If money wasn’t a factor, how would you invest in yourself?
Would you purchase a new wardrobe? A Louis Vuitton bag? A pair (or a couple pairs) of red bottoms? Or would you give up your 9 to 5 to find yourself (that sounds nice, doesn’t it)?
These may very well some of the things real women like you and I might think about if we had unlimited resources to make these choices. There are plenty of things we want to do or would like to have for ourselves but time is a factor and finances always come into play.
Regardless of what you would decide to do, in the society we live in, we’ve been taught to spend money and we’ve also been taught to spend time on a job to get money. Heck, we even spend our thoughts on how to get more money to do more of what we want too.
It can be really frustrating to chase a check all week and after pay day there’s little to none left for yourself. Work, pay bills, rinse and repeat. It’s a cycle many of us are familiar with.
And do we ever get a return on the money we spend, the thoughts we have, or the time we spend paper chasing? Sometimes, but for many of you, the answer is no.
I recently ran across the following quote while reading The Wealth Mindset by Neville Goddard,
“You must stop spending your thoughts, your time, and your money. Everything in life must be an investment.”
I had to think about this for a few days and while contemplating it, I had to agree, it was definitely true.
We know how to consume because this is what we’re taught. We work so we can have a paycheck to spend. That paycheck is spent on food, electricity, water — all things we consume of without question.
Then with the rest of the paycheck that we’ve spent our time chasing, we’ll find other things to consume. It may be entertainment on the weekend to give us a break from chasing money. It could be on extra toys for ourselves and our kids. Even worst, it can be spent on paying off debt on things we’ve already used up and no longer have.
It’s easy to fall victim to this cycle though when we’re never taught to invests in ourselves (which I believe that’s on purpose, but I’ll save that rant for another day.)
The same is true for our time and thoughts. We spend time doing things we don’t enjoy. We spend our thoughts worrying about excessive amounts of debt instead of focusing on the one true thing we really want — financial freedom (raise your hand if you’ll take some of that 🙌.
This is time and energy that could be well spent elsewhere. We could be using our time wisely and thinking thoughts that will ultimately help us achieve a lifestyle we truly desire, but so many don’t take the time to make these necessary investments in themselves.
People ask me all the time, “What can I do to earn extra income so I can pay my debt?”
If I mention course or two that could teach them skills to make extra money, they will balk and go momentarily deaf. Their response, “I don’t have any money for that.”
But yet, signing your life away on student loans for that university education, to get that job, that doesn’t pay the bills…
Never mind. Moving along…
No, wait, someone needs to hear this. Bare with me a moment.
If we can invest $50,000 in a 4-year education, why can’t we invest $100 into a course that will teach us how to manage our money?
Seriously, this isn’t something taught in school and wouldn’t you rather learn how to manage your money better and chase financial freedom instead of continuing to live in debt, paycheck to paycheck, and then retiring with a pretend social security check?
Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest…let’s carry on.
We need to invest our time, money, and thoughts into things that we really desire instead of investing into the rat race. You know, the rat race where you continue the cycle of chasing a paycheck, paying bills, and living unfilled (yawn).
It’s important to point out that not all investments in yourself and your future have to cost you a lot of money either. Every decision you make from here on out can either be invested in your future or spent on a temporary want.
So today I’m going to discuss multiple ways you can invest in yourself that won’t break the bank. It may cost you a little time, just a tad of money, and some positive thinking, but I guarantee, if you start investing in yourself period, you will begin to see a return greater than you ever imagined.
5 Ways to Invest In Yourself Without Breaking The Bank
1. Start a new hobby.
If you work every day and don’t do anything for yourself, don’t be afraid to pick up a hobby.
I know, I know – “But I don’t have any time!”
Make the time. Trust me, if you can find the time to catch Power, Grey’s Anatomy, Being Mary Jane (I’m sooo talking about me right now), you can find the time to do something for yourself (outside of relaxing with the remote). I’m talking about a hobby or something to do that has a potential return.
You just need to find something that fits within the extra time you’ve got. If you don’t have time in between getting off from work and hitting sheets, you might consider learning about time management as a new hobby.
Seriously, I’m not trying to be funny. It’s just that even Beyonce has 24 hours in a day like everyone else. I’m sure that she gets more done in a day than some people get done in a month.
And it’s not just Beyonce either. There are plenty of mothers who are building empires, working 9 to 5’s and still make time for themselves. A part of success is knowing when to nurture things that interest you.
If it just involves designing a dress on a lunch break or creating a sketch board of an interior design during your commute, do it. You’re allowed to have a hobby and for some, it’s the best investment they can make in themselves.
2. Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and read self-help or personal development books.
Reading is one of the main ways I invest in myself. It’s cheap, doesn’t require a lot of time, and you can learn anything.
I don’t read just fiction books for pleasure either (although there’s nothing wrong with that). I’m open to non-fiction, personal development, biographies, etc.
If you’re interested in starting a business, investing in real estate, and bettering your finances — reading books is the most affordable way to learn about all these things.
Plus, Kindle Unlimited has thousands of books you can choose from each month and it only will set you back $9.99 per month after a free 30-day trial.
3. Take a mental health day.
When I was working the 9 to 5, I didn’t mind taking a mental health day at all. My job was stressful and my nerves were shot each and every day. Waking up on Monday morning to clock in for work set the tone for the rest of my week and I didn’t have too many good work days.
That’s why mental health days came in quite handy. I was able to give myself a day of reprieve from all of the headache. Even if your job isn’t stressful, sometimes other things in life may get you down.
So, do yourself a favor and check out, literally. If you have paid time off or sick days available use them. Take the day to do something you like to do, even if it’s just people watching at the mall. Make this investment in yourself as often as you can!
4. Sign up for an online course on Udemy and learn a new skill.
Again, don’t be so caught up on “wasting money” when you’re learning. This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and spend all of your money on a bunch of different things.
But if you are interested in something, the cheapest way to learn about it and figure out if you want to take it further is to take a course on Udemy.
The courses are usually pretty cheap and you can learn just about anything from how to use a spreadsheet to taking well-lit pictures to jump start your photography side-hustle.
It’s a great way to get your feet wet so you can determine if you want to take it any further. Plus, you may end up investing in a skill that will add an additional stream of income to your budget.
5. Create a better budget.
Speaking of budgets, the last way you can invest in yourself is to create a better budget. You may be rolling your eyes, but hear me out…
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, the easiest investment of time and effort would be in creating a budget that will help you get out of the paycheck to paycheck rut.
With a budget, you’ll be creating a plan that can help you find money leaks, plan for unexpected expenses, save for a rainy day, plan for retirement, save for your dream home — all that good stuff!
In addition to those things, you’ll be making the ultimate investment into your future because you can start planning to live the lifestyle you want to live, not just the one you’re expected to live.
We get so comfortable doing the 9 to 5 thing. In fact, we become damn near dependent on it. Imagine how good you would feel if you had positive cash flow, zero debt, and didn’t have to depend on your job to survive?
That sounds pretty good to me and the very first step I made to getting there was creating a budget that accounts for my needs while helping me plan for where I wanted to go.
Wrapping Thangs Up
So, as you can see, there are many investments you can make in yourself and they all don’t involve you spending money. Every decision or purchase you make can either add or take away from the person you really want to be.
Investing in yourself isn’t something to be taken lightly. The people who have a successful business, no debt, and aren’t dependent on a 9 to 5, are the ones who invested heavily in themselves.
They didn’t look at the cost of a coaching program or budgeting course as an expense. These folks saw the opportunity to learn something new and therefore invested their time, money, and thoughts into doing something that will brighten their future.
Now all you have to do is decide what do you want to do? If whatever it is you’re doing is working and you’re satisfied, by all means, continue doing it. But if you’re sick and tired of being in debt, tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and tired of having to say no to the life you want to live – it may be time to level up and start making some investments in yourself.