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Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

There are certain things that we have to pay other individuals to perform for us. From the dentist to certain construction tasks, it would be less stressful and wiser to consult an expert. However, for certain tasks, like an article of clothing that is damaged or dog grooming that we can perform ourselves and save a ton of money in the process. This not only makes you a wiser individual economically, it allows you to also be more self-sufficient in a time of rising costs and the environmental impact certain acts have. Today, we will talk about 10 easy to learn skills that you need to acquire today to save you money in the future.

1. Website Design

This is by far my most favourite tip to give. Not only because I’m currently working on advancing my programming knowledge, but also because it has both money saving and money making qualities. Squarespace is a website design website I make use of and a separate website for my domain costs. Even with a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, I use Squarespace because I simply love their templates I can tinker with. With Squarespace alone I am paying $120 a year, that’s $10 a month. For those who can program their own website, they are able to make it uniquely their own and can even offer their skills to other people as a way of making money. Code Academy is a great place to start and you’ll need to work toward learning HTML/CSS and Javascript.

2. Cooking

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    Some reports attest that the average American eats out twice a week, spending on average $10 each visit. Totalling close to $1000 a year when you add in taxes, and almost an additional 50% of that when you factor in taxes. In summary, that is what equates to a round-trip international plane ticket, going down your gullet. While I am not recommending you to stop eating out all together, I still spend the average a year on eating out, if not more, I do recommend you take up the skill of cooking if you are looking to save money. With the numerous recipe applications, articles, and websites out there, cooking is more accessible and easier than you think. With the money you’ll be saving, cooking your own meals every now and then will grow on you.

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    3. Dog Grooming

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      There are certain upkeep costs that require the intervention of a vet when it comes to pets. However, there are many individuals who pay for dog grooming to ensure that nails are kept trimmed or even polished! With some services costing between $20 and $50 a visit, you are simply throwing money into the litter pan with dog grooming costs. Instead, learn to do some of these things yourself. From giving your dog a luxurious bath to keeping up their mane, you will be saving between $300 and $600 a year. Plus, it’ll allow you to connect with Fido.

      4. Clothing Repair

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        Oh no, there’s a rip in your pants. What are you likely to do? Chances are high that you’ll either throw the pants out or do the “frugal” option of taking them to the tailor. But when you think about it, is having someone else repair your pants really frugal when you have two working hands of your own. No it is not, and there are various resources online and show you how to make small repairs to clothing mishaps, preventing you from having to make a trip to your tailor or the local shopping mall. With the average tailor visit costing between $10 and $30, you’ll save $120 to $360 a year repairing on our own.

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        5. Cutting Hair

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          Salon costs are heavily weighed especially on gender. Granted, a woman may request a couple of more additions to their hair bill, including some styling here and there, but for the most part, women pay more in any situation. Depending on the size and location of the city you live in, especially as reported in this Huffington Post article from May of last year, you can find yourself spending between $900 and $3000 on average for maintaining that gorgeous mane of yours. That’s outrageous, and you may want to look into how to give or allow a family member to give you a small trim between less frequent visits. The other hair cost, hair products, can also be reduced as well. Guys, I’m looking out for you all as well (how to trim your own beard and how to cut your own hair).

          6. Walking

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            Taking your car everywhere, even when you have no where to go and just want to go for a ride on a nice Saturday afternoon can cost you in the long run in wasted gas. Instead, look into walking to more places if you live in a neighbourhood that would make this possible. Even if you don’t, if you are on break at work, walk around the city instead of driving to your lunchtime errands. If you do live in a walkable neighbourhood, consider forgoing your car all together. Learning how to tackle your city like a true city person will allow you to let go one of the biggest expenses of all. Forgoing your car results in saving almost $3000 a year.

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            7. Preparing Taxes

            Preparing your own taxes can be so stressful that individuals are willing to shell out on average $261 a year to have someone else do it. While in complicating situations, for example the case of freelancers, it is wise to consult a bit of help. However, if you are a run of the mill taxed American, you will probably find that preparing your own taxes is wiser for you in the end.

            8. Negotiating

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              There are certain countries where a majority of your purchases are set in stone, in other countries negotiating is the way to go. However, in the United States, many of the services that we feel are set in stone can actually be negotiated upon. Chances are, in our society, you’ll find things marked with a price tag, but you can definitely find ways to negotiate in the form of discounts. You aren’t haggling or being a penny pincher by asking if places have discounts for students or other groups you are qualified under. If you have enough proof, your chances of getting some unadvertised percentage off can save you a ton in the long run. All you have to do is learn the art of speaking up.

              9. Car Maintenance

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                As mentioned before, walking can be a great way to save almost $3000 if you forgo your car all together. However, if you are like most Americans and can’t let the keys go, there are ways to save on things like car maintenance. Certain things, like changing a tire or keeping up with your car’s oil are simple and quick tasks you can perform yourself with the right tools and know-how. Maintaining your car yourself, without the need to go to a dealership aside from larger issues and inspections will save you hundreds in the end of the year.

                10. Stay-cationing

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                  Paying hundreds of dollars for transportation, hundreds more for lodging, and eating out are all the components of an expensive but great vacation. However, very few people fail to look at what is to offer in their own backyards (~50 mi). Living in Northern Virginia alone, if I want city fun I can go to Washington D.C, if I want nature, i can go to the numerous national parks, including Great Falls, to take in the scenery. Make use of websites like Yelp or your city or state’s official website. They can offer insight into various activities available to you to enjoy.

                  Grand Total of Savings: ~$3500 – $6000 a year.

                  With the tips outlined in this article, you can find yourself saving a ton of money that can be applied toward a certain item or trip you have been only wishing to partake in for the longest. Let us know in the comments below what you’d spend your personal grand total of savings on.

                  Featured photo credit: 120 Hours via 120hours.com

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                  Last Updated on July 4, 2019

                  25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                  25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                  Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

                  Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

                  1. Coursera

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                    Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

                    Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

                    Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

                    2. Khan Academy

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                      Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

                      Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

                      3. Open Culture Online Courses

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                        If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

                        Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

                        4. Udemy 

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                          Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

                          Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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                          5. Academic Earth

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                            Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

                            Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

                            6. edX

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                              Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

                              7. Alison

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                                Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                                It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                                8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                                  A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                                  Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                                  Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                                  ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                                  9. Stanford Online

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                                    Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                                    Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                                    10. Harvard Extension

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                                      Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                                      Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                                      11. Open Yale Courses

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                                        Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                                        12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                                          Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                                          13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                                            Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                                            14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                                              Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                                              15. Codecademy

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                                                Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                                The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                                16. Code

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                                                  Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                                  In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                                  Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                                  17. University of London Podcasts

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                                                    The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                                    18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                                      Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                                      The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                                      19. BBC Podcasts

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                                                        For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                                        Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                                        20. TED-Ed

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                                                          Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                                          Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                                          21. LessonPaths

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                                                            LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                                            22. Memrise

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                                                              Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                                              Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                                              23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                                The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                                National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                                24. Fun Brain

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                                                                  Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                                  Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                                  25. Whyville

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                                                                    Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                                    Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                                    Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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