Ok – I know that headline is going to sound a little crazy. I can just hear the cries now. “Don’t you know that there is a cost of living crisis going on”. “Didn’t you hear that energy bills have doubled”. Yes – I know – it may seem like a very strange idea to be spending more money here but bear with me.
You see – on the path to Financial Freedom, sometimes you have to invest. Now, when I say invest, I am not talking about investing in the traditional sense – stocks, bonds, property etc. I am talking here about investing in yourself and your personal growth.
For many people, Financial Freedom is about more than just money. It is about a whole new way of living and a whole new way of life. For many people, when they set off on the journey towards Financial Freedom, they have in mind a new career or a new kind of vocation. Often people wish to work for themselves or at least have more freedom than they did before – it is about freedom of time as well, not just Financial Freedom.
Now, if achieving all of this was easy, of course everyone would do it, no one would work a boring 9-5 and the world would be a better place, but we all know that it is not that easy.
That’s not to say that has to be massively complicated or unachievable, but, for most people, achieving Financial Freedom is going to take some work.
It may be that you need to learn a new skill to help your new freelance business get off the ground. Let’s say you are currently working in web design and you want to go freelance, set up your own shop and help other businesses with their web projects. You might be the best web designer in the world, but if nobody knows about you, you won’t get too far. As such, you may need to learn digital marketing or some other kind of advertising strategy to ‘get your message out there’.
Now, there will undoubtedly be some great free resources online and that will usually be the best place to get started, however after a while you might have to spend a bit of money on a paid course or some coaching - there may be a cost involved. Unlike other costs however, it is probably better not to think of it as a cost, but as an investment.
You are investing in yourself, growing your skills and hopefully improving your future earnings potential. As such (cliché alert!), the investments you make in yourself often have the best return. Most conventional investments in stocks or property might have the potential to return 5%, 10% or perhaps even 20% per annum on average.
Investments in personal growth and new skills can pay back many times over – hundreds or thousands of percent. I don’t think there is anywhere else where you can get those kinds of returns.
So, as a result, as crazy as it might sound to be suggesting that people spend money in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, this may actually be the most sensible thing you can do right now.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. In general, it’s not a great idea to spend extra money if you are really struggling financially or if it will send you into problem debt. Be sensible and proportionate. However, even if you do have to carry a credit card balance for a month or two, investing in personal growth and new skills is probably one of the best things you can ever spend money on – better than that new pair of jeans in any case.
Of course, if you really don’t have the money and you really do want to learn a new skill or invest in personal development, there are other ways to get the job done.
For example, the first step might be to do a side hustle or gig economy job for a while to generate the extra cash you need to take that course. And… it may not take as long as you think. Let’s say there is an online coaching you wish to take which is $500. You could decide to do some online user testing work (read more here) which can earn you around $15 for 20 minutes of work – or $45 an hour. As such, you would need to work for around 12 hours to make the $500 you need to buy the coaching.
Not too bad then – a couple of days work to invest in a course which could change your life for the better forever!
So there we have it – a very good reason why the first step to Financial Freedom might actually be to spend money?..