If you’re looking to invest in yourself this year but don’t have a whole lot of money, don’t worry! There are several ways to invest in yourself without spending a dime. Try these ideas…
# 1 – Take A Free Online Course And Learn A New Skill
Just because a course is free doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in it. Quite the contrary.
You can learn a brand new skill that can lead to a new career for free. You can also find courses that can help you move up in your current job if that’s what you want to do.
If you’re interested in taking a free course this year, here are some you won’t want to miss:
1200 Free Online Courses From Top Universities – Here you can browse TONS of different subjects and download audio and video from professors at top universities such as Stanford, Harvard and Yale!
12 Sites That will Teach You Coding for Free – Coding is a very in demand skill and you can learn all of the basics for FREE from these 12 places.
Courses That Teach Online Skills – If you’re interested in writing, web design or online marketing you’ll be interested in these courses.
# 2 – Read A New Book Per Month (From Your Local Library)
It’s hard to believe but a little over eight years ago I got extremely interested in personal finance. Someone had told me about Dave Ramsey and so I decided to get a copy of his book The Total Money Makeover.
After reading that book, I was so enthralled with personal finance that I went to the library and one-by-one read every single personal finance book they had. This almost instantaneously had a positive impact on my finances and even spurred a side gig writing about personal finance. All this started with one free book.
Lately I’ve been reading fiction to try and spur a little more creativity in myself.
Don’t underestimate what reading books can do for yourself. Go the library and check out at least one new book each month.
# 3 – Take Advantage Of Free Workout Videos
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get into shape hold off on the gym membership. According to Statistic Brain the average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58 and a whopping 67% of memberships go unused!!!
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a gym membership the truth is more than half of people won’t use theirs after the first month. Instead of splurging on the gym try free workout videos at home.
If you can stick with your home workout videos for more than a month then consider a gym membership if still desired.
# 4 – Start A Side Business
Starting a side business is one way for you to increase your income and explore alternative career opportunities this year.
The most amazing thing about side businesses is that well, they’re done on the side! Finding a new way to earn money will cost you nothing but your time.
Ready to get started? Check out some of these posts for inspiration:
# 5 – Eat Healthier Food
Last year was the first year that I really started paying attention to what I ate. I grew up in a home where Pepsi was what we drank and supper consisted of meat and potatoes. I had never given much thought to what I was putting my body.
Only last year I had major energy slumps almost every day. I never felt “right” and knew there was opportunity for improvement in my health.
I tried a Whole30 and have pretty drastically changed what I put in my body. While it was tough at first I am so glad I stuck with the healthier habits and reaped the results.
Focusing on your health can be done inexpensively and is an area of improvement that will have a positive impact on all other areas of your life.
# 6 – Organize Your Home
Scientists have linked clutter to the inability to focus, an increase in mental stress, depression and even fatigue – affecting women more than men. If those aren’t good enough reasons to get organized this year then I don’t know what is!
Organizing your home is something that you can do in your free time and without spending a dime. Depending on the amount of clutter you have to deal with the initial cleanup process might feel stressful but after things are put in their places the rewards are enormous.
Aside from just receiving the mental benefits of an organized home you’ll also save money. Here are some statistics from the National Association of Professional Organizers:
- More than half of Americans think they have $1,000 or more of unused stuff sitting in their homes
- Americans spend $24 billion dollars each year to store their things
(You can read some more very fascinating clutter statistics here. Some will blow your mind!)
# 7 – Start A Budget
There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this blog you’re into improving your finances. If you haven’t already done so, starting a budget and tracking your expenses is a great start to better money management.
To get started set up a spreadsheet or use software like Personal Capital to track your spending over the past few months. From there you’ll be able to see what categories your spending lies and what needs adjustment.
Here are some helpful posts:
- How to Use Personal Capital for Budgeting
- Budgeting for Your Personality
- Free Money Saving Tools and Resources
# 8 – Contact One New Person Per Week
“Your network is your net worth.”
The first time I heard that quote it made me cringe. I instantly thought of men and women dressed in business suits with fake smiles plastered on their faces walking around shaking hands of strangers like they’re politicians. But…..the more I’ve thought about this quote the more I realize it’s true.
Almost all of the work I’ve landed over the past few years has come from developing relationships with others. And not just shallow, I’ll scratch your back you scratch mine, type of relationships but ones that have been built off time and trust. Without these connections I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
If you want to move up in your career you’re going to need the help of other people, which means you need to network! Try contacting one new person per week via email or phone. Go to lunch with new people and look for ways to genuinely connect with others in your field.
# 9 – Make a Get Out of Debt Plan
If you have debt make 2017 the year you get out from under it. Creating and implementing a get out of debt plan is one of the best thing you can for your finances, especially if you have high interest debt.
- How to Pay off $10k of Debt in One Year
- The Truth About Debt Relief Companies
- 8 Ways to Eliminate Student Loan Debt
- Top Ways to Get Student Loan Forgiveness
# 10 – Have a Weekly Goal Setting and Check-Up Day
Planning your week is one surefire way to be more intentional with your time and accomplish more this year. Having a day every week where you set goals and check up on yourself can help you do this.
Pick a day and time for planning and goal setting. Doing this will have a profound impact on your life this year.
In what ways are you investing in yourself this year?
Photo Credit: rawpix
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.