Learn new skills
This post is part of a 30 days series called the 30 steps program to financial independence. You can check the list of other posts here.
For the past few days, I have talked about growing a garden, and performing maintenance on your vehicle, little ways that help you not only save money, but also be more independent with your needs. You need to eat, and if you can eat from your garden, you don’t have to rely on someone to give you said food. You can stop buying when prices are high. You can control what kind of chemicals you put, or not, on your crop. This is the kind of independence I am looking for.
Of course, I can’t do most things alone, but I certainly can try to learn as many new skills as I can. I value my time very much, and I wouldn’t spend hours doing things that would only save me a few cents. Also, at this time, I am a nomad, traveling on a motorcycle, so the skills I have learned are related to my personal needs. You can create your own list.
Skills I have learned recently
How to make pizza from scratch and my own pizza dough. I like pizza but was frustrated when living in Guatemala, pizza was expensive and not that good. I tried at home, BF and I loved it!
How to change the oil on my motorcycle. Pretty easy with the right tools, learning how to perform that 20 minutes job saves me $30 per oil change. Since we have traveled a lot in the past 4 months, we changed the oil twice already.
Basic website, XML and HTML. If you look at my blog, you will laugh out loud. But I’ve tweaked a few things, and looked what it did to my site, and freaked out when it didn’t work, and tried again. I am not sure I’m getting my money worth on that one since virtual assistance is so cheap, but I like to think that I have control over my blog. I even know a bit of SQL from my 9 to 5 job days!
How to sew. Well, my mum tried to teach me a bit when a friend of mine had a baby and I made a custom blanket for her. Very, very useful skill that our mothers should make an effort to pass over! Sewing a button instead of never using that shirt again, making that pant more flattering, is something you really want to know how to do!
Skills I would like to learn
How to make my own jam. I love cooking and preserving fresh fruits from the summer in yummy jam is something I look forward to doing. Will ask my grandma, she makes the best elderberry jam!
How to make cheese, yoghurt, bread and lots of other delicious things! I love that I could make sure I use prime ingredients instead of buying a cheap version at the store because my eyes pop every time I see the higher priced products!
How to make clothes. I have little imagination when it comes to design but making a simple summer dress is not very hard, and I would have a unique piece!
How to build a house, and fix things around the house. As I am about to buy a house, that would be a plus, to know my way with contractors, avoid overcharging ones, and help around to bring the bills down!
Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not trying to live my independent life without relying on anyone. As a matter of fact, tomorrow, I will talk about the importance of community and having a strong network around you. As I said at the beginning of this article, I am not trying to save cents either. Making your own yoghurt, when a pint goes for under $1 at the supermarket is not a money saving tip. But you make it exactly the way you like it, with healthy ingredients, and if you crave yoghurt when the store is closed, you can always start your own batch! (the store may open before the batch is ready though…).
And you will never regret having skills like plumbing when a pipe bursts, or basic electricity to fix a faulty wire. A professional would come and fix it for me for a price so high, and I would feel so useless and vulnerable not knowing my way around my own house that I want to learn as much as I can.