When Fall hits, I get the urge to go back to school. I think it's the cooler weather that reminds me of the beginning of the school year.
Now that I'm out of university, I don't have any classes to enroll in, books to buy, or papers to write, but I still get the urge to improve myself in some way.
Fortunately, there are endless ways to indulge in a little self-improvement without going back to school, and I've taken advantage of a few of them in the past two falls.
These personal improvement strategies can do wonders for your budget – and some can even pay for themselves a few times over.
Improve Your Side Hustle Skills
For Christmas of 2011, I was lucky enough to receive an intro to photography course as a gift. I used it the following Fall. I was really excited to take this class since photography was a hobby of mine, and I really love taking photos.
What I didn't expect was to get interest from several friends and colleagues about doing some amateur photography for them. While I didn't build this out as a real side hustle, there was definitely potential there to develop photography as a second stream of income.
Learn a New Skill to Help Save Money
My husband is an amateur brewer. He makes his own home-made wine and beer. It's a great way to save money on alcohol and it's a fun hobby for him. The process of learning to brew was a little slow at the beginning, but eventually he got the hang of it and now he's a pro.
There are tons of similar skills that you could add to your repertoire that would help save money, like carpentry, landscaping, basic car maintenance, or cooking.
Go Back To School (Part Time)
I have no desire to go back to school full-time. The time, and expense of school is something that I absolutely do not miss, but I wouldn't dismiss going back to school part-time if the right opportunity presented itself. If there is an additional certification or qualification that could better prepare me for a promotion or raise, heading back to school in the fall – part-time, is a good idea.
Improve Someone (or Something) Else
This fall, I'm taking my dog, Molly, to obedience class. I'm loving the class and she's really good at it, but there are a ton of other dogs there that are working on behavioural problems that are costing their owners lots of money. One dog chews on the door whenever their owner leaves the house, another digs holes. If you have a dog that has a bad behaviour that is costing you money, why not enroll in an obedience class to eliminate that behaviour?
The crisp fall air definitely inspires something in me, whether it's the urge to learn a new skill or head back to school entirely, I try my hardest to harness that new-found inspiration into profit generating activities. This fall I'm using it to successfully transition into a new job, and next fall I'll move on to the next self-improvement activity, whatever it ends up being.
What new skill have you learned to help improve your finances lately?
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