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Learn a New Skill To Save Money


For as long as I can remember, my dad’s favorite hobby has been fixing up cars. I must have gone through 2 cars a year when I was in high school because he’d buy a car, fix it up, let us drive it for a thousand miles or so to make sure all the kinks were worked out, and then he’d sell it for profit. Now, something you should know about my family: I grew up with 3 other sisters. No brothers. We even had girl dogs. Needless to say, my dad was the lone ranger out in the garage all those years. The only time I stepped out there was to occasionally hold a flashlight for him. My parents are only 40 minutes away if something were to happen to our car but I wish I would have asked my dad to teach me a few things so I wouldn’t be so clueless now! At least I know how to jump my car if the battery dies…

Lucky for me, I discovered that there is a class offered through our local community college that teaches the basics of car mechanics! Since I teach a nutrition class at the community college I’m eligible to take 3 non-credit “lifelong learning” courses each semester for free. It’s not a big commitment either; most classes are only a couple hours on a weeknight for 3 weeks. I looked up my options and was thrilled to see all the opportunities I have to learn new skills! To name a few- there’s gardening, auto maintenance repair, wills, trusts & estate planning, digital photography, DIY home repair (bathroom remodeling, wood working, home improvement & preventative maintenance…), sewing, and a lot of different cooking classes. There’s even a couple of wine education classes! “Wines of Michigan”…sounds good to me!

You may not get free courses at your local community college but after seeing the prices I’d consider taking them even if they weren’t free! Most of the classes range from $35-$75 total. Learning a simple skill like changing your own oil, sewing a few patches, or fixing a plumbing issue can save you loads of money over time since you won’t have to pay someone to do it for you! I’d encourage you to check out a local community college and see what kind of skill-building classes they offer. Each class could just teach you something that will save you loads of money in the future.

What valuable skills have saved (or made) you money?

This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. That’s great! I’m taking a cake decorating class right now, which will save me money on my son’s birthday cakes over the years. It also means that everyone in the family will ask me to contribute the cake to any potluck-type events, but I’m fine with that. Cake mix, butter, and sugar are pretty cheap.

  2. That’s an awesome class! You may end up with a side business if everyone comes to you with requests 😉

  3. Learning car repair is so key. My friends who know it save loads of money.

    From your list above, I’ve found if you give your own landscaping a try rather than paying somebody else to do it, it’s pretty therapeutic. My home was all overgrown in the fall, and I weeded, cut the grass, and trimmed all the trees and bushes. Saved me about a hundred bucks, and it looked great. It was like my own personal art project.

    • Thanks for the comment Bill. This is actually great for me to hear because with my busy schedule these past few summers, I was paying a kid to cut my grass. This summer though, my MBA is over and I think I might actually look forward to cutting it myself. It will give me some exercise and a lawn to be proud of. 🙂

    • One of the reasons we bought a condo was so we didn’t have to deal with lawn care. At this point in life we are always out and about so I didn’t want to be stuck home cleaning up the yard. I can see myself enjoying it down the road though. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

  4. I don’t necessarily have a skill like that per se other than investing. But I have recently been looking into plumbing. I figure it’s a skill that will always be needed.

  5. So Jessica, do you think I should learn how to paint my own house? As you know, I am trying to save money this year so I can pay off my mortgage. A $3k bill from the painter would be a great one to avoid… 😉

    • Of course! My parents installed new windows and painted their two-story house. I’ll send them your way 😉

  6. Cooking my own food rather than eating outside is my way of saving more money! I do it only during breakfast and dinner, in lunch I won’t be able to cook since I’m in the office. This way I learn to cook for my own yet save money :).

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