I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that I have all the conveniences of modern life. I’m glad that if I need a can of corn, I can grab it at my local supermarket instead of my pantry from my canning efforts. I enjoy air conditioning in the summer, and I love buying clothes rather than making them.
However, modern conveniences have also helped us lose many of the skills that are parents and grandparents used to posess that helped them reduce the cost of living substantially. There are still skills from the past that our kids should learn. Consider the following that can help our kids save money throughout their lifetimes:
1. How to complete car repairs.
Car repairs are expensive, and most of the cost comes from labor. If your child knows the basic such as how to rotate tires and change the oil and oil filter, he will save thousands of dollars over his lifetime. If he knows how to make even more advanced repairs, he’ll easily save tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
2. How to sew.
Sewing really is a lost art. Now, making your own clothes often costs more than buying store bought clothes on sale. However, a basic knowledge of sewing can save money over the years. I took sewing lessons for a year and a half when I was young, and now I can hem and alter some garments. I could change my son’s high water uniform pants into shorts, saving myself $25 instead of buying the shorts. I bought a knight costume for him for $3 at a garage sale, and with a simple alteration, it will be his size. Your child will likely never make her own clothes, but knowing how to make alterations can come in handy.
3. How to cook.
There really is nothing more basic than learning to cook, but many children head off to college knowing only how to microwave their food or make boxed food. This is not good for their health or their wallets. All kids should know the basics of cooking such as the different ways to make eggs, how to cut vegetables and other basics like making a roux. If a child also learns what flavors go well together, he can pull a meal together without a recipe.
4. How to repair computers.
Computers are expensive, and often a computer repair can cost half as much as the computer itself. Ideally, teens should learn how to trouble shoot typical computer problems so they don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for a technician to repair their computers. In addition, they will also not have to deal with a two to three week turnaround time when the computer is in the shop.
Modern life has given us many conveniences. While many may think that learning to fix a car, sew, cook and repair a computer are now unnecessary life skills, knowing the basics of each skill can save your child thousands of dollars throughout his life time.
What other life skills would you say are important to learn before a child leaves home?