You've no doubt heard of life skills. These are the skills that many emphasize as essential for every person to learn and practice throughout the course of their lives.

Life skills make everyday tasks easier to perform, and can also eliminate the unneccessary expenses associated with hiring someone else to perform these dutes. There are also essential life skills that can allow you to lead a healthier and safer life.

The following is a list of five essential life skills that all individuals should learn and practice regularly.

5. Home maintenance. People spend thousands of dollars each year fixing up their homes and paying for repairs related to electricity, plumbing, and numerous other things. Home maintenance, or being a "handy man/woman" is a life skill for which you can easily learn the basics. If you know someone who is handy around the house, you should focus on learning some very basic home maintenance techniques, such as wiring an outlet, from them. This will not only allow you to save money by performing basic tasks yourself (instead of hiring them out), but also to understand where the costs are coming from when you must hire out larger scale projects to electricians and plumbers.

4. Sewing. Sewing is an easily forgotten life skill in today's society, yet one that is extremely valuable. Practicing the basics of sewing can save you a great deal of money in the long run. Using this life skill, you will be able to fix clothes that may otherwise need to be thrown away, and also do things such as hem pant legs. You will save money by doing these things on your own (avoiding excessive trips to your local tailor), and also increase the longevity of your current wardrobe.

3. Swimming. The majority of the Earth's surface is covered by water, so if you aren't capable of swimming, the majority of the world poses a significant health threat to you. Swimming is an absolutely essential life skill. The easiest way to learn how to swim is to enroll in swimming lessons beginning as a child, and to complete more advanced classes as you are capable. If you have never taken swimming lessons in the past, consider doing so now. Even if you aren't a big fan of the water, you never know when possessing the ability to swim well will allow you to assist, or even save, someone else who is struggling in the water.

2. Cooking. Everyone has to eat. At minimum, most individuals eat three meals each day - so they might as well taste good! Learning how to cook will make your meals more enjoyable, will impress any house guests you may have, and can ultimately (if you emphasize the right food groups and cooking techniques) improve and maintain your overall health. These reasons alone are enough to qualify cooking as an essential life skill.

1. First aid and CPR. These life skills are oftentimes ignored or forgetten about; however, if everyone were first aid and CPR certified, the world would be a much safer place. Imagine how many lives could be saved if at any given point, there were a dozen first aid and CPR certified responders in the surrounding area to assist with medical emergencies! First aid and CPR classes are a chance to not only make yourself a more valuable asset to society during emergencies, but also improve your overall knowledge of the human body. These classes teach how to treat certain injuries and illnesses safely and effectively.

Learning these essential life skills will cause you to feel much more accomplished and capable of living on your own. There is something reassuring about possessing the life skills to keep your home, your wardrobe, your meals, and your health intact.

Regardless of your age, if you aren't currently skilled in one of these areas, take some time today to start teaching yourself about it. In the long run you will save money, and also find a great sense of pride in being able to do things that you would otherwise have needed to hire others to do for you.