When we think of self-improvement, we often think of it as something that costs us money and reduces our financial viability. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, you can spend money on self-improvement. That doesn’t mean that it’s money poorly spent though. In fact, your efforts for self-improvement can be an investment that pays off and helps your finances down the road. Here are some examples of how self-improvement can benefit your finances:
Invest in Better Education
Better education can cost money, but it can also boost your earnings down the road. Those with bachelor’s degrees have higher median earnings than those with high school degrees.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a four-year degree to be successful financially though. In some career fields, an associate’s degree can be just as lucrative, as can certain training certifications. Be careful about how you go about it, but a better education can improve your life, boost your skills, and make you a better person. It can also help you earn more money.
Informal Education Can Work Wonders As Well
Don’t assume that all education has to be conducted formally either. If you are willing to read up on business and money management, you can better direct your financial resources in a way that boosts your ability to take care of yourself.
I just finished reading a book on retirement planning. And while I already heard of the ideas that the author presented in the book, I will benefit financially from spending the money to buy the book and spending the time to go through it. That’s because reading the suggestions motivated me to come up with a plan to convert my 401k into a Roth via a multi-year Roth conversion to save taxes down the road. It was something I’ve been meaning to do, but I keep getting sidetracked and eventually forgot about it.
A Good Course Can Help You Over and Over
A good course or two can also help provide you with the knowledge you need to get on the path to financial freedom. Think about how you can learn more and then put that knowledge to work.
I took a writing course years ago and I’m still using some of the techniques they taught at that one-day course on my freelance writing gig. It’s impossible to really quantify the return on investment of that day, but I can say with certainty that I’ve made back the investment I made to make that day happen many times over. Plus, it was actually fun to spend my time there so that’s a bonus.
There is an unlimited number of courses for just about anything you and I can think of. There are bound to be some that can help your career in the long run.
Invest in Your Health
One of the best ways to save money over time is to invest in your health. You might have to spend a little more effort preparing healthier meals and sometimes healthy food costs more, but you’ll be in better shape over the long run. You’ll reduce your chances of developing expensive diseases and conditions. You’ll also likely pay less in health insurance premiums over your lifetime.
You don’t even have to spend money to exercise if you want to improve your health. You can exercise at home or outside and not have to worry about spending on a gym membership or on expensive equipment. Look for ways to stay active and boost your nutrition and you’ll save money on health care costs down the road.
Mental Health is Important Too
Don’t forget to keep your mind sharp either. Studies indicate that your mind can benefit from learning new things, so start there. Whether you are keeping up with a hobby, taking a class at the local university, or just remaining well-informed, you can keep your mind sharp with the help of self-improvement. Engaging your mind keeps it elastic and can slow the effects of time and age on your brain.
On top of that, you can also battle anxiety and depression with the help of self-improvement activities. This can help your mental health in the long run even if you don’t see a lot of immediate financial benefit. Think of this as maintaining your car. Changing the oil and washing the car may seem like an expense, but it keeps the car running at 100%. And if your earnings power relies on how efficient your car is running, then wouldn’t you want it running at full efficiency? Consider investing in yourself in a way that keeps your mind sharp, and you’ll be glad you did for years to come
Learn how to communicate effectively and network with others. You’ll discover that you can open yourself to opportunities this way. whether it’s meeting people who can help you with your career or mentor you, there are chances to increase your earning power when you expand your social circle.
When you take a class or pick up a new hobby, there is a good chance that you will make new connections. Improving yourself in this way can lead to tangible financial benefits by expanding your network. The person sitting next to you in that community education class, or the person you meet while chatting about your favorite hobby might be someone who can give you the inside track on a job opening or become your next business partner.
Even Volunteering Can a Good Way to Network
Not only will you help your community and grow as a person when you volunteer your time, but you will possibly meet people that can help you better manage your money or advance in your career. You might be surprised at how improving your skills and networking abilities can enrich your life as well as ultimately help your finances.
It’s not just your career and finances that will benefit from making new connections either. Your quality of life can also increase. Social interactions can help you feel better about yourself and feel more satisfied and connected in your life.
You can’t put a price on quality of life. Take the time to invest in yourself if you want to enjoy life more. I know that my life is more interesting and satisfying when I am learning something new and learning interesting things about others than when I am watching TV. When I strive to improve my mind and my health, I feel more satisfied with where I am and what I’m doing.
This goes a long way toward helping me avoid falling into the trap of “shopping therapy” and other escapes that lead to spending on things that I don’t really care about. As you continue to improve yourself, consider it an investment in yourself and in your quality of life. You’ll see the returns – even if it doesn’t feel like you are directly increasing the balance on your bank account.
Self-improvement is one of those things that many of us don’t really think of as an investment. After all, our efforts to improve ourselves often cost money. Whether you are paying for music lessons or paying for an Audible account so you can listen to helpful books, self-improvement often comes with a monetary cost – and few tangible benefits.
But don’t assume that your efforts to improve yourself don’t offer chances to improve your finances. When you work on self-improvement, you will spend less in some cases and get more opportunities in others. Many of these benefits will be hard to quantify financially but they’ll add up.
This content was originally published here.