Want to learn a little more about how to manage your money? You might want to tap into some free classes being offered by the City Colleges of Chicago.

There’s nothing better than a free education, especially when it comes to learning about money. While you could learn the ABCs of managing your money, the new second level of Money Matters classes offers a whole lot more.

“So we’re going to spend a lot of time in Investments 102 talking about mutual funds, how they work, what to do, who to consult when you want to buy those . . .” says Carla Madison, Money Matters instructor.

Three years ago, the city treasurer’s office teamed up with City Colleges to offer a free class on the basics of money management. The response was overwhelming.

“We expected to get 2,000 to 2,500 students. We’ve gotten over 4,000 students that have taken that class,” says July Rice, city treasurer.

Banking accounts, checking accounts, how to get a mortgage, auto loan and save for the future are topics that appeal to students of all ages.

“This type of program appeals to them because they haven’t yet established themselves financially,” says John Wozniak, Harold Washington College.

“I had been laid off from my job so it was important for me to be able to handle my money correctly. It was something I always wanted to do,” says Katrina Jones, student.

“I always kind of kept up with my spending but I really didn’t realize how important it is to actually keep a very accurate diary. Now, even when I buy a candy bar, I write it down,” says Edwin Tyrone Pegues, student.

But once these students got their feet wet, learning about credit only whet their appetite for more.

“They asked for a more advanced curriculum. They wanted to learn about stocks and bonds and mutual funds. They wanted to learn about real estate,” Rice says.

And they wanted to know what steps they had to take to start a small business.

“In the second level I’m hoping to learn how to write a business plan because I want to start my own business,” Jones says.

In addition to being free, anyone can sign up for either the first or second level of money matters classes.

“And then we’re going to talk about the basics of stocks and bonds,” Madison says.

“When I listened to the preview I said, maybe I can just sit through this class myself,” Rice says.

The initial Money Matters session will begin at the end of March at Harold Washington College. By the end of summer, the curriculum will be available at all the City Colleges city-wide.

To sign up for the our money matters phase i or phase ii classes, call (773) C-O-L-L-E-G-E (773-563-5343)

The classes will be held at Harold Washington College starting at the end of March, and the curriculum will be available throughout the seven city colleges later this summer.

Topics that will be included:
Stocks and bonds
Mutual funds
Real estate investing
Small business ownership