4 Ways To Get Serious With Extracurricular Learning On A Budget

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By Jazmin Hupp (Director of Awesome, Tekserve)

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

Read A New Book Every Month

John Spence says that the average business person reads one business book every 5 years. If you read 6 business books a year, you’ll be in the top 1% of learners in America. If you read a business book every month, you’ll be in the top 1% of learners in the world. However you can, make reading a monthly goal.

  • Use Audible to listen to books during your commute, workout, or while you do chores (about $15 each or less).
  • Use Read It For Me for video summaries and workbooks of major business books ($29.99/month).
  • Start a book club with some like-minded colleagues to keep each on top of reading. If you’re in NYC, join my (Reading Optional) Business Book Club.

Replace Your TV Time

If you haven’t already cut the cord and ditched cable, now is a great time. With the money you save on your cable bill you can still buy your favorite TV shows and stop watching all the junk you’re just filling time with.

I’ve replaced my TV time with:

  • TED Talks – Instead of watching 20 minute sitcoms, watch 20 minute of the worlds greatest living ideas (free).
  • Netflix Documentaries may not all be unbiased but they’re definitely interesting ($7.99/month).

Take Free Courses Online

  • Academic Earth is the largest directory of video lectures from universities like NYU, Harvard, and more.
  • Most of us have skipped, forgot, or never really learned a few math topics. Use Khan Academy to really learn calculus or finance with easy to follow videos that build on concepts as you go (free).
  • iTunes U hosts more than 350,000 free lectures from Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley and more. Free, even for Windows users, and easy to download to your iDevice to watch on the run.
  • Stanford offers oline classes in entrepreneurship, computer science, anatomy, and engineering (free).

Go Back To School To Defer Your Student Loans

Going to school part-time may be cheaper than paying your student loans. Since you can defer your student loans (some interest-free) while you’re in school at least half-time, it may be cheaper to continue taking classes than stop.

I’m not an accountant so do your research first but it’s an excellent excuse to keep taking classes if you’re on a tight budget. Even if you work full-time, you’ll find tons of night classes and online classes that work around any schedule.

This post was originally posted at Jazmin Hupp’s blog.

Photo credit: hawkexpress on Flickr.

About the guest blogger: Jazmin Hupp is the Director of Awesome at Tekserve, the independent Apple computer store in New York City. She volunteers for Women 2.0 in San Francisco and Founder Labs in New York City. Jazmin holds a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems. Her passions include travel, learning languages, writing, and yoga. Follow her on Twitter at @jazminhupp.