“Why would you spend money on two gym memberships?”
I get asked this all the time. Depending on the person, my response changes. I can easily fire back with one of the following questions.
Why the hell would anyone smoke cigarettes (or buy every random girl a drink)?
Why would I buy a home I can’t afford that’s going to put me in debt for the next 40 years?
You get the point. Every single person is a hypocrite when it comes to money. We all have our own priorities and views on money. However, there’s one view that can’t be argued with.
What is this?
You should spend your money on investing in yourself in every way possible.
[Must read: The Studenomics MBA.]
Why is it mandatory that you invest in yourself?
“How much did your new pro wrestling tights cost?”
My parents asked me about my new tights. I told them the answer didn’t matter because I wanted to look professional. If you want to look a certain way, increase your income, or be in a better situation in the future, you’re going to have to spend some money.
You can’t always be frugal. You can’t hold back on certain areas of your life.
It’s mandatory that you invest money in yourself. Why?
Your network is your net worth.
I’ll stress this until the day I die. I have friends who have gotten ahead solely on their connections and just because of who they knew. I’ve also seen friends struggle just because they make enemies easily and are super-confrontational. Your network will always be your net worth and you won’t get anywhere in life if you don’t meet new people.
You need to upgrade your skills.
How are your skills right now? Regardless of how you answer this question, you can always improve yourself. To upgrade your skills, you’re going to have to spend some money. There’s a cap on how much you can figure out on your own. The rest you have to pay for.
More skills = more money.
You have to do whatever it takes to get ahead.
[Mandatory read: Are you willing to do whatever it takes?]
Where do I start? How do I invest in myself?
I get that investing in yourself is a pretty vague phrase. The good news is that you can keep it as simple as possible and not spend your whole paycheck.
A few ways you can start investing in yourself:
- Join a new gym to take care of yourself, learn a new skill, make new friends, and have something to do so that you’re never bored.
- Take people out for coffee so that you can pick their brain, make new connections, and never feel lonely again.
- Take a successful person out for lunch because you’ll learn more in 30 minutes of conversation than hours of listening to a lecture.
- Buy a book because everything you want to do has already been done by someone.
- Go on a trip somewhere to recharge, experience a new culture, have fun, and come back a different person.
That’s where you can start investing in yourself. You can start off with only $5. You don’t have to enrol in graduate school and get into debt to improve your situation.
How much should you spend on yourself?
Whatever you can. It really depends on your financial situation.
If you’re a broke student, you won’t be able to go on trips or take people out for dinner. However, there’s nothing stopping you from taking folks out to coffee. You can easily spare a few bucks.
If you’re making money and want to get to the next level, you can’t be afraid to spend money. You always need to be upgrading your skills. You can’t be on cruise control because nothing fun happens in your comfort zone.
If you’re not making any money in a field, you need to do whatever it takes to propel yourself to the next level or to at least profitability.
When I started Studenomics, I only spent a few bucks on the hosting. I soon realized that I needed to spend some money on a design/logo. Now five years later from the first design, I’m currently ready to make another change.
[Suggested read: How-to start an online business with a few bucks.]
What do the experts have to say about investing in yourself?
I reached out to some friends to see what they had to say about this topic.
Todd of The Financial Mentor who has covered investing in your financial education wrote in with:
“I always invest in myself first. It is the one thing nobody can take away from me.
No matter what happens, I will always have the greater knowledge and personal growth that results.
The other thing about investing in yourself is it produces increased earning capacity that multiplies your wealth.
Because most savings results at the margin, small increases in earning capacity can result in mega-jumps in savings rates.”
Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents, where has covered investing in your 20s had to say:
“The best investment I’ve ever made has always been in myself. Earlier in my career (late 20’s) I invested time and money into getting my Certified Financial Planner designation. Traditionally, most CFP’s are 45+ and I wanted to show potential clients that I was serious about the financial planning process so I got my CFP and a much younger age. In hindsight, that investment has yielded a ROI that has exceeded anything I’ve made in the stock market.”
Stefanie of The Broke and Beautiful Life (no modesty) had to say this:
“I’m a big fan of percentage budgeting which forces you into funding all goals at all times, but I’ve got some pretty major professional projects I’ve been itching to get done that I know will require me to spend the majority of my limited cash store.”
My buddy Romeo from The Wealth Number wrote in with:
“What’s the point of locking your money away in a retirement account if you don’t have the liquid money saved or the knowledge and skills required to transition into the job you’d love when you’re finally tired of the job you hate?”
J Money of Budgets Are Sexy joined in with:
“I invest in myself by reading a lot and taking walks. The reading part helps me to keep growing and hopefully in a smarter way! And the walks help me to slow down life a little and let things soak in. Which in in the end helps me to take more action which is the important part of it all. All the reading is nice but if you don’t do anything with it then what’s the point? (Besides reading for pleasure, of course. But I’m talking about business/finance/etc reading).”
That’s how the experts do it. How will you invest in yourself?
Are you ready to invest in yourself?
Here’s your challenge. I want you to take $50 and invest it in yourself today. Report the results here.
7 thoughts on “What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About Investing in Yourself”
Thanks for the shout out! I’ve been doing a lot of investing in myself lately. It makes me nervous, but I’m hoping for a big pay off in 2015.
What are some of the main investments?
You’ve made a great point. Everything I’ve done well, I’ve had a lot of guidance from others. My network has increased my net worth considerably. Off to go make more friends… 🙂
How do you normally meet friends Will? And that’s what I like to hear.
It’s true, you can really only get so far on your own. Eventually you need some sort of guidance, whether it’s from trainers, books, videos or even just the investment of your time.
Also, I really think the more you financially invest in something, the harder you work at it because of that. There was some study where people gave away theater tickets for free to a performance and also sold them for $1 and way more people with the $1 tickets actually showed up for the show, because even at that small level, they were then invested in it.
That’s an amazing study. I totally see that. Nobody appreciates anything that comes for free.
Yes, you are right. Investing for yourself is very important. We must always improve and actualize ourselves.
But, more importantly after it is applying what we got from the investment. Otherwise, the investment will be worth it. We just got this knowledge, but there is no real change.
I have experienced it. I’m taking a course in a field, but I do not follow what I got from the course. The result is a big zero.