Making Money Make Sense with Jean Chatzky’s Money School

Jean Chatzky's Money SchoolIt may only be spring, but it’s the perfect time to go back to school.

You all know the importance of learning positive money skills. However, it can be difficult to know where to start with the overwhelming amount of money information available.

That’s why NBC’s TODAY Show financial editor Jean Chatzky has decided to provide beginners with an excellent entry into the world of finance—Jean Chatzky’s Money School offers direct instruction and conversation with a recognized expert through five affordable online classes this spring.

For the low price of $50 per course, students will attend an hour-long virtual class taught in real-time by Jean herself. During each class, a 45-minute lecture will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. In addition, Jean will provide students with virtual “office hours” one week after each class, to answer any follow-up questions students may have.

We asked Jean, what was your motivation for starting Money School?

“Two things really. I’ve been asked by many people over the years if we could sit down, have coffee, and I could teach them how to manage their money. I always feel bad that I don’t have the bandwidth to do it individually — but these live web classes make it possible. The people who’ve been in the classes so far say that they really feel a) motivated and b) that I’m talking to them. And, second, my parents were teachers. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

We also asked her to describe the ideal student for these classes?

“Someone motivated to get their financial life in order who feels they need help connecting the dots. I’ve often pointed out — I’m an English major, not an economist. If I can do this, I believe anyone can do this.”

This semester’s course catalog includes several topics:

Money School BookJumpstart Your Finances, offered April 2, 2013, will help those who want to take control of their finances have an idea of where to start. This course will provide students with a solid understanding of what is necessary for getting finances on track and creating a secure future. Students completing this class will end up with a checklist of exactly what they have to do next.

Budgeting Bootcamp, offered April 16, 2013, is a primer for students who want to finally stop struggling to make ends meet. This course will outline how students need to go about making a budget (or a spending plan, if budget is one of those words that makes you shudder) so that they can live below their means. Students will learn how to track their spending, lower their expenses, and how to use Jean’s favorite high- and low-tech budgeting tools.

The Debt Diet, offered May 7, 2013, is a course that has already helped millions of people get out of debt on just $10 per day. The information provided in this class was the basis for The Debt Diet that was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been updated for 2013 to reflect today’s tougher credit environment. Students will not only learn how to find extra money to pay off debt, how to rank their debts for payoff, and how to boost their credit score and lower their interest rates, but they will also learn how to simultaneously build an emergency fund.

A Crash Course in Saving More, offered May 21, 2013, gives concrete advice on how to spend less and save more. Students will learn the tactical skills necessary to lower their spending, as well as the mind games that successful savers use to trick themselves into saving more without feeling deprived. Jean will also teach students where to place their savings to make the most of their money.

Yes, You Can Retire, offered June 18, 2013, takes the mystery and anxiety out of retirement savings. Students will each outline their retirement goals and calculate how much they will need in order to meet those goals. Jean will also discuss how to invest your money to make it work for you, as well as the ins and outs of Social Security and how it should fit into your retirement goals.

Each class will be offered at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Jean Chatzky’s Money School is an excellent resource. Make sure you check it out.

About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher, and an excellent freelance writer. She's also a stay-at-home-mom. She resides in Lafayette, IN, with her engineer husband and son. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.