As you know it, learning useful skills that can be applied have the potential to pave the way for a better career and quality of life.
The problem for most of us is budget. After paying for all your essential bills – mortgage, rent, phone, electricity, water, vehicle and whatnot, you are left with a very tight budget with little to spare.
But fear not, where there is a will, there will be a way. In this article, we will dive into 7 useful skills that you can acquire without breaking your bank account.
Here is the list of the 7 useful skills to learn if you are broke:
Meditation – the way to peace and happiness. Once perceived to be an ancient taboo and a practice for only the religious, the art of meditation has since become a mainstream in our culture. More light has been shed on the ancient art where people now understand that meditation is completely human, with nothing to do with religion.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to increase levels of happiness, reduce stress, and induce a sense of peace and calm. All these factors contribute to enhanced levels of productivity throughout each day.
Where to learn: If you have never tried meditation before, you can begin from the comfort of right where you are at this moment. There are free apps like ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’, which can help you to get started.
In most cities like Singapore, there are meditation centers with group classes that you can attend for free. All you have to do is learn a few basic techniques and you can always practice on your own, with no need to attend a class.
2. Speed Reading
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
So they say that knowledge is power. The more knowledge you consume, the better the chance to improve your quality of life.
The problem that we all face is time. Reading can be time-consuming, especially if you are already busy with work and personal life.
Well, a good solution to that is Speed Reading. The wonderful skill of speed reading will allow you to consume more knowledge in the shortest possible time. The faster you can read, the more knowledge you will gain in less time.Where to learn: A good place to begin, is to take a speed reading test.
3. Public Speaking
According to Warren Buffet, the ability to communicate and speak publicly is one of the most important skills to develop in life.
*Most of us don’t have regular opportunities to improve our speaking skills, but there are cheap options you can take advantage of to start practicing immediately.
Granted that the chance to speak publicly does not come by often for most people. How then can you improve on your public speaking skills? The good news is that there are affordable options out there. For instance, you could join a public speaking club as an extracurricular activity, or take up a public speaking course that isn’t too expensive.
A good recommendation would be the International Toastmasters organization that has a presence in most metropolitan cities across the globe. The Toastmaster community is an organization of individuals who have a passion for public speaking. Joining a community like that would place you within a group of like-minded people who share the same passion.
Ask any wealthy man and he will probably tell you that the skill of investing is an essential skill to building wealth. The hard truth is that unless you happen to have a job that pays you a six figure salary annually at least, it is difficult for the person with the regular job to build significant wealth without investing. So if you have little to absolutely no knowledge on investing, we reckon that it would be worth it to invest some time into learning.
For a start, you can begin with useful tools like Investopedia, which has a lot of useful and practical information about the world of finance. If you are a little more adventurous, you could even open a free practice account with platforms like Oanda to get a taste of what trading and investing is like.
These days, it seems that ‘Tech’ is fast becoming the driver of economies. Every other day, we hear of tech startups that are disrupting traditional businesses with the use of innovative technology. Within the tech space, coding in a computer language is key.
For instance, if you happen to have a good business idea, you can leverage on the skill of coding to kick-start your business at very low costs. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on hiring web/mobile developers, or trying to get a business loan to do so, you can simply learn to yourself. Many of the world’s best coders were self-taught, so we know that this is a skill that can be developed by learning on your own.
Learning to code has become very accessible for the average person these days. There are hundreds of websites that are dedicated to teaching code. One such website is Code Academy, which allows you to practice coding by building real systems and applications.
6. Personal Finance
Learning to manage your personal finances is perhaps the most fundamental skill of wealth building. Earning a tonne of money is useless if you do not know how to manage it properly. As basic as the idea of saving money is, knowing how to save and grow it at the same time can be a totally different ball game.
Instead of spending money on personal finance courses that can run up to thousands of dollars, you could get hold of great books like “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi, or “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. While these books will not turn you into an overnight finance guru, they will help you to get a basic understanding of how to manage your personal finances.
6. Foreign Language
Most people don’t seem to realize how precious being able to speak in multiple languages is. Hirers value greatly the ability to speak in other languages, especially with companies that deal with an international audience.
People tend to feel more comfortable when you are able to communicate with them in their native language. It helps with building strong business relationships. Being able to speak in a foreign language can also come in very handy when you are travelling.
These days, there are many websites like Duolingo where you can learn a foreign language for free. While learning a foreign language from a website may not help you to become fluent at it, you can at least learn the basics of how to read, speak and write in that language. These basic skills can be very useful if you decide to further your learning of that language in the future.