Smarter on a Budget: How to Educate Yourself Without Expensive Classes

how to educate yourselfWould you like to know how to educate yourself without spending thousands on a college degree?

We are fortunate enough to live in an era where we have access to any type of information we want at our fingertips.

You can take a class from Harvard in your living room. You can learn Spanish from the University of Valencia. There are few limits as to what you can learn. You just have to know where to look.

Read on to learn how you can get a world-class education on your own.

Is a College Degree Worth It?

That’s a question many students are asking themselves as the student loan burden increases and college graduates are leaving college with an average of more than $37,000 in student loan debt.

The heavy burden of these loans make it difficult for graduates to buy a home, have kids, or have disposable income.

It’s the same if you’re considering an advanced degree. The costs of attaining a master’s degree or above will put your financial goals on hold for years to come.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options to expand your knowledge if you don’t want to go back to school.

Ask Yourself These Three Questions

When you’re starting to figure out how to educate yourself, you want to ask yourself three basic questions.

  • What do you want to learn?
  • How much time can you realistically devote to learning each week?
  • Why do you want to learn it?

Knowing what you want to learn and how much time you can devote will help you find the right education program that fits your needs

Why you want to learn more about a particular topic might be the most important question.

Do you have a hobby that you’re interested in, like gardening? Would learning a certain skill get you a raise? Maybe you’re looking at a career change.

There are many reasons why you want to educate yourself. There will be days when you want to put studying off but knowing why will help you stay motivated and disciplined.

How to Educate Yourself

Do you know how fortunate you are to live in this age of information? Some days, it might not seem that way, but you really are lucky. Just 15 years ago, your only option for self-learning was either going to the library or sitting in a classroom.

Today, there are more options than ever before. Let’s take a look at the top resources you can check out for yourself.

EdX

Did you know that you can take classes from major universities around the world for free? EdX offers classes in business, technology, AP level language classes, and so much more. Classes from the top universities around the world participate in EdX.

YouTube

YouTube is great to educate yourself on home improvement topics like how to unclog a drain or how to change the oil in your car.

You do have to be wary about other topics, like learning how to workout or nutrition. There are a lot of ‘experts’ out there who are peddling bad advice. It’s up to you to sift through the good and the bad and find out what information is the most accurate.

Lynda.com

Do you need to learn a skill to give your career a boost? Lynda.com from LinkedIn is a great place to start. Courses in software development, programming languages, photography, graphic design, and business are all found here.

When you go through these online courses, it’s important to remember that you’re doing this to learn something.

Old Fashioned Books

Yes, it’s funny to call books old fashioned, but in a sense, they are forgotten tools for learning. If you want to learn more about entrepreneurship, read biographies of greats like Steve Jobs or Walt Disney. You’ll learn more about business than you will in B-School.

History books are another valuable resource to give you insight into how our world works. They’re also interesting to learn how wars started and how our culture has evolved into what it is today. Find out more for the top history books that need to be on your list.

Have Self-Discipline

Do you want to know the key factor in how to educate yourself?

It starts with you. It doesn’t matter what methods you use to educate yourself, you have to have the discipline to learn and master your topic.

For example, if you want to learn a language, you have to set up a daily schedule. You also have to set up a structure to learn.

It’s more challenging than it appears because you have to stick with it. There’s not a professor that’s going to hold you accountable. You have to find a way to do that.

If you’re going to teach yourself a language, or how to play piano, or whatever your topic is, you have to carve out time in your busy schedule.

When will you study? Will you create a time for class to watch videos online? What about in between video lessons? How often will you practice what you’re learning?

There are a couple of ways to break this up. For example, if you’re learning a language, you might want to break your learning up in two 15-minute blocks of learning a day. For other topics, you may devote an hour of study a day.

You can set up your structure in a way that works best for you. You just have to do it.

You Can Teach Yourself Anything You Want

With the exception of getting a medical degree, you can teach yourself just about anything you want.

When you know how to educate yourself, your word becomes much bigger. You are exposed to a wealth of knowledge that can create opportunities in your career and personal life.

The best part is that with a lot of these programs, you just need a device with an internet connection. You get all of the benefits without the weight of student loans

For more great thrifty tips, check out these frugal living articles.

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