Learning How to Adult? 10 Nifty Life Skills You Can Learn for Free Online

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Adulting school
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Home economics and auto shop classes are so 1950s.

But the skills you learn there are still valuable today.

Years ago, learning to cook, balance a checking account and change a flat tire were things people learned in school or from their parents.

Those kinds of classes aren’t offered as frequently as part of the school curriculum, and parents today are often too busy holding down second or third jobs just to keep food on the table.

For many families, there’s simply no time to teach kids how to shop for ripe vegetables or file taxes.

How Adulting Classes Can Help

We aren’t born knowing how to shop for deals or manage our money any more than we’re born knowing how to tie our shoes or use a fork.

Yet, these are all really important life skills to have.

So it should come as no surprise that “adulting classes” are popping up all over country. They’re designed to fill in knowledge gaps and give grown-ups the mastery to tackle the basics of taking care of themselves.

“You know, when you see 10 people feeling like they’re the only one, and they’re all struggling with the same thing, you think, let’s get these people together so they can learn this stuff and not feel so isolated and ashamed,” Rachel Weinstein, co-founder of Adulting School in Maine, told NPR.

Tuition at Weinstein’s school starts at $19.99 for a monthly subscription and access to several topics.

One-time workshops around the country range anywhere from $35 to free.

DIY Your Own Adulting School

If adulting classes aren’t in your budget or offered in your area, why not cobble together some DIY courses that teach you what you need to know?

Here are 10 life skills you can learn on your own, thanks to the wonders of the internet.

1. How to Dig a Hole

Learning this practical skill can also change the way you interact with people.

2. How to Change a Tire

Practice this one a couple of times before you need it.

3. How to Defend Yourself

Online courses give you an overview of what you need to know for self-defense, but check with your local police department for information about in-person classes where you can practice your skills in a real-life setting.

4. How to Cook

If you’re just learning to cook, you don’t need to worry about posh ingredients and fancy sauteeing techniques. Just focus on the basics like how to make rice, roast a chicken or chop vegetables without losing a thumb.

5. How to Make Your Bed

A crisply-made bed ties a bedroom together and makes it look tidy even if there are dust bunnies secretly hiding under it. A well-made bed is also proven to aid in getting a better night’s sleep.

6. How to Ace a Job Interview

It’s okay to be nervous; just make sure you’re prepared for your interview. Oh, and don’t pull any of these dumb moves.

7. How to Recognize When You Need a Doctor

There’s no reason to shell out big bucks on an expensive co-pay for every little sniffle or sneeze. But sometimes you really do need to see a doctor.

8. How to Do Laundry

You don’t need expensive clothes to look and feel your best. Taking care of your clothes is key, but there’s more to doing laundry than tossing everything in the washer and turning it on.

9. How to Organize Important Paperwork

As we march toward a paperless world, eventually almost all our important paperwork will be digital. Until then, it’s vital to create a system that stores things like medical records, tax paperwork and personal documents safely so they’re available when you need them.

10. How to Create a Budget

This is perhaps one of the most important life skills you need to learn. No matter how much (or how little) money you earn, learning how to manage it well sets the stage for you to reach other goals in your life. So don’t put it off.

Your turn: What’s the most helpful life skill you’ve learned?

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her life skill super power is laundry. She folds fitted sheets like a boss.