3 Productive Ways To Spend Your Money  

“Money Saved Is Money Earned” 

Yes, we’ve all grown up with this mindset. Many of us have had our parents instilled the virtue of saving up for a rainy day instead of spending on the things we want or need. Growing up with these expectations, some of us feel obligated to spend for others – be it for your children, parents or family as compared to spending on yourself. We consider spending money on ourselves a luxury and not a necessity.  

Managing your income and your happiness can be hard. While it is important to save money for your future, there is more to life than just keeping money in the bank. It is important to value money, but it is even more important to recognize the true value of money and the experiences and opportunities that come along with it.  

The need to save money was a huge part of my life in my early twenties. I was always brought up with the mindset that I could only spend on things I truly need as compared to things I want. This made me grow up to have a skewed idea of things I considered a necessity. 

I classified needs as things I had to spend on purely for getting by. I remember being so thrifty that I would refuse to buy new shoes unless mine had completely ripped apart. I wouldn’t attend plans that required me to pay and eat out. I would spend all my free time during my holidays applying for jobs and trying to save money 

Somewhere along the road, I met someone who changed my perspective on money. The girl, Sarah, was around my age and I met her during one of my holiday jobs. She shared with me that she did find it important to work and save money, but found it equally important to spend on herself for her own mental well-being.  

She had worked during every school holiday and saved money as well, but set aside a chunk to spend on herself. This allowed her to travel to several countries, have fun experiences with her friends and treat herself to nicer things when she could afford it.  

I felt like my need to save money was limiting me instead of freeing me. I was drained after working several hours during my holidays and never truly giving myself a break. I felt like I wanted to be more like my friend, who prioritized saving money and spending money equally.  

I quickly realized that my approach to money management was wrong. I was not receiving much joy from stashing all the money I worked so hard for away. Seeing people my age saves while spending money on making themselves happy, made me realize that I had to change my outlook on spending. 

You shouldn’t only spend on things you consider an absolute necessity. Investing in yourself and experiences with the money you’ve earned will bring you more joy then being calculative on the money you spend. 

Now, I can say safely say that I’m way on track in my pursuit of happiness than I used to be. While I still prioritize saving, I look at money as a tool for happiness as well. I’ve started rewarding myself and spending more on experiences that I would have never gotten if I only saved.  

If you’re still not convinced on why you should be spending money that you’ve earned, here’s 3 really good reasons to. 

1. Start Spending on Health & Fitness

Being active is crucial in preventing diseases and health complications in the future. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent you from the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. All of which can rake up huge medical expenses in the long run.  

Many of these diseases are largely avoidable with healthy lifestyle choices. One that I chose to adopt a few years ago was signing up for an annual gym membership. While many don’t see the point in spending money to exercise when you can do it for free, it is good to check in with yourself to actually see if you have any motivation to exercise on a regular basis.  

Personally, I had no motivation to exercise for free even though I was capable of doing so. Instead, signing up for the gym membership gave me motivation to use the gym and get active because I knew that I would be wasting my money if I didn’t show up. This tactic worked and I have slowly started becoming the healthiest I have been in years!  

Other ways to spend money on health would be to spend more on healthy food and incorporating vitamins and supplements into your diet. These small ways to spend your money will actually save you money in the future! 

2. Invest in Your Career Development

While you might have a stable job now, you constantly have to learn and relearn to stay industry relevant in the long-term. That could mean taking up new classes at night or picking up a higher diploma or a part-time degree. Gaining job-related certifications can help you land a new promotion and keep you climbing up the career ladder.  

I had a friend in the media industry who started working with just a diploma certification (why spending money help earn more money) . Despite having talent and being a highly competent employee, she found that her career projection was very slow. Upon saving up and getting a degree in communication, she found that she was making exponential difference in promotions and her salary. Going to show that while these certifications do not come cheap, it is one that is worth making. 

3. Explore New Experiences

If you’re like me and you find yourself staying home and living an unfulfilled life to prioritize saving, it is time to reconsider your approach. You shouldn’t also just blindly spend money on material things because the happiness that you get from retail therapy is short-lived. However, spending money on experiences is something that is timeless.  

Spending money on experiences could include going on that vacation you’ve dreamt of for the longest time, going for more social events or even going for a concert that you’ve been holding off. Experiences help shape our identity and is one of the things in life that we anticipate.  

Treating yourself to new experiences once in a while gives you something to look forward to and makes your handwork in your job worth it. 

Check out our career guidance page for more useful lifestyle and career tips!   

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