The world is in an interesting place as I currently write this article. We are on some variation of lockdown as a contagious virus known as CoVID-19 has brought nation after nation to a standstill. No matter where you are as you read this, you are more than likely being enforced to stay home. Heaps of people are turning to streaming platforms, social media, or video games to pass the time. Admittedly, I do enjoy those, but I can’t help but to want to spend my forced downtime in a way to better improve my life. If there is a positive side to all the chaos currently going on in the world, it’s that many companies are offering free material during the quarantine. So let’s take advantage of improving our lives instead of just passing time.
Learning a New Skillset (How to Code and More!)
Disclaimer: I’m a web developer so I’m going to be mostly pushing to learn how to code. The web development community has always really stepped up in offering a lot of courses, workshops, tutorials, and more – all for free. Learning to code is an increasingly important skillset to have. Not only do you learn a skill set that is rapidly taking over the workplace, you learn how to approach problems in a logical mindset. It won’t be easy and very tedious, but the rewards will pay great dividends for your future.
Below is a compiled list of free coding materials
- Standford University – offering a free introductory coding course, CS106A, from April 13-May22nd.
- Pluralsight – offering free courses month of April.
- Udacity – offering 30 days of free courses – This website is gear more towards the tech industry, so classes include product management, programming, and some digital marketing.
- Frontend Masters Bootcamp – A video workshop website famous in web development world curated by industry leaders offer a free basic coding bootcamp. HTML, CSS, and intro to JS, all for free.
- Udemy – (mostly) paid but rather cheap classes that cover all sorts of topics.
- Free Code Camp – A website dedicated to various paths of web development.
Below is a compiled list of free online classes that are not strictly code related.
- Skill Share – the first two months of premium for free. Online classes dedicated to exploring creativity.
- EDx – free online courses offered from Ivy League Schools
- Kadenze – courses for all things creative.
- Khan Academy – Have children who need to brush op on general academics? Here is your website.
- Class Central – a general directory that pulls in free classes from various website. Great for a starting point if you’re not sure where to start.
Learn a New Language
A 2020 goal of mine was to learn a new language, or at least try. After spending months of 2019 in Mexico, I really wanted to expand my Spanish vocabulary. Below are some free resources I’ve been using to do so.
- Duolingo – a prominent app dedicated to teaching new languages for free.
- HelloTalk – practice learning a new language with actual native speakers!
Grasping Personal Finances
This was something I’ve dedicated the past two years of my life to. I was pretty financially ignorant since I mostly come from a rather low-income level family that never taught me the financial knowledge I would need for the adult world. Below are some money-related resources that covers basic personal finance resources. Really understanding how to manage my personal finances and understanding economics, has helped better prepare me for the financial crisis CoVID-19 has brought.
Start by checking out the personal finance flowchart from Reddit. When in doubt of where you are with your personal finances, make a reference here to check out your next step. In a quick summary they list:
- Budget and reduce expenses, set realistic goals
- Build an emergency fund
- Employer-sponsored matching funds
- Pay down high-interest debts
- Contribute to an IRA
- Save more for retirement
- Save for other goals
Some of my favorite resources are jumped into after Reddit:
- Practical Money Skills – a website dedicated to having free courses and videos covering personal finance.
- Why Didn’t They Teach me this in School? – a link to a free download epub of a great basic, everyday finance book.
- How to Money Podcast – from using credit cards to purchasing a house, these guy cover every topic you’ll more than likely run into your lifetime.
- Planet Money Podcast – a great podcast that is mostly focused on (American) economics.
- Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties – a link to another free epub download.
Investing / Retirement
This dedicated a whole section by itself. There are endless amounts of investing and retirement content out there. What I’m about to list below is long term strategy investing. While I am active in other types of investing, these resources are focused on the everyday investor.
- Investopedia – a wiki website dedicated to everything investing. Great place to learn terminology and tools for investing.
- Investor.gov – A government website created to educate on investing
- A Simple Path to Wealth – an epub download link to the most respected book for beginners investing.
- Sound Investing with Paul Merriman – one of my favorite investment podcasts from a guy dedication to teaching investing for every stage of life.
- Animal Spirits Podcast – a show about markets, life, and investing from two financial advisors I respect.
Investing in Yourself: Mental Health
Lastly, I struggle with my mental health constantly. The current quarantine has greatly made it more difficult to deal with my constant mental health battles. It’s a struggle but below are some resources that have helped me keep my mental health in check.
- Yoga With Adriene – the Youtube queen of getting those chakras aligned. I start almost every morning with her!
- Mindful – a beginner’s guide to learning to meditate.
- Insight Timer – a free (or premium) app that provides guided meditations.
- Headspace: Weathering the Storm – Headspace is a service paid app but for the current global pandemic, they are offering some free guided mediation on their app.
- NPR Life Kit – a podcast covering short life tips and tricks.