Savings Lessons At No Cost

Last week, Florida had its first real cold spell of the season. When I went outside to let our dog stretch his legs after a night indoors, I could see my breath and I very much regretted leaving the house without at least two more layers of clothing. While we did not get the snow that the North got, it was still a lot colder than we are used to here in the Sunshine State.

And when it gets cold in the South, it can mean only one thing for our two SUVs. At least one of our batteries will die. As if programmed for it, the battery in my wife’s Envoy died the night that our cold spell hit. We called AAA, an annual experience for us when it gets cold, and had our battery replaced with a AAA battery. We elected not to have the SUV towed to our dealership so that the dealer could install the battery because the AAA battery was no more expensive, came with a six year warranty (as opposed to a three year partial warranty at the dealer) and was an immediate solution that did require tow trucks or later trips to the dealership to pick up the vehicle.

I was also impressed with the AAA representative’s knowledge of batteries. He explained to me that most batteries are made for general use anywhere in the USA. AAA batteries, however, are made with climate in mind. Accordingly, the battery that he sold me was specifically intended for use in the Southern part of the USA and could withstand the shock of hot days followed by cold winter night. Truthfully, I have no idea whether or not he was telling me the truth, but he sounded good and I trusted him.

With the New Year approaching, we all have a lot that we can learn in order to help us to make more money, save more money, and spend more wisely. Just as I learned something from my conversation with the AAA representative, there are a lot of ways that we can get lessons without having to pay any money to do so. You might want to consider some of the following.

Become a More Effective in Repairing Your Home: Whether or not you consider yourself handy, set a personal goal of becoming more effective in taking care of your home. Home improvement stores want your business and they know that the more you learn to do for yourself, the more you will potentially buy from them. Stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot often offer regular classes in DIY home repair and home improvement. Check out your local store and find out what you can learn to do for yourself.

Become a Craft God or Goddess: There are a lot of things that you can enjoy making for yourself if you take the time to learn. Whether you want to learn to knit, or to make your own holiday cards or to do some other craft-based project, stores like Michael’s will often offer classes for both adults and children. Not only can such classes help you to create crafts on your own, you may find that you have a lot of fun attending them as well.

What Does Your Library Have to Offer? Many libraries offer classes in the use of computer software applications, finance and other business skills. Check out your library today and take a step forward in January!

Churches are more than Places of Worship: Many churches also offer classes in finance and other skills. Programs may or may not be faith-based but explore the churches in your area and you may find that programs are open to be members and non-members alike.

Talk to Your Neighbors: If you notice that your neighbors have skills that you might like to learn, consider whether you have any skills that you can offer to your neighbors. You will bring your community closer together if you collaborate to share knowledge!

What do you want to learn this coming year? How do you want to improve? Where will you go to learn? Who will help?

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5 Responses to Savings Lessons At No Cost

  1. MommyMel says:

    I gifted my mother in law with a year long membership for Christmas. Thanks for making me feel better about this gift. I worry about her driving, possibly needing help and we’re not around.

  2. Ann says:

    Most home repairs aren’t that difficult and you can find all kinds of how-to’s and what-to’s on the internet — I oughta know after doing a LOT of the restoration work on a 100 year old victorian! LOL There are some things I’ll still call an expert in for, but I know in a crunch that I can handle it, if I have to or want to. 🙂

    Another source of free or nearly free can be your park district. Amazing some of the classes they hold! I’m considering attending a “Women in the wild: An Outdoor Skills Workshop” for $30, including lunch, snacks, all session instruction and materials ’cause they’re offering sessions on river canoeing, chicken harvest, dried flower arranging, basic bike maintenance, vermicomposting, archery skills, knife sharpening, hunting basics, cheese making and self defense… I’m interested in the cheese making (love the stuff) and vermicomposting, although my knife sharpening skills could always do with some work, too. 🙂 They offer a bunch of other classes too.

  3. A Fan says:

    Another great article, David! I enjoy reading your advice and suggestions.
    Thank you for your terrific work!
    Senior centers also offer a lot of different type of classes and they are not just limited to seniors, but check first. They generally have a calendar of scheduled topics with the times and they provide a phone number or website to obtain further information.
    I have attended talks on wills, insurance, exercise, domestic pets, gardening, healthier cooking, arthritis, driver safety, home maintenance, crafts, home security, basic car maintenance and more.
    All were very interesting, very informative and I learned some very useful things! All classes were FREE!


  4. Sandy L says:

    We’re big do it your selfers. It almost always makes sense to do home projects on our own.

    I have to say that most of the crafts I have learned over the years are not money savers. Many of the items cost the same or more than the store bought versions (Jam, cheese, beer, knitting). Even if the classes are reasonable or free, you get inspired to buy all the ‘stuff’ to do the crafts with. It can add up fast.

  5. Gail says:

    In combination with your ideas, my hubby not knowing what to do for me for Christmas asked my advice. I told him what I would really like was for him to repair my sewing room dresser as the bottoms were falling out of the drawers. He but his handy man hat on and fixed them for me so that I could continue crafting! Some wives wouldn’t be happy with a fix it job as their one and only present but we were determined not to go into debt for the holiday and that is what I needed and wanted.

    For Chrismas I wanted a new dress and made one out of a chunk of beautiful yard sale fabric that I bought for $3-4 and a pattern that I had gotten cheap. I have lots of supplies for my sewing room and many of them came to me as gifts, yard sale finds and hand me downs from people who have stopped crafting. I also was able to pass on a used sewing machine to my son’s girlfriend who is a bit on the frugal side herself and will be making good use of it. If you find you have an overabundance of supplies then pass them on to others.

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