10 Classes to Boost Earning & Savings Power
The New York Times recently featured a story about parents who provide Spanish and other language lessons for their young children. At 50, I have my own wish list of classes that would improve my personal and financial accounts.
I would love to learn to speak and read one of the Chinese dialects. Why? I've read some of the English language marketing materials that are printed abroad. There's definitely a market for translating business and marketing materials from Chinese into everyday English. Also, the characters and the calligraphy are so beautiful and as a hobby, I would enjoy writing in Chinese.
Learning to chill out in slow motion is one of my goals. I've attended Yoga, kick-boxing and other martial arts classes, but I think moving at a slower pace would improve my decision-making capabilities on a personal and professional level.
3. HTML course
I spend a lot of time blogging and reading online. Therefore, it would be helpful to have a better grip on the inner guts of the HTML language and the world of web design. A course on software and programming would be very useful. I actually lost out on one job opportunity, a few years ago, because of my sluggish computer skills. It was a research position, but they also wanted a maven in spreadsheets, data processing and programming.
4. Marketing 101
Attending a course taught by a gifted teacher and expert in marketing would be helpful for promoting books, blog posts or even coffee at Starbucks. No matter what we do, we're all selling or promoting something. Even teachers are promoting education.
I can get by with my ragged Spanish when I'm in the grocery store. But I need a total immersion course to speak Spanish fluently and politely in a business setting. And I've noticed that many positions in South Florida (and perhaps in other areas of the country) demand bi-lingual speakers.
6. Personal finance for the self-employed
I know how to write. I know how to network. But a business and finance course for small entrepreneurs would help me handle the nuts-and-bolts, back-office chores of my free-lance writing career. Many of us -- even if we have full-time jobs -- have side careers or part-time businesses that would get a boost from a course in Self-Employment 101.
My computer laptop bag is as messy as the book-bag that I once carried around in third grade. Organization has been and remains my Achilles heel.
8. Sewing lessons
The tailor charged us $30 to hem the pants and to nip the waist of my son's suit for his recent Bar Mitzvah. Ouch. It was a lot of money for a few simple stitches. I just wish that I had the skill to make professional alterations or to sew a simple skirt.
9. Defensive driving course
Yeah. It's an old story and very embarrassing. I'm 49 years old and terrified of driving. But I think that a good one-on-one course on defensive driving would help me tackle my fears and save me a lot of money in cab fares.
10. Relaxation courses
Most of my worst decisions -- personal, economic and professional -- have occurred when I was totally stressed out. A mind-body relaxation course, a new approach to stress management and a few lessons on proper breathing would really put valuable resources in my personal accounts.
Editor's note: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg (The Frugal Duchess) will be joining Wise Bread as a full time blogger in August. In the mean time, she'll be dropping by with a few guest posts a week. You can find more great tips from Sharon in her book Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money or in Wise Bread's new book 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.
Can't wait until August? Here are other great posts by Sharon on her blog The Frugal Duchess. Enjoy!