There are way more than just 10 basic skills that everyone should know. Being a human in the modern world is complicated. We juggle millions of chores, work assignments, relationships. Every day we make decisions that can be big, small, cost us money or time. The following 10 skills are just a few examples of little things that we can learn to save us either time, money or just give us back some independence.
1. Sewing on a Button
You may scoff at this one. Sewing on a button seems super simple… and it is. But you have to know how to do it right. The first time I attempted to do it, I made it way too tightly and too close to the fabric. Although the button was back on, it wasn’t functional. This happened about a week after I moved out of my parent’s house. Since it was my first experience of lacking a vital skill, I think it deserves to be number one of my list of basic skills that everyone should know. Watch this guide on how to do it right:
2. Changing a Tire
Many people will call AAA to get their tire changed, which is perfectly fine. But you could save some time and money doing it yourself. The following video is done humorously, laughing at the stereotype that women can’t change tires. This young lady made a great video and if you read the comments, her jokes helped many women with flat tires laugh while getting back on the road.
3. Unclog a Toilet
I used to live in a studio in Prague that had major plumbing problems. Using more than one sheet of toilet paper would clog the toilet in the 300 year old building. It got so bad that I had to call a plumber and it cost me a pretty penny. Here are some tricks to do it yourself and save yourself humiliation as well as hundreds of dollars. I included a bonus sink unclogging video too.
3.1 Unclog a Sink: Basic Skills that Everyone Should Know
4. Clean Your AC Filters
I was born and raised in two countries where people don’t really use AC in their homes. If it’s hot, we open a window or get a fan. Three months into living in Shanghai, I was having respiratory issues. Google advised me to check on the AC filter and what I found inside will haunt me for life. A dirty filter can lead to a series of issues including headaches, allergy flare ups plus it makes your electricity bill skyrocket. If you need fear as motivation for finally getting to it, read more about the negative effects here.
5. Using Your Circuit Breaker
There are many unexpected events that can lead to your power going out. The first thing you should do when this happens is head over to your circuit breaker. If you are anything like me, you are probably intimidated by all the buttons and are scared of breaking the electricity (yes, I know you can’t break it, but irrational fears don’t need to make sense.) Take a look at this video to understand your circuit breaker and learn what to do if the lights go dark.
6. Back Up Your Data
We have all been there. Precious photos lost forever. An entire hard-drive of data gone with one accidental drop or spilled coffee. These days there are so many priceless things we store online. My husband had his phone stolen on vacation and he wasn’t upset about the cost or the physical device but rather the photos, videos, memories that were not replaceable.
There are different ways to back up you data depending on the devices you use. Keep in mind that you can use hard-drives, cloud storage and there are pros/cons for them all. If you have a lot to back-up including videos and photos, a paid online storage is the best way to go. Trust me when I tell you that paying monthly or yearly to store your data is worth it. I once paid $700 to restore a 5TB hard-drive.
6.3 Android Phone
7. Basic First Aid
Life is dangerous. Toes are created to be stubbed and fingers to be slammed in doors or stabbed while cutting avocados (last year an average of 24 people went to the emergency room EVERY DAY due to avocado-related injuries.) Humans are great at accidentally hurting themselves plus there are other health issues that can unexpectedly have us reaching for the phone to call 911.
I am not suggesting that you get a first-aid kit to DIY your healthcare. But there are a few simple things you can keep at home and learn about to be safer. Plus, if you live in a place where an ambulance ride can prevent you from paying rent, you should do some research on what is and isn’t a medical emergency. So buy a first aid kit today and watch this video to learn more about keeping yourself and others safe.
Also, careful when Googling symptoms. It will usually lead you to scare articles with the big C or a super rare and deadly disease. If you live in the USA, consider this free resource. +1 (844) 259-9494 is a hotline that works 24/7 and can answer any urgent health related questions for free.
8. Clean Your Fridge
Fridges are not something that most of us consider in need of regular maintenance. Which is a little silly since they cost about as much if not more than the average smart phone and we make sure to keep those updates and working well. Turns out that we should be doing weekly maintenance as well as a few daily steps to prevent any odors or issues. Check out the video below and this article for more tips.
9. Cook Basic Budget Meals
Eating out is great and I love doing it. But it is more expensive, generally less healthy and either time consuming if you’re eating at a restaurant or wasteful if you’re ordering to go. Knowing how to make some basic, quick meals on a budget is something that everything should learn.
9.1 Basic Cooking Skills
9.2 Save on Groceries
10. File Taxes
Every country has a different system for filing taxes. Whatever it is where you live, you would really benefit from learning more about it. There are often classes or in-depth articles that will explain everything as long as you take the time out of your busy schedule and pay attention. If you live in the USA, I highly recommend TurboTax. We use the free version when everything is clear, but we have also paid for their staff to help in a complicated situation and it was worth every penny. It cost us under $100 to do this vs. the $300 we were planning on paying a tax specialist and we got more back.
If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you should shop around when looking for someone to help. There are different costs and not everyone will go the extra mile for you. Our $300 guy refused to listen or do any research which would have cost us $1,000. Go with someone who has great reviews and is known for actually caring about their clients.
Summary: Basic Skills that Everyone Should Know
These 10 basic skills that everyone should know are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things that we need to do and understand – from social to technical skills. Check out this more thorough list of 48 essential life skills. If you think I missed anything that would have been on this list, drop me a comment in the section below! Don’t forget to follow The Travel Bug Bite for more great content.