Investing In Yourself and My Self-Investment Confession

Investing In Yourself and My Self-Investment Confession

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Living a frugal lifestyle often leaves us with a “no spend” mentality for anything, especially when dealing with internal problems we think we can handle ourselves.

However, solving these internal problems can become a useful resource in our lives; which is what frugality is all about. Investing in yourself and spending your own money, means you will appreciate what you receive.
 

Because You Really Are Worth It

Has there been something you wanted to do for yourself but are putting it off because it is “too expensive”? Would it make your life better in the long-term? Will you end up needing it in five or ten years anyway? How long have you been considering it?

If we can buy $100+ dresses, shoes, purses, tools, computer supplies, etc., why do we not even consider expensive services that will better our own lives? Although many of these services (therapy, gym) may not be noticeable right away to anyone but ourselves, that does not mean the money is wasted or the service is not worth it.

Budgets are Flexible For a Reason

While I have always dealt with family issues, I have pushed off going to therapy because of the high cost. I knew that it would be beneficial for me but I just could not justify $100/hour to talk to someone.

Then I thought back to a pair of shoes I bought recently, that was practically the price of a one hour session. My new netbook cost three sessions. My monthly train pass is the cost of three sessions as well.

After recently ending a relationship, I decided it was time to finally do something for myself that will have long-term benefits. With the encouragement of my friend Sarah, I adjusted my monthly budget and found I could comfortably afford therapy sessions.

This is what budgeting is for. Making adjustments to fit the important stuff in and taking the less important stuff out.

Unfortunately, I did have to cut into my monthly budgeted savings, but I still feel it is a justified cost. Investing $300/mo on myself now will mean less headaches later.

My Self-Investment Confession

I have a confession. This is not the first time I have spent a large amount of money to invest in myself.

Two years ago, I spent $5,000 on a cosmetic procedure. I invested in my body and immediately saw a dramatic increase in my quality of life and general well-being.

I did make sacrifices to afford the procedure. I started a lucrative freelance project but still had to take out a loan. I am embarrassed to admit that, but no one’s perfect. The loan was paid off rather quickly and I am glad I did not wait any longer to have the procedure.

I ultimately justified the therapy sessions by realizing that if I can spend $5k on my outside, then surely I can spend the same amount on my inside.

Short-Term Price Vs. Long-Term Cost

While the service may sound expensive right now, what will not doing it cost you later?

Readers, do you have a self-investment confession?

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21 Replies to “Investing In Yourself and My Self-Investment Confession”

  1. May I ask what you spent 5k on?

    I’m about to spend 10k to join a private tennis club! That.s my splurge. Friend reasons and business.

  2. I’m not sure if this qualifies, but when I left my last job, I took a pretty big pay cut. It was not an easy decision, but the payoff in my mental and physical health was worth it.

    1. That definitely does count! I was offered two jobs at the same time and took the job that offered less salary but I knew I would enjoy it more. That really is important!

  3. My confession is that I spend $640/mo on personal training and that it is coming out of my savings and charitable donations. I also recently graduated from therapy myself, which cost about $2,000 over 5 months.

    Still, I really do believe that it’s very true that you can’t love and take care of others until you love and take care of yourself. It sound cheesy but it’s like the oxygen masks on airplanes; you’re supposed to put yours on first before worrying about the people around you.

    Congratulations/thank you for the actions that you’re talking to love and take good care of my lovely friend–you! :)

  4. The university has a gym that is free for students who are part-time and full-time to use. It’s state of the art. After graduation, I’ll be able to buy a pass (because I’m the spouse of a student) for only $180 a year. That’s extremely reasonable compared to other gym memberships I’ve found, especially for the quality of the gym.

    I’ve considered going to therapy. I was forced to go in high school (long story…), and ultimately felt like it was phooey. True, it’s nice to have someone to listen to you, but I didn’t feel like it helped all that much since the guy agreed with everything I said. I’m taking the steps now to work on my trust/insecurity issues through reading self-help books on the subjects. After working on it myself, I’ll make a decision about seeking more help.

    I say bravo to you for taking the steps to improve yourself. You are worth it, and no one should feel guilty about paying for things that improve their lives.

    1. Red, I was in therapy for family issues in highschool and did not get anything out of it. For one, it was forced. Also, I was not paying for it. What I am doing now feels completely different because, not only am I focusing on specific problems, but I want (and know I need) to go! Taking money out of the ATM to cover it each week is a reminder that I am paying for it and better get my moneys worth.

  5. Yeah, I’m kind of curious what kind of procedure it was :)

    hmm self investment confessions… well I spend $200 on a hair cut and highlight twice a year. That’s pretty steep if you ask me :(

  6. After leaving my long time hairdresser in upstate NY when moving to NJ, I was bummed to not find a good place for a haircut under $20. I went to Great Clips/Super Cuts, etc and no matter what I told them, I swear they cut my curly hair into a mullet. I’d always ask them to fix it, or ask my husband to just even it out for me at home. Eventually hubby got me a gift certificate to a “real hair place” where hair cuts are $55…which sounds AWFUL, but in this area, it’s not even the highest! I now get my hair cut there, but since it’s only 3x/year, I try to not feel bad about it. I’ve never been unhappy with my hair cut there.

    I spend too much $$ on lululemon running clothes, but they help keep me excited to run :) And running keeps me healthy and sane, so it’s worth it.

    Shop around for gym memberships! I was able to pay $45/year for the P. university gym as a spouse. We now live 10 mi from there though, so not so convenient despite the cheap price. No matter how cheap, if it’s not easy to get to, I’m not going. We now live 1 mile from my grad school alma mater, where I can join the gym (including classes) for $30/mo by semester. No 1 year contract. So I can wait til it’s cold (say end of November) and just pay prorated through the end of December. Then re-join for Jan-April.

    @Red- maybe that person wasn’t a good match for you? Not in therapy myself, but took classes and am now in a related field. Definitely need to find someone who you feel comfortable with when you’re paying them the big $$.

    1. I am not sure if this is too far for you but I have found affordable and high quality hair cuts at the Sweeney Todd Hair Salon (one in Piscataway and Millburn) – http://www.sweeneytoddhair.com. Their prices are ala carte, which I love because I don’t need to get it blow dried all the time.

  7. L2, I am so proud of you for being so brave and opening up. I was very pleased with this post because you hit the point right on how being frugal isn’t just about not spending money but rather how to spend it wisely and adjust accordingly. My one thing I spend $$ on is my hair. I love getting it done and it makes me feel good about myself. I have fun with the color and cut. I am sending you lots of hugs!! XO!

  8. B and I occasionally splurge on massages, which is great for each of us and some bonding time.

    When B and I were apart for a year, we saw each other about every three weeks, taking turns flying to see each other. I didn’t have the money to fly to see him every six weeks but put it on my credit card and dealt with it when I got my tax return. Not a wise financial move, but it was something I needed personally. I probably spent at least a couple thousand dollars over eight months.

  9. ohhhh a massage! I haven’t had one in probably 2-3 years. But want one badly. I had thought about getting one as a nice relaxing thing to do while my husband was out of town this past week, but I got my hair cut instead (first time since May…haha) so I thought I should probably space out the expenses. Maybe over Thanksgiving weekend or Christmas break.

  10. My personal trainer thanks you for writing this, my hamstrings do not. I read this this morning and you are right. It made signing up for personal training sessions that I’m really going to enjoy and get a lot out of easier!

  11. For all those saying massages are their self-investment, a cheaper option is to check to see if you have a massage school nearby. We have one just up the road and massages start at $25 an hour.

  12. I think it’s great to invest in yourself and to have the courage to talk about it instead of apologize for it as so many people do.

    One thing many people may want to consider is the Employee Assistance Program at their work. Companies often provide free sessions with licensed therapists, and they also have support lines you can call for free if you just need someone to talk to. I took advantage of this program at my previous company and it really did help just to have an unbiased person to pour out feelings to.

    Best of luck! :)

  13. Great article leslie. I think a lot of personal finance as a whole can be boiled down to your last sentence “Short term price vs long term cost” hate to beat a dead horse but the latte every day for 10 years from age 22-32 could really handicap your retirement prospects.

    As far as a self investment, I guess you could could say its my gym membership, but other than that, I think (kind of like most guys do, I’d assume as all your comments are female except sam) that its not really something I’m interested in spending money on, which is totally an odd thing to say, but I guess that’s what it is. I may write my thoughts on this issue out as a post, so I think I’ll cut my comments short, but great thoughts!

  14. hey girl, I am so glad to hear you adjusted your budget for counseling – when I started going through a rough patch in July I started going as well!! It is really important to put your well being first even if it does require $$$, in the long run you will feel so much better! I have loved seeing how I have improved since July, I know without counseling I might have gotten through my rough patch but I don’t think it would have happened as fast and with as good of results! so I am very happy for you and seriously if you ever want to call me or e-mail me, I am always here to chat!

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