Hey ladies, let’s talk about investing in ourselves! I don’t just mean maxing out your 401k or building an investment portfolio. I’m talking about all the ways we can invest in our personal and professional growth to become our best selves.
Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be! When we break it down step-by-step, investing in yourself is totally doable. I’m going to walk you through the key areas where we need to devote time, energy, and yes, often money, to grow.
Trust me, the effort you put in now will pay off hugely down the road with greater career opportunities, financial security, self-confidence, and overall happiness. Girl, you’re worth investing in!
Developing Financial Confidence and Skills
Let’s start with money, since financial resilience allows you to access so many other resources to invest in yourself. I know you’ve heard statistics about the gender pay gap and how few women feel confident managing money.
Here’s a mind-blowing one: a 2021 study found women score 5% lower on financial literacy tests globally, with 32% of that gap attributed to lower confidence. Whoa. We clearly need to work on believing in ourselves here!
When you take an active role in your finances instead of leaving them to your partner or advisor alone, your confidence builds tremendously. Start by looking over your account statements each month. Make a budget spreadsheet to track where your money goes. Learn the basics of investing by reading a book or taking an online class.
The more you know, the more empowered you’ll feel to ask questions and make financial decisions. If math and money concepts intimidate you, don’t let them! I struggled with this for years before realizing I could teach myself. With so many great resources out there today, you can too.
While you’re learning, think about your financial goals. Do you want to buy a house someday? Retire at 55? Pay off student loans ASAP? When you know your goals, you can research and implement smart strategies to work toward them.
For example, if you want to retire early, make sure you’re claiming every dollar of matching contributions from your employer’s 401k. If you’re still paying off high-interest debt, commit to paying more than the minimum due each month to pay it down faster.
Here are a few other money skills no woman’s education should be without:
- Negotiating your salary and benefits. Don’t settle for the first offer when you switch jobs; do your market research and ask for what you deserve!
- Creating a realistic budget. Be honest with yourself about needs vs wants so you can direct more income to savings and investments.
- Exploring side hustle ideas. A fun side gig could make a big dent in your debt or savings if you’re strategic.
- Understanding tax optimization strategies. There are so many legal ways to lower your tax burden if you take the time to learn them.
Financial skills truly provide the foundation that makes other investments in yourself possible. Use them and you’ll be unstoppable!
Caring for Physical and Mental Health
Now that we’ve got your money situation covered, let’s talk health. You know taking care of your physical and mental wellness should be a priority…but it can be hard to actually do it, am I right?
Between work, family, and non-stop responsibilities, you’re probably stressed to the max. Your self-care routine is the first thing to go out the window when life gets crazy.
But skimping on self-care can cost you big-time in the long run. Make yourself a priority now, and it will pay off for decades to come. Cutting just 30-60 minutes out each day to focus on your health can make a huge difference!
Here are some of my top self-care tips for busy women:
- Move your body. Just take a short walk, do a few YouTube workout videos, or join a gym class. Anything that gets you active!
- Fuel up. Meal prep some healthy snacks and lunches on Sunday afternoons. Having them ready to grab makes it so much easier to eat well all week.
- Recharge. Whether it’s 5 minutes of deep breathing, a warm bath, or an early bedtime, give your body and mind time to recharge daily. You deserve it!
- Try therapy. Getting professional support can be life-changing. If current issues are weighing on you, don’t hesitate to speak to a counselor.
- Set boundaries. Protect your time and energy by learning to say no. Poor work-life balance can zap your joy fast.
- Limit social media. Be honest — how much time do you really spend mindlessly scrolling? That time is better invested in yourself.
When you start taking small steps every day, you’ll notice your energy, focus and even your mood start to improve. You are worth the investment in your health, I promise.
Expanding Your Knowledge and Skills
A wise woman once told me, “We can never know too much.” Truer words were never spoken! Lifelong learning is absolutely one of the best ways to invest in yourself.
Think about it this way – the more you learn, the more opportunities open up to you. Developing your skills gives you the power to take your career and life in exciting new directions.
Let’s say you want to boost your expertise in digital marketing, for example. You could take an online class in your spare time, practice those skills at work, and position yourself for a promotion to lead the digital marketing efforts in your company.
Or, you might decide to leave your desk job altogether and start your own social media consulting agency! The possibilities are endless.
You don’t necessarily need to spend money or go back to school formally either. There are endless free or low-cost ways to teach yourself new skills, like:
- Check out books from the library on topics you want to learn about
- Watch instructional videos on YouTube
- Take free online courses on websites like Coursera or LinkedIn Learning
- Subscribe to podcasts to learn on your commute
- Join local networking or book clubs to discuss ideas
- Volunteer and get hands-on experience
Which skills are worth your time investment? Think about your passions and interests, then uplevel them!
- If you love cooking, take a course on food photography.
- If you’re an exercise junkie, get certified as a trainer.
- If you’re obsessed with all things beauty, learn to do makeup artistry.
See what I mean? The world is your oyster. Look for opportunities to turn your passions into profits by expanding your knowledge.
While we’re talking about self-improvement, be sure to push yourself outside your comfort zone and try totally new experiences too. Shake up your routine by taking a pole dancing class, go see a foreign film, or try a new-to-you workout like trampolining.
Learning in non-traditional ways expands your perspective. You’ll gain confidence while challenging yourself that carries over to all aspects of life.
Building Your Network
They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. Well, I say it’s both! Having a strong network is critical if you want to get ahead in your career and unlock new opportunities.
Connecting with the right people can open doors you never imagined. A mentor can give you invaluable career advice based on their years of experience. Joining women’s professional organizations gives you access to job leads before they’re posted publicly. And having a tribe of supportive friends in your corner? Priceless.
Let’s start with mentors. Reach out to leaders in your industry that you admire and ask to take them for a quick coffee chat. Come prepared with a list of questions about their career path and any guidance they can offer you. If the chemistry is right, ask if they’d be willing to continue advising you.
Most successful people are flattered to mentor someone hungry to learn. Plus, these relationships are mutually beneficial – you may be able to return the favor someday by mentoring others coming up behind you!
Getting involved in professional organizations and networking groups is another fab way to expand your connections. Look for groups focused on empowering women in your industry on platforms like Meetup. Attend virtual or in-person events to connect with fellow badass ladies. Exchange ideas, contacts, and inspiration with each other!
And never underestimate the power of your immediate circle! Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who cheer you on as you invest in your growth. Their belief in you keeps you motivated on the tougher days of this journey.
Make an effort to regularly connect with your inner circle too – celebrate wins together and lean on each other in hard times. Investing in these relationships ensures you have a strong system of support behind you. Sisterhood is everything!
Cultivating Financial Resilience
Alright, let’s circle back to money talk. By now, you’re leveling up your financial skills and getting savvy about ways to invest in your personal growth. But how do you apply those money smarts to build long-term financial resilience?
Glad you asked! Making smart financial choices now lessens the chance you’ll struggle later if you lose your job, face unexpected medical bills, or need to care for family.
Building resilience takes some work upfront, but gives you a safety net during life’s unpredictable curveballs. Here are 5 powerful ways to get started:
1. Start saving and investing early. Like, now! Even if you’re only setting aside $20 or $50 per paycheck, get in the habit. Squirrel some cash away into an emergency fund and retirement accounts.
2. Create and stick to a budget. I know, budgeting sounds boring. But understanding exactly where your money goes is the only way to find areas to cut back and save more. Free apps make it simple.
3. Reduce and manage debt. Carrying loads of high-interest debt destroys your financial freedom. Make a plan to pay it down fast, and think twice before taking on new debt like credit cards.
4. Understand your employee benefits. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of everything offered, then negotiate for more. Never accept a job offer without thoroughly reviewing the compensation package.
5. Develop streams of passive income. Income from side hustles, rental properties, or online businesses can grow your wealth exponentially. Even an extra $500/month goes a long way!
Building these habits now future-proofs your finances. When you’re not living paycheck to paycheck or buried in debt, you can invest more into yourself, your family, and causes you care about. Talk about freedom!
Strengthening Your Self-Esteem
We’ve covered a lot of tactical ways to invest in yourself as a woman. Now let’s get a little woo-woo and talk mindset!
Girlfriend, believing in your worth and capabilities is the foundation that makes everything else we’ve talked about possible. If your self-esteem is suffering, it’s time for a reset.
I see you – we all have crappy voice in our heads sometimes telling us we’re “not enough” in some way. But you CAN reprogram your mindset by intentionally cultivating self-confidence every single day. Here’s how:
Start your day by looking in the mirror and saying 3 things you love about yourself. It can feel silly at first, but this practice works wonders on reshaping how you talk to yourself.
When negative self-talk creeps in, replace it with a positive thought. Don’t believe those lies! You are smart, talented, and deserving.
List your proudest accomplishments and unique strengths. Reflect on tangible things that prove your abilities; reference this list whenever you feel inadequate.
Limit social media usage. Constantly comparing yourself to others breeds insecurity. Check in mindfully, not mindlessly.
Set boundaries in relationships. Don’t let others take advantage or disrespect you. Demand to be treated well by who you keep around.
Practice radical self-care. however it feels good – baths, hobbies, whatever nourishes your soul. You deserve it.
The more you can rewrite the script in your head, the more unstoppable you’ll feel every day. Investing in yourself starts with the belief that YOU ARE WORTH IT, my friend.
Now Go Invest In Yourself!
There you have it — the comprehensive guide to investing in yourself as a woman!
I know I threw a lot at you. Some of these concepts might be totally new territory. But stick with me: taking small, consistent steps to build yourself up in these areas WILL change your life.
It comes down to priorities and mindset. When you decide once and for all that your growth and well-being deserve time and money, you make it non-negotiable.
Sure, there will be days raising kids, managing a household, and just adulting leaves you exhausted. But you’ve got to keep believing you’re worth the investment.
Ten years from now, you’ll look back at how far you’ve come on this journey and cry happy tears of pride in the woman you cultivated. I believe in you!
Now get out there, keep learning, surround yourself with cheerleaders, take good care of your mind and body, and start investing in your dreams. You absolutely deserve an amazing life — go create it!