Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Two Cents: Valuable Life Skills

My Two Cents:
Savvy Skills

In my opinion the “Never put all your eggs in one basket” statement applies to life skills as well!  There is more than one learnable trade/skill which can be utilized to save money!  I’m always on the lookout to gain knowledge or learn new skills in an effort to do just that!  The best part?  The majority of money saving skills are easily learned!  Here are my top 5 simple skills you should learn to save money:

Men’s Hair Cuts:  I learned many years ago from my cosmetologist sister-in-law and mother-in-law how to give a men’s haircut!  With my husband as the guinea pig, and the receiver of several not so great cuts, (“Put some gel on it an no one will notice sweetheart! It will grow back soon.”), I have learned to successfully cut men and boys hair with ease!  Find a friend or a neighbor who cuts hair and ask them for some basic tips and invest in a Wahl haircutting kit.  These kits include guide clips and instructional videos that make cutting hair even easier! Practice makes perfect on this one and hair really does grow back quickly! At a low average of $10 a cut, plus tips, I have saved well over $400 a year cutting my own family’s hair!

Sewing:  I’m not talking about making dresses and quilting works of art.  I’m talking about the basics of sewing; Mending, sewing on a button, hemming.   I’ll be the first one to admit I’m certainly not a pro seamstress. But, knowing how to sew a straight line sure has saved me from throwing out articles of clothing that could easily be saved.  My mother is a great sewing resource!  I took Home Ec in high school and sewed a token skirt, but the best tips and tricks come from my mom.  If your mom isn’t a seamstress, family and friends are the next best thing.  And, check out your community schools!  Quite often, low cost basic sewing courses are offered through city programs!

Cake Decorating:  This one is fun as well as fundamental!  I learned how to decorate cakes about 15 years ago by attending 3 levels of Wilton Cake decorating classes at a local craft store!  I can now make wedding cakes, character cakes and decorate just about any dessert imaginable.  There’s nothing better than a smile on your child’s face at the sight of a much desired Dora the Explorer or Scooby Doo birthday cake. You can also use 50% off craft store coupons to reduce your out of pocket cost for decorating supplies! Spicing up a boxed cake mix is as easy as using the right frosting tips and pans and costs significantly less than a store bought cake.  I would also recommend using Wilton’s Bake Even Strips for perfectly baked cakes! Check your surrounding craft stores like Michael’s to find our decorating class scheduled and have a couple nights out learning this valuable skill.

Floral Design:  If you read last weeks column you know this one already!  I love to design floral arrangements and learning this skill has saved me money.  Arranging bouquets and centerpieces and even my own corsages for school dances saves me almost 75% of what a florist might charge.  A last minute celebration or sympathy arrangement is simple and cost effective as well – I can even use flowers grown in my garden!  You can even buy low cost vases at discount stores like D.I., Good Will or even yard sales. Again, check with your community school programs for low cost courses and learn to improve nature’s beauty!

Coupons:  Alright – so this one is a no brainer for me, I know.  But learning how to use coupons and shop smarter has been a life lesson I have now utilized to save literally thousands and thousands of dollars over the last 18 years.  Effective shoppers can easily cut their grocery bills in half and even save valuable time in the process!

Each of these life skills is truly easily learned but can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year when mastered.  Start learning something new today and see how much you can save! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leelou Blogs, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Blog Design by Leelou Blogs