Thursday, January 25, 2018

Free Skills You Can Learn Online

When I think back to just 30 years ago, there were so many things that were impossible/near impossible to learn without going to an actual teacher or a class.  And these you had to pay for.  Of course there were many books available on topics ranging from car repair to knitting but often the diagrams you saw in a book were not very easy to decipher and trying to learn a language or how to type from a book was difficult indeed.  Fast forward to today (and today's internet) where you can learn all kinds of valuable skills just by searching YouTube.

Of course you can take an Open CourseWare class on comparative philosophy or something like that but I propose you spend your time online learning skills that have, or can have, some sort of monetary value in the future.  Here's some ideas:
  • How to play a music instrument.  If you get good enough you can use this skill for busking, playing for pay in a coffee shop, or giving lessons.
  • How to make household repairs.  This in itself will save you a boatload of money, especially if you are a homeowner and don't have to super to call when something goes wrong with the plumbing/electrical/other household system.
  • Specialized IT skills like coding, website design, SEO, PhotoShop, etc.  Once you know what you are doing, you can either sell these skills to the highest bidder or use them to get a raise at your current job.  Years ago my boss asked if I knew anyone who could make the company a website, of course I jumped on the opportunity (I mostly needed the extra money) but I had no idea what I was doing.  After plowing through a 300-page book on 'How to Make a Website in FrontPage' we had a semblance of a website.  These days a 20 minute YouTube video will show you exactly how to make a good looking WordPress website.  Advanced skills are also taught online and for free.
  • The internet is bursting with artsy and crafty ideas--as well as lessons--for those both skilled and unskilled.  Many of these people sell their works online at places like Etsy or in person at craft shows and you can too once you have acquired the basic skills.
  • You can also learn many money-saving skills online.  How to cook (saves money over eating out), how to cut your kid's hair, how to grow a garden, how to budget, how to repair your clothes, the basics on investing, etc.  These may not make you money with these skills but they will definitely save you money.
Take advantage of all of the wonderful (free!) opportunities available online and reap the financial rewards!

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