Learning New Skills Needn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg

Even if we don’t realise it, we never stop learning. Developing new skills and picking up new knowledge can be both useful and interesting. Some research has shown that continuing to learn throughout your life can help keep you healthier for longer.

This doesn’t mean spending thousands on heading back to university. There are plenty of ways that you can develop new skills without even having to spend a single penny. Thanks to the internet, much of the world’s knowledge has been made available for free and it’s available wherever and whenever we want.

Financial Skills

During the formal education we all receive earlier in life, we’re taught all kinds of complicated theories, facts, and figures about various topics. And while many people can (at least for a while) remember how to calculate the area under a curve, recite the dates of the Apollo missions, or name every part of a plant cell, few people learn how to manage their finances.

This is despite the fact that everyone needs financial management skills throughout their lives, while only biologists need to name the components of a plant cell.

Thankfully, managing your personal finances doesn’t require a PhD. In fact, it’s really simple. Organisations like the Open University offer free personal finance courses, most of which are easy to access. These include “Retirement Planning Made Easy”, Understanding Mortgages” and “Rent or Buy? The Challenge of Access to Housing”.

Gaming Skills

We’ve almost all been in a situation where we’ve been with friends and someone’s pulled out a deck of cards and said “right, who wants to play?” What follows is usually a conversation about what games everyone knows the rules to, so you can decide which one to play.

If you find yourself in this situation regularly and you’d like to improve your chances of beating your buddies, then you need to improve your gaming skills.

Thankfully, there are plenty of places online where you can learn how to get better at almost every game you could imagine. If your friends enjoy playing Texas Hold’em, then resources that explain how to play poker are going to be very useful. Similarly, if you find yourself playing board games like Monopoly, then there are tricks you can use to improve your chances.

If you’re more of a video game player, then there are also countless resources online to help you pick up new skills and learn new strategies too. Most are available for free on sites like YouTube, so you won’t have to fork out a penny to learn these new skills.

Using a laptop whilst wearing headphones

Vehicle Maintenance Skills

Most of us learn to drive at some point in our lives. In some countries, like the United States, it’s almost compulsory to have a car due to the built environment of most towns and cities being designed primarily for motor vehicles.

However, fewer people have the skills to carry out basic vehicle maintenance. Of course, we can always take our cars to a garage for a mechanic to sort it out, but basic tasks like changing wiper blades is a quick and easy job for an owner to do. Doing this sort of maintenance yourself will also save you money.

Having some basic knowledge of what’s inside your car can also help you to spot problems that you need to alert a mechanic about and give you an upper hand should an unscrupulous one try to rip you off.

YouTube is a great place to go for this kind of learning. There are guides for performing almost every kind of maintenance task on almost every car you can think of, from simple things like replacing bulbs to replacing timing belts. All of it is free, and the video format means you can see exactly what you need to do as you follow along.

Cooking Skills

We all have to eat, but many of us don’t ever learn to cook properly. Unless we enjoy it, most people will just throw stuff together that’s easy. However, this doesn’t always mean it’s healthy or nutritious.

Learning to cook can also be a great way to save money as it means you’ll be spending less on eating out and takeaways.

There are plenty of great ways to learn how to cook. You can pick up simple cooking tips and tricks like how to use a knife through video platforms, while dedicated recipe sites like BBC Good Food and Allrecipes contain instructions on how to cook just about any meal you could possibly imagine, all completely for free.

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