How To Life for Dummies

8 Important Skills for Everyday Life

In one year, I’ve gone from unmarried, unemployed, and living in a small town, to being a married lady with an administrative job in Washington, DC. I have a lot more responsibility now! Here are 8 skills that I’ve learned are important for everyone – my personal How To Life 101.

Computer literacy

  • Almost any company requires basic computer literacy, whether you are in manufacturing or finance. Push yourself to go beyond the basics. It will save time and might make you the go-to genius at work. From using the Cloud, to MS Office, to configuring your desktop, GCF Learn Free has it all.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Talk about saving time! Keyboard shortcuts can shave an easy 30 minutes off your work day if you are familiar with them. Here is a list of shortcuts for Windows and Macs.

Self defense

  • Living in a big city like DC, I’ve realized you can’t take safety for granted. Although I haven’t had any “encounters,” frequently men will speak to me on the streets. Are you prepared to defend yourself if it went beyond words? Learn how to use self-defense techniques in a local class, or gain some basic tips and mindsets on YouTube.

Embrace difficulties or the lack of natural ability

  • Being blocked from taking the traditional or “easy” path means that groundbreaking things can happen. Even if you have extraordinary talent in a certain area, find situations that force you to use a new angle to accomplish the task. It’s like cross-training your brain. Read David and Goliath to change your perspective on disadvantages.

Learn how to do your own basic taxes

  • The official tax code may be insanely long, but for most situations, taxes should be fairly straight-forward. Here’s a general overview on how to do taxes, plus some sweet tips on year-round expense tracking. Sure, you have 9 months until April 15th comes around, but keeping track of your expenses starts

Start managing your money

  • Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck, or maybe you have a two-income household with a lot to spare. Either way, keeping track of your money increases your ability to focus on what you love, keeps money from affecting your relationships, and reduces bank fraud and financial anxiety.

Learn how to cook for yourself

  • Need to impress your new love interest, have friends over for dinner, or simply save money on work lunches? Learning how to cook for yourself is pretty easy, and can easily save you $200-300 per month. Start out with the basics, or begin meal planning!


  • Networking takes people skills and practical methods to follow up and invest in contacts once you have them. We will be featuring our own method for how to do this in some upcoming posts! Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss it.

What else do you wish you’d learned a long time ago? Comment or shoot us a tweet and it might be featured in an upcoming post!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Krista McCaleb

    this is a great list!