I’m worth it.

YOLO.

Self-care.

We’ve all heard, and most likely used, those clever sayings that allow us to believe that we should spend frivolously on ourselves. And while I agree that we can and ought to spend on ourselves without guilt, overspending and making excuses isn’t really where I want to end up financially. I want to spend intentionally on the things that matter, so that I can ultimately get the things I really want. Here are the things that, for me, make the most sense to spend on. These are the categories that help me grow and get closer to living my dream life.

Travel

Exploration is never a bad idea. At 25-years-old, I left the country for the first time in my life. I booked a flight to London on a whim with my sister, applied for a passport, and went. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. You can research a place and learn loads about it, but there’s nothing like being in a totally unfamiliar place and seeing the different cultures in action.

Things that make you feel your best

Advertising is designed to make us feel ugly and less than. Most businesses thrive on us not feeling confident, because they wouldn’t be in business otherwise. It’s important to know and notice that you don’t need these things to be amazing. You already are.

But, realistically, the right pair of jeans and lipstick can make us feel good. And I think it’s totally acceptable to intentionally purchase the kinds of things that make you feel like a ten. It’s not about anyone else; it’s about how they make you feel. Invest in those things, because if you feel confident, you’ll act confident.

Education (books, courses, etc.)

It seems like there is quite a lot of controversy about whether college is worth your investment, but I don’t necessarily mean college here. Learning is essential, and we should always be striving to learn more than we know. Read books, take courses on the subjects you’re curious about, go to webinars and workshops. But actually soak it all in. Don’t buy more books than you’ll read or buy e-courses you’ll never finish.

If you don’t want to pay for it, there’s so much free information on virtually any subject you can imagine online. And don’t forget, libraries still exist.

Hobbies

Your interests are worth spending on if you’re actively spending your time on them.

Here’s my advice when it comes to spending on a new hobby: don’t. Do everything you can without spending any money at first. For example: thinking of starting yoga? You might think, “Oh, I need a yoga mat to start yoga.” Not necessarily. Start with a towel you already own. Have you kept up with it for 30 days using your towel? It’s probably a good sign that you’ll stick to it. Purchase the mat! Stuck with it for another 30 days with a mat? Maybe it’s time for a yoga membership.

Take things in strides without spending a fortune before you need to and you won’t end up with a ton of stuff that you don’t need and an empty bank account.

Wellness

Your wellbeing is worth spending on, but it’s really easy to get carried away with this. If you want to run and your town has good weather, you probably don’t need a gym membership. But if you know yourself well and you know you thrive on group workouts, maybe a membership is worth splurging on for you. Learn what keeps you feeling good, and spend on what makes sense for you.

Experiences with the ones you love

Memories are priceless. If there’s something you’ve been really wanting to do, save for it. Where you can, find free or cheap activities, but splurge for the really memorable experiences.

Non-negotiables

What little things bring you joy? Is it morning coffee shop visits? Is it HBO?

I heard this tip from the Let’s Discuss podcast¬†on finance and budgeting and I think it’s so important. We want to use our money wisely, but we also want to live our lives enjoyably. If coffee makes you happy, spend the few dollars on it in the mornings. You don’t need society’s approval for the joy-making purchases you desire to have.

Figure out what is non-negotiable for you. Then save on the things that don’t matter as much to you. It’ll all even out, as long as you’re intentional about where you’re spending and where you’re saving.

Investing in yourself will always pay off.

ways to invest in your personal development that are worth the money

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