Sunday, October 16, 2016

How I Learn New Skills for Free


FTC disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I love to learn.  I always have.  I graduated high school at age 15, and I spent my summers reading books.  I am a non-fiction aficionado, and I have discovered that there are amazing resources out there to learn pretty much anything you want for free (or very inexpensively).  It doesn't come with certification, but there is so much knowledge available you can implement to make your life better, more efficient, saving money, or fun!

About a year ago I decided I wanted to learn more about blogging and what kinds of items sell best on eBay.  Now I'm wanting to learn how to use coupons most effectively at Dollar General and homesteading skills.  Why am I switching?  I feel like I have the knowledge I want to cut back on the time I invest in learning the first two topics.



There are a few places I turn to when I want to learn something new.  I actually seldom look on Pinterest because I am wanting more in depth information than is often in a blog post.  Also, with articles linked to Pinterest, many times they restate the same thing, just in different ways.

So if I am really wanting to learn something in depth here are the places I turn:

Youtube.  

There are some amazing videos out there for free on nearly any subject.  Just recently I was talking to a remedial math teacher and I mentioned I never understood how multiplication really 'worked' until I watched a video on the Waldorf style of teaching circle multiplication and the patterns made so much sense to me.  I showed her how it worked, and she was excited to watch the video and pass the information on to her students.  I found some YouTube channels I really liked of eBay sellers who post videos of what they sold, so I subscribed to those.  Now I am subscribing to channels of my new interests.  I am very much a visual learner, so if I want to learn something like crocheting, I would have to turn to Youtube over any of my other sources.

Facebook Groups. 

This week, I searched Facebook groups and requested to join every group that looked interesting to me on my two newest subjects.  I won't stay in all of them.  I have changed settings for those groups for notifications of all messages.  That means each time there is a post, it comes into my e-mail.  At the beginning of every day I log into my Facebook e-mail on my iPad and quickly can look through all topics.  The ones that interest me, I can then click through to read the article or video, and quickly go through a number of e-mails and group activity very quickly.

Kindle Unlimited.

This is the only method of learning I use that costs anything -- and you can sign up for a FREE 30 day trial to see how much you can learn during that time to see if it's worth it to you.  It seems that people either love or hate this service, and I love it.  For $10 a month (after the first month) I have unlimited access to tons of ebooks that I can borrow on a huge range of subjects.  This means that I don't have to worry if I download a book that is useless to me.  I once downloaded a book that was on how to use your cell phone to make money if you lived in the country of Nigeria! Needless to say, I immediately returned it, and chose another book!  I didn't have to regret picking it up because it was useless to me because it didn't cost me the $2.99 to buy it.  I have set up a private wish list of just books I want to read in the Kindle Unlimited library, and that list boasts over 200 titles.  When I am ready to borrow another book, I can simply go to that wishlist and choose another one!


Podcasts.


This is great for learning as you exercise, drive, etc.  I have a number of favorite podcasts that help me in what I do from day to day.  There are business ones (such as selling items online), religious (Catholic Stuff you Should Know), and ones I just enjoy (The Memory Palace).  I have these to download automatically and I will often turn one on as I am folding laundry or doing something else where I don't have to pay close attention to my activity.  

There are plenty of other places to gain free knowledge, but these are my favorites.

What are you learning right now and where are you finding the information?

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