LWSZ Square Day 17

This is the seventeenth day of our 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. Start with Day One here.

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What a fun week this has been so far! Hopefully with all of this DIY-ing and refashioning, your brain is starting to feel awake and alive and excited for each new challenge! It’s time to start working on something enriching and even more stimulating … it’s time to learn something new!

Of course if you’re familiar with student loans, books, and even the cost of private education, you’re probably thinking, “Ha…education is far from free!”

Ah, but I’m here to tell you, you can always find ways to learn. Remember how we’re getting creative this week? Well, sometimes education comes in different forms too. My husband Chuck and I went through Financial Peace University (part of the very inspiration for this challenge) a few years ago, and that was definitely an education, though in a different form. We study each week when we go to church. We learn about the world around us when we travel or read the news, or even from watching a documentary on Netflix. Lately I have loved getting new ideas and inspiration from free podcasts.

Life lessons aside, the education I’m talking about for today is mostly for your own enjoyment. Better yet—it’s free! What have you always wanted to know more about? Below you’ll find a list of 50 (yes 50!) fun, free lessons that you can do right now, today, online. Escape into a little education, and you just may find yourself inspired, renewed, and revitalized—and more creative than ever before.


Hobbies, Crafts, and Games

  1. Learn how to sew an easy pillowcase dress—make this cute dress in just a few hours using only a yard of fabric You can even donate your dresses to little girls in need (from Living Well Spending Less.)
  2. Learn how to knit—watch these easy videos to master the technique. (from Knitting Help)
  3. Learn how to crochet—links, videos, and info on basic stitches and easy patterns. (from About)
  4. Learn how to take better pictures with your iPhone—easy tips that everyone should know! (from Ashley Ann Photography)
  5. Learn how to take better portraits—10 amazing tips. (from Digital Photography School)
  6. Learn some photography basics to improve your photographs—5 tips for taking better pictures with any camera. (from Living Well Spending Less)
  7. Learn how to make homemade pickles—step-by-step tutorial. Who knew it was so easy? (from Living Well Spending Less)
  8. Learn how to make a ruffle cake-Watch this super-cool cake decorating video, then get the Martha Stewart recipe for Swiss Merengue Frosting to make it perfect!
  9. Learn how to play Bridge—20 easy steps. (from WikiHow)
  10. Learn how to play Canasta—I grew up playing this fun game with my family. Watch out, it’s addicting! (from How Stuff Works)
  11. Learn how to play Chess—a combination of videos and written instructions. (from How Stuff Works)
  12. Learn how to tie-dye with natural ingredients—use stuff you already have on hand! (Plus, get more natural dye ingredients and instructions from Money Crashers.)
  13. Learn how to make a freezer paper stencil—this tutorial uses glitter, but you can also just use regular paint. (from Living Well Spending Less)
  14. Learn how to decorate with book pagesThe Nester shares 20 ideas for things you can make out of old books—cool!
  15. Learn how to draw—cool video tutorials for how to draw all sorts of things! (from Drawing Now)

I did a Yahoo search: “How to Cross Stitch” (beginners). Do a search and find out how easy it is and how much fun. It’s fairly inexpensive and rewarding. —Lisa


  1. Learn how to give a compliment—if sometimes you just don’t know the right thing to say. (from Life Optimizer)
  2. Learn how to remember names—10 simple tricks. (from Forbes)
  3. Learn how to say you’re sorry—everyone could use a few tips on how to apologize. (from PsychCentral)
  4. Learn how to be a better listener- (from Dumb Little Man)
  5. Learn how to make a great first impression—because you never get a second chance. (from Positivity Blog)
  6. Learn basic etiquette for all situations—8 basic tips everyone should know! (from Laurie Johnson)


Technology and Computers

  1. Learn how to edit photographs online—a simple tutorial for getting started with the awesomeness that is PicMonkey. (from Blissful and Domestic)
  2. Learn how to start a blog—This basic tutorial tell you everything you need to know about starting a blog for profit.
  3. Learn how to type faster—the one-minute typing test is a little addicting. (from 10 Fast Fingers)
  4. Learn how to search online more effectively- (from Alexandra Samuel)
  5. Learn how to use Pinterest to organize for the holidays (or any other event). (from Creative Organizing Blog)

On Saturdays, almost every public library has at least one free program for kids. Not only that, they have free movies as new (to you, at least) entertainment … there are all kinds of books and videos on how to do stuff, plus cookbooks! All while spending zero, as long as you get the materials back early or on time. —Barbara

7 Ways to Decorate with Things You Already Have on Hand 2

Home Improvement

  1. Learn how to unclog a drain—10 easy things to try. (from Wise Bread)
  2. Learn how to build a simple hanging bookshelf—you could easily make this shelf out of scrap wood in the garage! (from Poppies at Play)
  3. Learn how to start a simple vegetable garden—or start planning one for next season! (from Garden Guides)
  4. Learn how to prune a tree—check out this simple video and never again wonder if you’re doing it right! (from Land Designs Unlimited)
  5. Learn how to paint a room—this step-by-step tutorial is great. (from ExpertRealEstateTips)
  6. Learn how to paint a piece of furniture—I met Angela at a conference a few years ago and was so inspired to see all of the cool stuff she was making from thrift store finds. I’ve yet to try it, but she makes it look super easy. (from Button Bird Designs)
  7. Learn how to sew on a button—something everyone should know! (from Simple Sewing Projects)
  8. Learn to clean almost anything—Heather Solos has a wealth of knowledge on all things domestic!


Traditional Education

  1. Take a free online course from the University of Washington—choose from several different literature, history, and life skills courses. Very cool!
  2. Learn how to be a better writer—start reading Jeff Goins’ blog regularly and you’ll practically get better through osmosis. Bonus: sign up for his e-newsletter and get access to his eBook too!
  3. Learn basic grammar skillsCopyblogger shares 15 common grammar errors that make you look silly.

MIT has open course work anyone can do/use. To get kids involved, look up home schooling resources (also a good way to help sharpen math skills). Don’t forget there are tons of free Amazon Kindle books available for download on many different subjects too! —Angie

Get More Done Each Day

Life Skills

  1. Learn how to shop with coupons—my “Beginner’s Guide to Coupons” breaks it down to easy baby steps. (from Living Well Spending Less)
  2. Learn how to better manage your time—10 tips for getting more out of each day. (from Living Well Spending Less)
  3. Learn how to speed clean your house—keep things neat and tidy in just minutes each day. (from Living Well Spending Less)
  4. Learn how to perform CPR—Watch the video … it may help you save a life someday. (from CPRCertified)
  5. Learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver … um, ditto. (from Howcast)
  6. Learn how to get started with investing—3 great tips from Debt Free Adventure for how to start investing with $1000 or less.
  7. Learn how to drive a stick shift—this video makes me think I might actually want to try! (from Jon Friedrich)
  8. Learn how to jump-start a car-(from EricTheCarGuy)
  9. Learn how to make scrambled eggs—something everyone should know! (from Living Well Spending Less)
  10. Learn how to be informed about what’s going on in the world—great tips if you ever felt overwhelmed by current events. (from WikiHow)
  11. Get prepared for the next election—a nonpartisan website to help you make an informed decision.
  12. Learn how to negotiate—simple tips for negotiating on almost anything. (from I Will Teach You to Be Rich)
  13. Learn how to make pretty iced sugar cookies—impress your friends and have the perfect go-to gift, party favor, or treat for any occasion. (from Living Well Spending Less)

To learn Spanish (or any other language for that matter) there’s a website called Fluencia.com that offers free language classes. —Jen

Your assignment for today is simple: Learn one new thing.

It could be anything! Don’t feel like you need to dive into all of these subjects at once. Simply pick your favorite and hit the books. Have fun!

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Ruth Soukup

Ruth Soukup - LIVING WELL SPENDING LESS. Practical solutions for everyday overwhelm. Food Made Simple, Life Etc., Home 101, Smart Money. Start organizing your whole life today!