into.</p> <p>Digital data is easy to copy, and it was through rampant swapping of floppy disks that demos proliferated: not just as as entertainment, but for the benefit of eager demosceners-to-be who'd deconstruct and reverse-engineer what they got their hands on. The more promising novices would then take the bulk of what they learned and add a twist to it &mdash; an iteration, like DNA mutating &mdash; before sending it back out into the wild. This predates the &quot;remix culture&quot; we have today, and it continues as a parallel strain of computer-based collaboration.</p> <p>This is relevant when you're looking for deals because you'll swiftly discover that <strong>the good stuff gets snapped up incredibly fast unless you have the right tools <em>and</em> practice how to use them</strong>: whether it's email alerts, eBay auction watchers like <a href="">JBidwatcher</a>, or RSS aggregators that show you what's hot today (on that note, remember you can <a href="">subscribe to Wise Bread</a>!), there are always new tools to help you save money. As you get comfortable with some, stay hungry for what's on the horizon or you'll miss out. <strong>Keep trying new tools and simply stick with what gets you results.</strong></p> <p>The same is true for deals sites' development. It's an amusing game to observe which fundamental &quot;I need that too!&quot; features spread from one social media hub to another. A fine example is <a href="">RetailMeNot</a> on the left-hand side &mdash; how many of those various features have you seen on other sites? (I'm rather fond of whenever a site has a Mac Dashboard Widget.)</p> <p><strong>Tools aren't the end, they're part of the process, and they reduce the distance from you to the deals.</strong></p> <p><img src="" style="display: inline;" alt="" /></p> <h2>Further reading</h2> <p>The above is but a cursory dip into the demoscene, but if you're curious, <strong>I highly recommend </strong><a href=""><em><strong>FREAX - Volume 1</strong></em></a>, which is an exquisite and in-depth story of the the early demo days, including the personalities who shaped its growth. It's riddled with typographical errors but there's a lot of humor, and the art is gorgeous. As this is a fairly esoteric text, I don't know of any notable discounts on it, but I prize my copy. There are many connections between 80s retrocomputing and modern dealhunting.</p> <p><em><strong>Have you spotted connections between another &quot;scene&quot; and our dealhunting culture?</strong></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping c64 computers culture deals demoscene resources tools Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:04:31 +0000 Torley Wong 2860 at