When we think of lessons about money, many of us immediately think that “spending = bad” and “saving = good”. From a young age, we were taught the value of saving money, that the more we save, the more secured our future will be.
Rethinking Spending vs. Saving
“Spending wisely” or “spending less” is usually the most basic money lesson we ever learn. Thus, when we have to make a choice whether to spend or save, we tend to see one as good and the other as bad. Spending makes us feel guilty, no matter how important the purchase actually is, because we always think that money is better locked up in a savings account or put in investments to earn returns.
But on a similar note, shouldn’t you think the same way about investing in yourself? After all, spending 1,500 pesos on a Web Development Basic Course or a Bread Making Workshop means you get a new skill in return, which you can use for your work or business. For employees, the better you are at doing your job, the higher the salary that you can demand. For entrepreneurs, the better you are at doing business, the higher the revenue that you can create.
This means that improving yourself increases your earning ability and your quality of life.
Invest in increasing your earning ability and improving your life
As respected business speaker Francis Kong put it: “Live within your means, but increase your means.” Instead of simply spending less, spending wisely should mean focusing on the possible outcomes of our spending.
For any “expenses” that involve learning a new skill, improving yourself, and gaining new valuable experiences, it’s best to ask yourself: “What am I getting out of this that can contribute to my future?”
How to invest in yourself wisely
1. Have an objective
A goal sets a target to focus on so we don’t waste our energy and limited resources (ehem, budget) on useless pursuits. Want to improve your confidence? Why not take a communication skills training? Want to have a more active lifestyle? How about learning a new sport?
2. Consider short-term or long-term returns
Just like any other investments, investing in yourself may have short-term or long-term returns depending on what activity you decide to pursue. Taking a Presentation Skills training course may not immediately result in your promotion, but it will certainly increase your confidence and skills…which can open a lot of advancement opportunities in your professional and personal life. The bottom line is: you need to keep working on yourself to achieve your desired results.
3. Use your time wisely
Of course, investments are not only in the form of money — especially if you have little or none to spare (ouch…we feel you). But “time is the most valuable thing a man can spend,” so if you’re looking for enhancement opportunities, there are free online courses that you can take. You just need to set aside a few hours each day to learn.
Saving is still the key to long-term financial security. Every penny you save is an investment in your future — but so is every penny and minute that you spend on improving yourself.