With New Year’s just past and most people still in the honeymoon phase of their resolutions, it’s worth a brief look at how many self-improvement activities benefit your finances, and how studying one area can have a positive impact on the other.
I’ll confess to being something of a self-improvement junkie. Not because my life is in desperate need of repair, but because I find subjects like the relationship between the brain and the physical body interesting. It’s also interesting to see what new twists authors come up with on age old topics like weight loss and organization. I’ll trawl the library shelves and pick out several titles to take home at once and if there’s a Kindle freebie, I’m on it. I’ve found over the years that all this self-improvement reading has often benefited my finances, even if only indirectly. Here are some examples:
It’s no secret that losing weight benefits your health which means less money spent at the doctor’s office. Your finances also benefit in other ways, including not eating out and limiting snack and expensive over processed food purchases.
When you’re more organized, not only do you have less clutter to wade through but your organization techniques tend to spill over to your finances. It’s much easier to deal with your bills, taxes, and accounts when everything is organized and easy to access.
If you pursue your education, you’ll become more employable and possibly make more money. If you educate yourself about money, you’ll be more successful at managing your money.
If you’re not in a satisfying job/career, you probably won’t make as much money as if you were working in a field you love. Passion counts for a lot when it comes to work.
Other self-improvement activities like quitting smoking (saves you money and medical expenses), stress reduction (another medical money-saver), creating better relationships (open communication about money is necessary to a financially healthy marriage), and dumping emotional baggage (everything becomes easier when you’re not constantly thinking about “issues”) can benefit your finances. And, of course, there’s a whole area of the self-improvement market dedicated to helping you sort out your issues with money and helping you to become debt free. Often even if you don’t set out to directly impact your finances, applying some self-improvement techniques to your life ends up saving or making you money.
The reverse is often true, as well. If you set out to fix your finances, you may find yourself improving other areas of your life. Let’s say you need to save money so you decide to quit smoking. Big money-saver. Or, you need to make some money so you start studying entrepreneurship so you can start a business. Not only might you open that successful business, but you might learn something about confidence, presentation skills, and improving your public appearance. Or maybe you decide to take an investing class at the local community college and suddenly you find yourself loving finance. It might lead to a career change which could make you a happier person.
Finances and self-help are intertwined. If you set out to study and act on one, you’ll likely find yourself getting better at the other one. So, whether your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, deal with your relationships, or get a better job, don’t hesitate to trawl to self-help shelves at the library or bookstore and dive into your self-improvement project. Who knows? You might just find yourself on the way to a better financial life, too.
(Photo courtesy of Matt McGee)