25 Basic Skills You Should Know

Posted on 21st Dec, 2017 by Barbara Davidson

The early years of school cover a wide variety of topics: math, reading, writing, how our government is arranged and why the sky is blue. However, there are many basic skills that we should learn but miss out on since they aren’t always part of the standard curriculum. Some of these skills are the kind that make living on your own easier, like balancing a checkbook or cooking a meal. Others are more time sensitive and come up in unexpected situations, like the basics of first aid or how to change a tire. While you can always search the internet for the answer, sometimes the situation calls for quicker action and it’s best to have that skill already in your wheelhouse.

Below is a list of essential skills that every human should have in order to be prepared for anything that life throws their way. Of course, there are more beyond these lists, and you should take the time to educate yourself as much as possible.


60% of people can’t change a flat tire.1

Basic car maintenance is perhaps one of the most beneficial set of skills to have. A well-maintained car isn’t only good for safety, It’s good for your budget as well. Investing small amounts towards keeping your car at peak performance can help prevent bigger maintenance problems that arise from neglect in the future.

Here’s your list of car-related skills to know:


Individuals with CPR training can increase the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest by 40%.2

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. It may be a simple cut that requires a Band-Aid or a deep slash from a sharp knife that requires stiches or more. Either way, your reaction time is crucial to your care. That’s why the basics of first aid are so important and worthwhile for everyone to know — it can be a matter of life and death.

Here’s your list of first aid skills to know:

28% of Americans don’t know how to cook.3

One of the most worthwhile skills to have in your arsenal is the ability to cook. While you could spend your days cooking each of your three daily meals and snacks in the microwave, most of those instant options are packed with sodium and preservatives. The healthier and more budget-friendly option is to cook your own food!

Here’s your list of basic skills you should have in the kitchen:

77% of employers say that soft skills are just as important as hard skills.4

Even if you’re not actively searching for a job, developing your soft skills can greatly benefit your career, as well as other aspects of your life. Soft skills, also known as your emotional intelligence (EQ), are just as crucial to your success as your hard skills. Connecting well with other people can make the journey to the solution shorter, collaborations more fruitful and leave all parties feeling more satisfied. The skills below are simply “people skills” — don’t limit the range of these skills to your workplace. Consider how they can help you connect better with your partner, children, friends, family — even a customer service agent on the phone. The more you develop these skills, the easier it is to communicate with others and make your interactions more enjoyable.

Here’s your list of people skills you should have:


There are always more skills to build on that make emergency situations less stressful and other life challenges more conquerable. For more basic skills you should know, like how to save for retirement, create a monthly budget or declutter your home, check out the rest of our blog.




1Spector, N. (September 27,2016). 60 percent of people can’t change a flat. Retrieved December 8, 2017, from https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/draft-60-percent-people-can-t-change-flat-tire-most-n655501

2Adams Safety Training. (September 3, 2015). First aid facts & statistics. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.adamssafety.com/first-aid-facts-statistics-video/

3Satran, J. (September 09, 2011). Cooking survey reveals that 28% of Americans can’t cook. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/09/cooking-survey_n_955600.html

4Pylayev, M. (July 14, 2016). Soft skills are equally as important as hard skills. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.aol.com/2014/04/10/soft-skills-infographic/



About Barbara Davidson

Babs is Lead Content Strategist and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos!