Advertising
Advertising

10 Inexpensive Ways To Continue Your Education Outside of School

10 Inexpensive Ways To Continue Your Education Outside of School

Colleges and universities are great institutions for individuals to learn a subject of specialty that they are interested in going further in after they finish their studies. With the networking skills and organized track that studying in an institution gives is currently still unmatched, however times have changed with the advent and advancement of technology over the past few years. Individuals are beginning to notice that they learn a lot outside of an institution and even after life in a university, they can learn to advance their knowledge. Today, we will talk about ten inexpensive ways to continue your education outside of college.

1. YouTube

continelearn_01

    YouTube is a great resource for individuals looking to continue their education outside of school because of the various channels available that teach any subject you could think of. On the subject of foreign languages, the options are endless, from Learn Arabic with Maha to French lessons with Alexa Polidoro. Math help and science videos are also found on everything from Earth Science to Calculus, and everything in between. All it takes is a quick YouTube search and your world of knowledge opens up.

    2. Code Academy

    continuelearn_02

      Having a knowledge of coding is an important and useful skill for today’s job market. Due to the initiative in institutions to get more individuals to, at the very least, get some knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, and at most, to get them into STEM careers.

      Advertising

      Code Academy makes learning common coding languages, like HTML/CSS, Javascript, Python, Ruby, among other languages more approachable for the individual without extensive experience. This is done through interactive exercises on the fundamentals. Getting started with a Code Academy lesson can allow you to learn the basics and figure out what direction you’d like to go in learning how to code in an advanced manner.

      3. Khan Academy

      continuelearn_03

        With over 300 million views collectively, Khan Academy is a great resource for individuals who want to learn in depth on just about any subject they fancy. The brain-child of Sal Khan, Khan Academy is useful for both children and graduated adults alike with its vast array of subjects, all free to learn. Many even come with exercises to ensure that you were able to grasp the material. It’s all at your own pace, ensuring that what matters is that you are learning, not trying to make a deadline (graduation). Check out Khan Academy today and start learning.

        4. Learn at an Ivy League

        continuelearn_04

          An Ivy League education has the prestige and status due to usually their long periods of existence and the quality of education that individuals expect. But you don’t have to study at an Ivy League school, with many individuals succeeding in smaller known schools, it doesn’t hurt to learn a thing or two from an Ivy League school if you aren’t paying for it. Through MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, you are able to learn from Ivy League professors in the comfort of your own home. Along with each school offering their own domain for courses, iTunes U and Coursera are two other popular MOOC providers .

          Advertising

          5. Check out Udemy

          continue_learn_05

            Udemy is the resource for individuals looking to learn and get started with applying those skills right away. Many aren’t self paced due to the fact that you’ll have an instructor, however with an instructor you have a more personalized learning experience. Udemy excels in teaching tech skills, like programming and learning the advanced aspects of certain desktop applications and office suites, however you can find lessons and courses on a wide variety of subjects as well.

            6. Learn with TED Talks

            continuelearning_06

              TED Talks are a compilation of videos of TED and TEDx conference speakers held around the world. If you are familiar with TED conferences, you’ll know that the subjects covered can run the gamut. While they aren’t courses or your conventional “lessons” they do offer a lot that individuals can take away from. In the technical sense, TED talks are educational. You can view the official TED website to take a look at posted videos, searchable by subject.

              7. Approach the Source

              Advertising

              continuelearn_07

                A great way to continue education outside of college is to approach individuals in the industries and subjects you are interested in learning more about. They can act as your mentor, offering tips, advice, or even explanations on the complex factors of their industry that they work in.

                They don’t have to be award winning laureates, they can be a friend who works as a software engineer, or a family member working in marketing and you’re looking to get into either one of those sectors. They can connect you to both well known as well as lesser known resources to get you on the right path.

                If you don’t find yourself with such individuals, check out Quora. Standing for Question or Answer, Quora is the well organized, more educated Yahoo Answers! that we all hoped for, featuring industry professionals and common Joes alike who ask and answer some of life’s simplest and most complex questions.

                8. Learn Through Entertainment

                continuelearn_08

                  Entertainment isn’t always considered a time waster. It can be the key to learning a multitude of things. If you are learning a language, making use of multimedia including movies and television shows are a great way to not only keep the language fresh, but to also make use of context clues to learn new words. This beats learning in a classroom and is a great supplement to language learning through the means we discussed above. Netflix is a great place to find international movies with subtitles. If you want to have complex subjects explained to you, Netflix also offers various television shows from Discovery Channel as well as non-fiction movies.

                  Advertising

                  9. Read On

                  continue_learn_09

                    Reading is a great way to continue your education outside of college. If you are like a lot of students, you may find that learning out of your textbook, a long with a bit of supplemental Q&A time with a knowledgable individual on the subject can be more beneficial than sitting in an hour long class itself. Amazon is a great resource for finding books, especially on programming. Many individuals find that books can be a good guide to starting programming. iBooks can be an affordable digital alternative to purchasing hard copies. If you want the feel of a book, but in digital form, investing in an Amazon Kindle could be a good option.

                    10. Apply Your Skills

                    continue_learn_10

                      Once you begin to gain skills, or even with the skills you already have, it may be wise to find ways to apply these skills through internships or entry level jobs in your field or position you’re looking to obtain. This is considered one of the best ways to continue learning outside of college because many employers will pay for you continual advancement in learning and you’ll learn the best way many individuals find they can, by doing. Make use of internship and job websites to find opportunities and pay close attention to benefits they have for continual certification assistance.

                      Let us know in the comments below which route you’ve chosen to continue learning outside of college.

                      Featured photo credit: Pegasusoverseas via pegasusoverseas.com

                      More by this author

                      10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily The 50 Best Desktop Wallpapers for 2013 23 Awesome Travel Hacks That Add Fun To Your Trip How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday 9 Apps Unrelated to Black Friday That Are Helpful

                      Trending in Money

                      1 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 2 25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast 3 What Is a Good Credit Score (And How to Get One) 4 9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life 5 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                      The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                      Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                      Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                      Identifying All of Your Debts

                      The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                      Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                      1. Own Your Debt

                      Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                      Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                      2. Make a Debt Tracker

                      It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                      Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                      3. Get Your Debt Number

                      Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                      Prioritizing Your Debts

                      All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

                      Advertising

                      1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                      Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                      There are three main types of bad debt:

                      • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                      • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                      • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                      Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                      • Student Loan Debt
                      • Mortgage Loan
                      • Business Loans

                      2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                      Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                      Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                      If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                      3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                      Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                      Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                      Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                      1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                      “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                      It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

                      Advertising

                      Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                      Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                      2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                      If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                      Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                      3. Automate Everything

                      Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                      4. Plan Ahead

                      Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                      For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                      5. Live Cheaply

                      The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                      • Live with roommates
                      • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                      • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                      • Take public transit or bike to work

                      Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                      The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                      If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

                      Advertising

                      1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                      Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                      • Never miss a payment
                      • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                      • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                      • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                      • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                      2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                      Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                      Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                      If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                      How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                      Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                      1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                      Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                      Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                      2. Earn More Money

                      There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                      Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                      Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

                      Advertising

                      Talk to Your Boss

                      Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                      Start a Side Hustle

                      This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                      Build an Online Business

                      There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                      3. Celebrate Your Wins

                      As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                      While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                      4. Set New Financial Goals

                      Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                      Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                      These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                      Conclusion

                      Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                      Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

                      More Tips on Getting out of Debt

                      Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next