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Admission: Yes, I have a finance blog. Yes, I try to be good with money. But here is the secret…I sometimes hate my budget.
I become bitter that I don’t have the money to invest in myself and the things I want or need to do. Whether it be graduate school, a nice car, or a manicure, there are so many times that I have just wanted to give up.
What I realized is that I was being TOO tight with my budget. I skipped doctor appointments (to avoid the $20 copay), never bought any new clothes and I beat myself up every time I succumbed and bought a latte. I decided enough was enough. Life doesn’t stop just because I am in debt.
Yes, debt is my main priority but it became apparent that if I don’t start investing more time and money on myself, I will lose endurance in the long-term. Here are 10 ways I am investing in myself this year (and things you should do too!)
1) Healthy food
Junk food and fast food can seem cheaper, but the effects it has on your body is enormous. Additionally, bad habits set in your 20’s are difficult to break. Paying a little extra and making a little more time to cook healthy meals is so worth it for now and the long-term.
2) A monthly clothing budget
Without it, I felt deprived and would splurge later. Keep in mind, this is a very small budget, but I allow myself to buy about one new shirt a month, or I can save up for a really nice piece.
3) Committing to learn new skills
Graduate school is my ultimate goal, but I don’t have the money for it now. So I am committing to learning new skills, like website development, blogging and coding. Blogging has been such a learning process for me. I also have made it a goal to read a book a month. No matter what you’re doing, always commit to constantly learning.
4) Your health
Like buying healthy food, regular doctor appointments are a must. Your health will thank you, and you are preventing future health issues, and saving more money in the long-run.
Likewise, working out, eating well, and getting extra sleep costs very little money. Not only will this investment save you time, energy, and prevent health issues in the future, but it is proven to help you focus and accomplish more now. I know my most productive days are days when I worked out in the morning, slept well, and avoided junk food.
My family lives 1,000 miles away in another state, so travel is a huge priority for me. I make sure I don’t deprive myself too much of visits, especially during the holidays. As a travel addict, I make it a point to save for vacations, too.
6) A latte (once in awhile)
For me, splurging and buying coffee while sitting and reading a book is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. This doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it leaves me feeling completely rejuvenated and more focused for the week. Whether or not coffee shops are your thing, it’s completely okay to spend time and money doing something you truly enjoy.
7) Having an emergency fund
Somehow, I manage to talk about emergency funds in nearly every blog post I write, but for good reason! Without an emergency fund, where would you go to for immediate cash if you needed it? Would you rely on credit cards, loans, or other people? None of those are promised, and relying on credit cards will only make your financial situation worse.
Saving for an emergency is a huge investment in yourself and your future. Bad things will, unfortunately, always happen and being prepared will save you from having an emergency uproot you financially.
8) This website
I pay a little bit every month for the domain. Especially when I was first starting and no one read it, I wondered if it was worth it. But it is helping me develop my skills so much that I consider it an investment.
I love blogging, and it has opened the doors to allow me to start my own freelance writing and website consulting business. I am so passionate about earning extra money on the side, and blogging has been nothing but fun and a learning process. If you are interested in starting a blog or freelance writing, you can click the links.
9) Saving for retirement
This is hard to do when I have debt, but I make it a point to save a significant portion of every paycheck. Even if it is just 1%, you are saving for your future. I would recommend aiming to save whatever your employer will match, because it is essentially free money.
10) Paying off debt
It isn’t fun, but knowing how I can’t achieve my goals with debt makes it an investment in my future.
Investing in yourself might not seem like the most financially responsible thing to do, but without taking care of and developing yourself, you won’t get far.
Do you have any other must-haves? How do you invest in yourself? I would love to hear!