• The Best Investments In Myself

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    During these tough economic times, I have investments in something that has a high rate of return and little risk: ME. Fortunately, I started investing in myself before everything hit the fan; because of that I feel that I am in a good position to keep my job or even advance my career. Here’s two investments that I made in myself that has tangible financial rewards:

    Taking Classes

    I did not take advantage of our company’s tuition reimbursement benefit the first two years that I was employed. In hindsight, that was really dumb; I left $5,000 in educational expenses on the table.

    Eventually I decided to start using some of that benefit and enrolled in a certificate program that will put me in great position compared to my peers. I am almost finished with that and have started taking classes that are more broad in scope and will make me more versatile, like at http://financial.kaplan.co.uk.

    The total out-of-pocket cost of my classes comes out to less than $200 per year, or the amount that the tuition of the classes exceeds $2,500.

    These classes have had an immediate impact on my performance at my job. I have knowledge and skills that none of my peers have. I am able to work smarter and add value to my small company. I’m pretty sure that my 72.5% pay increase since I’ve started is due to my increased contributions to my workplace. If you are already working full time, it can be difficult to find the time to upgrade your education. After all, very few employers are going to want their employees missing time every week, even if it means they will be able to make a greater contribution in the future. There are options for these people, however, as online universities now offer a variety of different programs, so there is a good chance that you will be able to find yours somewhere. Just because you are unable to attend a university campus does not mean you have to give up on furthering your education.

    I just wish that they would reimburse me for the coffeehouse trips that I take when I study!

    Getting and staying healthy

    Since this blog began I’ve lost about 60 pounds. It all started when I had ACL knee reconstruction surgery. The events leading to that were directly related to me being overweight.

    The cost of losing and maintaining this weight and lifestyle is a little high. First, I had a gym membership for a while, but I recently quit the gym in favor of more home-friendly workouts. I am pretty active, but need goals like running a half-marathon or playing soccer to keep me motivated. My diet is now much healthier, but now without an initial hit to our wallet as I was working out the kinks.

    There have been numerous financial benefits to losing weight. First off, we didn’t have to buy a new bed to hold our fat asses. Last year, my doctor took me off high blood pressure medications and told me to see him once a year instead of twice. We’re currently in the process obtaining a life insurance policy and I’m sure that my new weight and lack of health problems will contribute to a more favorable rating, which will lead to a less expensive premium.

    Being healthy will also prevent future healthcare costs. I’m at a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease. I will also miss less days of work that I because of health problems.

    How are you investing in yourself? Are your investments going to benefit you financially?

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