Back in April, I noticed that people in my circles who were doing great work across diverse fields all had something in common: they purposefully spent money on things I wasn’t–like classes and conferences and coaching–so that they could get better at whatever it is they do.
Since then, I’ve loosened up the purse strings a little (emphasis on little), and have made a point to spend not only my time, but also my money, to get a little better at what I do.
I’m a frugal girl at heart, but recently I’ve tried to be smart and not stingy when it comes to spending actual cash on improving my work life. These small-dollar purchases were embarrassingly hard to make (and I agonized way too much about them), but I finally made them because I think in the long run, it’s worth it:
5 practical (and inexpensive) ways I’ve invested in myself lately:
1. Planner pad. This is my third year using this planner, although this year I upsized from the executive 8 1/2 x 11 to the “professional” (and ginormous) 8 1/2 x 14. (I never have enough lines!) These planners are expensive, and it kills me to pay full-price plus shipping ($37: ouch), but these suit my natural organizational style better than anything else I’ve used.
2. PowerSheets. These interactive worksheets are for making plans/schemes/dreams happen. I just ordered mine sight unseen, so I can’t tell you all that much about them yet. I didn’t want to spend $35 for what’s basically a stack of photocopies … but I was super impressed with Lara Casey–as a person and a businesswoman–at Influence Conference, and I think working through these planning activities and maintenance strategies in 2014 will do my easily-distractible self some good.
3. Fix It Write. My handwriting has always bugged me (and my teachers, sadly), and when I wrote about this program for the cult classics series I decided I should finally get myself a copy and get to it. (I’m on Lesson 5, and I’ve already learned a few things–like I’ve been positioning my paper wrong my whole life!)
4. Verily magazine. This new magazine has gotten lots of buzz for their photoshop policy, but their mission and content fit Modern Mrs Darcy to a “t.” I’m thinking about doing more print journalism, so I just subscribed to check it out. (Got any topic ideas? Shoot ’em my way!)
5. Healthy living e-bundle. I can’t do my best work unless I’m taking good care of my body. (Believe me, I’ve tried.) A little nudge makes it a lot easier to spend money on myself, and a big discount like this does the trick.
Do you also have a hard time investing in yourself with cold, hard cash? What are some little things you’ve spent time or money on recently that have proved to be worthwhile?