Personal Finance Smart Spending

8 Frugal Education Options to Broaden Your Horizons

Beth Trach
Written by Beth Trach

No matter what stage of life you’re in, you’re never too old to learn some new tricks. Furthering your education is a great way to add some spark to your resume, impress your boss or prepare for a career change. Of course, it’s also possible to take a class or learn a new skill just because you want to — there’s a lot of joy to be had in trying your hand at something completely new.

Best of all, learning doesn’t have to mean taking on thousands of dollars in student loans. There are lots of ways to explore new subjects without enrolling in a four-year college. Here are some of the best ways to go back to “school” — even if you never have to leave your couch and laptop.

  1. Duolingo

Duolingo is a free app and online program that connects you to accessible lessons in just about any foreign language you can think of. Whether you want to take your two years of high school Spanish to the next level or get ready for a trip to Greece, you can study your new language in your spare time. The app introduces new vocabulary in a game-like way and encourages you to figure out grammar rules by reading and speaking instead of rote memorization.

  1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a great resource for students of all ages. It offers lessons on common topics at all grade levels, from elementary school to university. The online videos break down complex topics in easy-to-understand language, and it’s a great way to get extra help without hiring a tutor. If you’re really interested in a subject, you can follow your own bliss to do lessons on practically any subject, from coding to American history.

  1. Coursera

Coursera is a website that offers a range of online courses affiliated with colleges and universities around the world. You can take undergraduate courses to brush up on your university skills, or you can seek out a series of courses for professional certificates. Some Coursera courses are free; others charge for the certificate or credit if you are working toward credentials. You can easily share your certificates on your LinkedIn profile, too.

About the author

Beth Trach

Beth Trach

Elizabeth Trach is a writer and editor living in Newburyport, MA. She also sings in a band, grows almost all her own food, and occasionally even cooks it. You can catch up on all her adventures in frugal living and extreme gardening at Port Potager.

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