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How to Invest in Yourself — Without Spending a Dime

Two people sit in pink chairs with a pedestal holding a laptop between them. They're smiling and laughing.
Photo by Windows via Unsplash

When was the last time you invested in yourself?

Was it when you negotiated your firm’s offer for yourself? Maybe it was when you decided to pursue your CPA certification? Or when you decided to dive into entrepreneurship?

These are all specific mile markers along the path of career success for a lot of women in accounting and finance — but they’re not the only ways you can invest in yourself personally and professionally.

Often, we think that investing in yourself has to coincide with an impactful career decision or turning point in your life. And, that this practice has to come with multiple dollar signs.

This can cause a lot of women to put their own professional and personal development on pause, and who could blame you? We’re already pressed for time and energy — and even if our revenue streams are plentiful and healthy, we may choose to put that flow of income elsewhere before putting it back into ourselves.

But investing in yourself doesn’t have to look like a huge time commitment. It also doesn’t have to include opening your wallet.

So, what could this look like, then?

  • Finding a mentor — or becoming a mentor

  • Attending a webinar or taking a course

  • Planning a staycation

Discover a mentor for you — or become a mentor for someone else

Mentorship is a fruitful way to invest in yourself and your career — and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. While networks like The Lady CPA can help do most of the heavy lifting for you (and you can rest assured that your mentor has been vetted to fit your specific needs) you can find a mentor that’s right for you by looking right in front of you!

A person in a black blazer sits at a desk typing at their computer.
Whether you decide to go in-person or online: there's a mentor (or mentee!) out there waiting for you. Photo by Keren Levand via Unsplash.

Is there anyone you work with who you admire? A professor or instructor you’ve had that seemed knowledgeable and receptive to helping you when you needed it?

Then, reach out to them! Invite them out for a cup of coffee and be honest with them — you don’t have anything to lose.

The benefits to entering a mentorship are endless, for both the mentor and the mentee. 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change compared to only 5% of those who didn’t enroll. Mentees are promoted 5 times more often than those who aren’t actively in a mentorship. And, this goes both ways: mentors are 6 times more likely to be promoted.

A mentor supports you when you need it, access to a wealth of knowledge from their own experiences, and can even offer you resources that you might not have known about otherwise.

For women in accounting and finance, in particular, a mentor can help you fight against the feelings of isolation that are so common in the finance industry, showing you that you’re not alone and you are worthy of being here.

Upgrade your education — without going back to school