Throughout the course of your life, you will learn many skills. Some of which will be useful to you and some you may not ever use more than once. However there are some skills that are necessary to learn as you enter your adult life as they will benefit you for many years to come. Learn these top eight skills to drastically improve your health and happiness both now and in the future.
How To Budget
If you maintain a household budget, then you are among the minority of people who know what they have coming in and going out each month. Scary thought! Isn’t it?! Knowing your income and expenses is necessary to meet certain financial goals. For example, if you are saving for college or planning to open your own business you will need to know how much money you have available to put towards those goals. Money may not buy happiness but financial stability can provide you with the freedom you need to pursue the life you want.
Budgets do not need to be complicated to be effective. When creating your budget be sure to include all sources of income and all major expenses such as rent/mortgage, food, utilities, child care, etc. If used properly a budget can help you identify trends in your spending and can help keep you accountable for your financial decisions.
For more information on budgeting:
How To Cook
Cooking is a time-honored tradition where families pass down recipes from generation to generation and older generations teach the younger ones their own methods and tricks. And then we have today’s society – where everything is fast and very little is fresh. While no one expects you to be the next Cooking Network star, it is wise to learn to make one or two signature dishes really well. Not only will you impress your family, friends, or business associates at your next dinner party, but cooking at home tends to be more affordable and is generally healthier since you have control over the ingredients and cooking methods.
If you are looking to improve your cooking skills try taking a class at a local community college or try something new and learn about a specialty such as French cuisine or how to make sushi. Can’t afford a class? Watch cooking shows on TV or go online to sites like YouTube for interesting tutorials.
How To Change A Flat Tire
Is it just me or does a flat tire seem to only happen at the most inopportune times?! Like on the middle of a highway 25 miles from the nearest gas station or mechanic. Ugh! Sure, you can call AAA but depending on the road conditions, it could be some time before they get to you. Since flat tires are one of the most common roadway mishaps that cause vehicles, and their passengers, to be stranded, save yourself hours of time and potentially hundreds of dollars in towing costs and mechanic fees by learning how to change your own tire. With the right tools and a little knowledge, the average person can learn to change a tire in no time flat (pun intended 😉 ). Car jacks can be somewhat dangerous if not used properly so I recommend that you have someone experienced teach you this skill. Continue practicing with them until you are comfortable doing it on your own. Check out local auto parts stores to put together a small tool kit that can be kept in your vehicle for emergency purposes. Your kit may include things like flares, tire pressure gauge, small car jack, and a lug nut wrench.
How To Check A Credit Report
Aside from your social security number (and maybe your age), your credit score is probably the single most important identifying number in an adult’s life. A healthy credit score can actually help save you money by guaranteeing lower interest rates and more favorable loan agreements. So it is important that you not only know how to obtain your credit report and score, but know how to understand them as well. By law, you are given one free credit report per year (but you must request your credit score separately). It is recommended that your report be reviewed on at least an annual basis since it is estimated that approximately 79% of all credit reports contain errors. You can obtain your free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
Review your report for the following errors:
- Incorrect or incomplete personal information: Name, address, phone number, social security number or birth date, missing, incorrect or outdated employment information and also check for incorrect marital status.
- Outdated items past their statute of limitations:
– Bankruptcies older than 10 years.
– Lawsuits or judgments, tax liens, criminal records or delinquent accounts more than 7 years old.
– Inquiries over 2 years old
- Account details and status: Make sure your accounts, credit limits and balances are listed correctly; If YOU closed an account, it should say “Account closed by consumer.” If a credit limit is not posted accurately this can lower the score.
- Accounts you don’t recognize. If you see a credit account you don’t recall opening or charges you haven’t made, this is something to be taken very seriously. You may have been a victim of identity theft and it should be investigated immediately.
- Delinquencies you did not cause.
- Duplicate Accounts. Once in a while, an error may be made that may cause a legitimate credit account to be listed more than one time on your report. These are fairly easy to catch, as they will appear identical. The problem is that they will contribute to the total debt owed and number of active accounts.
- Inquiries you don’t recognize or that are over 2 years old. Inquiries must be authorized. They also should disappear from the report after 2 years.
How To Operate A Computer
Twenty or so years ago, most systems were still operated manually. Remember paper and pen? Anyone?!!! Flash forward to today, and it is hard to deny the presence of technology in our lives. Computers, and mini-computing devices such as smartphones and tablets, have become the norm in everyday life and most of us can’t imagine a life without their conveniences. Not to mention that the internet has grown to become the world’s largest collective source of information on just about any topic known to man. Learning to successfully operate a computer can open doors for an individual and create opportunities that they may have not had otherwise.
If you are looking to improve your computer skills, your options are endless and will really depend on the way in which you learn best. For one on one instruction, try a class at a local college or maybe an experienced friend or family member. If you prefer to learn at your own pace you can try instructional books or DVDs. There is even online computer training although I don’t typically recommend that for beginners.
How To Swim
Learning to swim doesn’t sound like a critical life skill but the fact is it can save your life or the life of a loved one. Even those who don’t participate in watersports, have opportunities to be near water, especially if you are a parent. Knowing how to swim can drastically improve your chances in a survival situation. Take lessons at a swim center or have someone you trust teach you.
How To Administer First Aid
CPR and basic first aid are skills that you hope to never have to use, but if you do, you will be extremely grateful that you have them since having these skills can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Obtain a certification online through www.firstaidweb.com.
How To Garden
Learning how to grow and maintain a garden is beneficial for many reasons. Not only will you learn to provide a sustainable food source for your family but growing your own fruits and vegetables reduces your dependence on grocery stores and provides a healthier alternative to packaged and processed foods. Not to mention that gardening is also known to be a great stress reliever and a great activity for the family. Visit local nurseries for supplies (and advice) to get your garden started.
For more information on gardening:
By learning these essential life skills, you will be prepared for both everyday living and life’s everyday challenges.