Life Hacks

How To Learn A New Life Skill For Free

There’s a lot to be said for picking up a new skills, wherever you are in life. A new life skill can give you a pay boost at work, kick off a side business, or even help you change to a new career entirely. They can help you cut back on the costs of odd jobs, as you can learn to do simple tasks yourself. Developing a new life skill can even be motivated by something as simple as having a new hobby to enjoy. So, how can you pick up the set of life skills you’ve always dreamed of?

There’s an app for that

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Whatever life skill or topic you’re hoping to study, it’s likely that there’s an app for that.

For languages, we love DuoLingo and MemRise. They both have a fantastic range of languages you can learn, and turn the experience into a game. You’ll barely realise you’re learning!

As our world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, you may be thinking about picking up some programming skills. SoloLearn enables you to learn any of dozens of programming languages for free, with knowledge sharing and support from the community to help chivvy you along included.

Spent your life gazing at the stars? Learn about them and pick up astronomy as a new life skill! With SkyOrb, you can learn about the sun, moon and stars all from one handy app. There are both free and premium versions available. We suggest starting with the free version, and if you discover a budding astronomer in yourself, then upgrade.  We also love StarWalk, which enables you to identify stars by pointing your phone at the night sky. Again, there are free and paid-for versions, so start with the free one and see how you get on!

Related: 5 of the best free language learning apps

Online learning

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If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on a particular topic to boost your career or move into a new one, then an online course may be the best place to start. The Open University and Future Learn have a variety of free online courses covering every imagineable life skill, at all levels. Courses hosted on Future Learn are developed by universities and education institutions around the world. Completing a course doesn’t mean you automatically get a degree. However, many courses offer you the chance to upgrade to get unlimited access to the learning materials and a certificate achievement so you can prove your success.

Classes and short courses

Couple decorating DIY

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Many councils offer a variety of face to face courses through libraries and other community facilities. Life skills you can learn range from flower arranging to creative writing to book-keeping to DIY, so there’s definitely something for everyone on offer. Courses are usually free for those who receive some types of benefit as well, from Income Support to Universal Credit. Otherwise, a small fee will be payable. Check out your local council’s website for more information on the life skill courses they’re running.

Learn a life skill on Youtube

Man assembling furniture

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Youtube is one of the first avenues we explore when we want to learn how to do something. From plumbing in a dishwasher to assembling flat pack furniture, you can easily and quickly learn a new life skill by watching someone else do it on video. We especially love Youtube cooking tutorials to help us learn how to make new dishes. You’ll likely not quite be cooking along in real time, so prepare to pause throughout, but you’ll learn a lot about the techniques you need to create truly scrummy food.

On the job training

On the job training

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If you want or need to learn a particular life skill to be able to advance your career, then your employer may be able to help. There are a number of training schemes you can access for free. Plus, many employers will pay for you to attend training courses if the skills will benefit them as well as you. Speak to your manager or HR department to find out what’s available to you and get learning those life skills!

What life skills will you learn?