Upgrading Yourself: 5 Ways to Invest in Your Education

In a Q&A session, someone asked Bill Gates an interesting question: “What is your best personal financial advice for people who make under $100,000 per year?” And the answer? “Invest in your education.”

I think that’s a good answer. Even if you make more than $100,000 per year, I believe the answer still applies. As Benjamin Franklin once said (which I quoted in my post about self-education): “If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

So how should we invest in our education? What are the ways to invest in it?

There are other ways, I’m sure, but here are five ways to invest in your education:

1. Get a good Internet connection.

You can learn just about anything through the Internet. That’s why having a good Internet connection is worth investing in. In fact, it might be the best investment for your self-education.

The important thing is to actually use the Internet to educate yourself. Many people use the Internet for many other purposes but education. To get some ideas, you might want to read my post How to Educate Yourself Online.

2. Buy books.

Books have been around for thousands of years, but they are still one of the best ways to learn. Reading a good book is like sitting beside a great person and listening to his or her advice. You might not be able to meet the person directly, but by reading their books you can still get their best advice.

The nice thing about buying books instead of borrowing is that you can mark them as you like. That way you can get the most out of them.

3. Buy or subscribe to magazines.

There are many articles that you can read for free online, but magazines still have their place. Good magazines provide you with high-quality articles on the topics you are interested in. Such articles can teach you a lot in a relatively little amount of time.

4. Get a degree.

Though you must be careful, having a degree is a good way to boost your income. It takes a big commitment, but it could pay off handsomely.

Not only that, but you can also make a lot of friends while you are in college. They can be helpful for years to come.

5. Join an educational club.

You can join a relevant club to hone specific skills. For example, you can join Toastmasters to hone your public-speaking skills.

You may have to pay a membership fee, but it’s a good way to invest in your education while also expanding your social circle.

***

All the ways above talk about how to invest money in your education. But don’t forget that you must also invest time. What’s the use of having a lot of learning resources if you don’t spend the time to learn from them?

So make it a habit to learn. Make it something that you do constantly. Even better, make it something that you have fun doing.

If you do that, you will get a great return.

Photo by Pedro Simões

6 Comments

  1. Listening to audio tapes of self help books while driving is another way to educate myself when I am traveling long distances. Another quote that I love about education is “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” by Jim Rohn.

  2. Great tips! I love the buying books idea. Not only can you mark in it, but you can reference later, and also it can work as commitment to read it and motivate yourself to learn from it.

  3. Good advice. One thing that’s worth applying to all these approaches is challenge. There needs to be a degree of challenge otherwise we won’t learnt much. A few carefully selected books will make more impact than reading a sackful that repeats what we already know. Magazines and newspapers that have good review pages can be an excellent source of recommendations. I’m reading “Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions” by Gerd Gigerenzer at the moment which I can recommend.

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