Broke-Ass Financial Coaching: Cheap Ways to Get an Education

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While being young, broke and beautiful is all well and good, some people’s finances are more jacked than others.  That’s why we’ve invited Betsy Crouch (aka Coach $izzle) to come onboard and dole out some much needed advice.  She is a professional financial coach after all.  If you’ve got a question you’d like answered please email her at  Maybe your question will be the next one answered.

“Hey Coach Sizzle, I am considering going back to school but I am questioning whether or not I should.  I may just create my own curriculum.  Do you have any suggestions for ways to educate yourself inexpensively?” – DM

It can feel daunting to think about how to come up with the time and the funds to educate yourself.  Also, maybe you love to learn and you are an experiential learner or in some other way not perfectly designed for traditional schooling.  Maybe you love traditional schooling. Either way, let’s find some ideas for a Broke-Ass Education.

Let’s start out by addressing why many people pay to go to school.

Why do people pay to go to school? There are many reasons but some of the most popular are: to make connections, to get a  diploma (for the resume),  to make more money, and sometimes to learn something.  If you are in a field where it is standard or required to have a certain certification or degree (Lawyer, Doctor, Architect, etc.), then obviously you need to do it.

If you don’t have to go to school for what you want to do, and you are passionate about learning, then let’s explore some free and inexpensive options to educate yourself.

1. ITunes University:

Wanna listen to some classes from Stanford, Yale or Oxford University?  Well there are many courses available for free download through ITunes U.  Learn more about it.

2. Community College:

Why not take some classes at a community college.  If you do not have an undergrad degree you can transfer and possibly paying half as much as what you would have otherwise paid.

Here is a directory of Community Colleges.

3. Public Libraries:

Get a library card, get up there, and read.

Concerned about holding yourself accountable?

Create a “book group” or “learning group” of people who want to create a personal curriculum, meet regularly and hold each other accountable.

4. Audit classes:

God bless ehow, they have a video on how to audit a class.  Basically you go to a professor and ask if you can sit in on a class for a semester and not get a grade and not pay.  All of the education without paying and without a transcript.  If I were a professor I think I would love it if people wanted to audit my class.  They are usually the most committed people.  They are doing it to learn, straight up.

5. Volunteer/Apprentice:

Ok, you may be thinking, I can’t volunteer I am a broke ass I need to make money.  Well, what if you could work somewhere and have a free place to stay?  Maybe you can work 4-5 days per week and volunteer one.

Find someone who is doing your dream job, approach them and ask them if you can help them for free in some way to get an opportunity to learn from them and develop yourself.

There are many ways to get information and education if you have a desire for it.  If you are passionate and you set your intentions then there are many more ideas and solutions to getting an education when you are short on funds.  What is missing here?  Any other ideas?

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Betsy Crouch - Coach $izzle

Betsy Crouch - Coach $izzle

Betsy hates to brag, but she grew up in Michigan. An unhappy materialist/rabid consumer turned minimalist, Betsy feels right at home in the warm socially responsible arms of San Francisco. With an Economics degree, a basic financial certification, and a range of personal experience, she has developed a unique financial coaching philosophy. She wants you to feel a sense of serenity with your finances and she shares what she has learned from coaching almost 200 people one on one. Betsy wants you to embrace your "sizzle," and for you to become a more confident and empowered Broke Ass.