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Why We Invested Over $10,000 in Ourselves This Year

  October 27

This post may contain affiliate links.

Why We Invested Over $10,000 in Ourselves This YearThe hubs and I invested over $10,000 in our careers this year, and although it seems like a lot of money, we don’t regret it one bit.

When it comes to large financial decisions like the ones we made this year, the hubs and I always make them together. And, it’s funny. I seem to always push hubs to do something challenging and he seems to push me to do the same.

We can each see potential that the other one doesn’t see, and we really rely on each other to help make smart decisions about our money and our future.

Here are some examples:

The Hubs’ Investment in Himself

As I’ve mentioned a few times on here, the hubs is *really* close to being finished with medical school. When someone is in their 4th year of medical school like he is, they can schedule what’s called “away rotations.” This is when you spend time and money setting up a medical rotation in a different location so you can learn from doctors at a different hospital.

Away rotations increase the likelihood that you will be interviewed for residency in that hospital, which is good because the whole goal for fourth year medical school students is to get as many interviews as possible for residency so they have the highest chance of getting a job when they graduate.

Unfortunately, there will be several hundred doctors who graduate from medical school next year who will not actually have a residency job waiting for them. This is a worst case scenario and a result of there being far more applicants than residency positions in the United States – a travesty in my humble opinion.

The hubs has done three away rotations in a row, and we spent a couple thousand dollars so that he was able to do so. These costs included getting our car repaired so he could drive it long distances, Air B&B costs, gas for long commutes, and extra money for our nanny who had to work longer hours to help me survive three months of not having my very hands on hubby here to help me.

It was very challenging having him gone so much, but as of right now, he has a significant number of interviews for his chosen speciality. This is a result of a lot of things, but I’m confident the away rotations helped increase the number of interviews he has and so it was money very well spent on furthering his career.

My Investment in Myself

So far this year, I’ve invested several thousand dollars in business coaches who have helped me increase my income and business reach. I worked with a coach from January – June who helped me develop my course and get a better handle on my priorities. During my first call with him, I was almost in tears from all the pressure I was under and my income that just wouldn’t budge. After working with him, I was able to complete my course, get several new clients, and double my income. I made back that investment within a few months easily.

Last month, I started working with another business coach who is helping me rebrand my business so that starting next year, I will have a new website, a more refined message, a book proposal complete (oh yes, a book!), and in general defining what I want to do with my life and my business and how I can use it to help others.

I admit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the money to get help this year. I am always looking at cash flow since we have a variable income, and I was scared to make the investment knowing we have some big costs coming up, like a potential move next year.

However, the hubs really pushed me and believed in me. I was worried I wouldn’t have time to write a book proposal and do all the work necessary to rebrand my business, but the hubs really convinced me that it was the right next step for me and he told me he would help me by watching the kids if I needed extra time to complete everything.

So far, I’m really proud of all the good things that have happened with my business. Surreal moment: I was actually on Good Morning America last week as their family finance expert! Here is a link to that segment. It was such an amazing experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the coaches I met this year and without the refinement of my message as someone who wants to help families and moms especially with their money and business goals.

Anyone Can Invest in Themselves

I know $10,000 is a lot of money, and we definitely spent more than that on furthering our careers this year. I don’t say that number nonchalantly at all because it was a big chunk of our total income, and all of the decisions listed above were huge ones that required both emotional and financial sacrifice for our whole family.

All in all though, we’re very happy with the way things are going and we really hope that I can increase my income even more next year after my rebrand and that the hubs will successfully match into a residency program.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us, and I’ll keep you updated as the journey goes on!

Why We Invested Over $10,000 in Ourselves This Year

Have you ever invested a large amount of money in yourself?

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55 responses to “Why We Invested Over $10,000 in Ourselves This Year

  1. It’s so hard to believe that one could go to medical school for so long and there isn’t enough residency positions open! To have that kind of dream, make that kind of investment, and to learn so much…I agree with you, it is a travesty. It seems like you and your husband are staying on top of things and investing in yourselves now will definitely take you both places. So commendable and admirable. Keep it up, this hustle season shall pass in no time!:)

    1. Thanks Kara! I can’t wait to see where everyone is with their businesses and their lives in a few months. I think there are some very exciting things going on in the PF community right now.

  2. Loved seeing the behind-the-scenes GMA shots on Instagram! I absolutely think this is a case where you spend money to make money. The only way to get a raise in teaching (other than the annual .8% in our contract) is to invest in higher education. We are currently alternating multiple Masters degrees between my husband and myself. Plus, it pays off additionally in terms of improving our skills set and knowledge. I love this perspective. Best of luck to your husband on his residency!

  3. I sure hope he gets a great position! It’s really interesting to hear how forking over the cash to further your business has made an impact. That type of spending is similar to school expenses like tuition, which most people place a high value on. For some reason after graduation, it suddenly becomes way less common to invest in yourself unless it’s required by an employer.

  4. Congrats on all your success! The videos were so well done. I’m on the fence about this. Not for you, because you obviously knew what was best for YOU, but for myself and for other people out there who WANT to invest, but wonder if it’s the best financial move. I think you have to really dig deep and figure out if you will have as much of a guarantee of a ROI as possible. Obviously there are no guarantees in life. 🙂 But I caution those with thousands of dollars in debt to really prioritize their wants and needs and go from there.

    1. I totally agree that you really need to think about if it’s worth it to invest money in something like education and training, especially if you have to take on debt to do it. In general I think education is good, but it needs to make sense for your financial situation too.

  5. Sometimes the most valuable investment is the investment in yourself. Congrats to your success and good luck to your husband getting the job that he wants.

  6. Yay! I know that $10,000 was not just a drop in the bucket to you guys and that you thought about it from all perspectives before deciding to spend that money on your careers. I’m so excited to see what the future holds for you both (and the beans too). 🙂

  7. Hopefully it works out esp with the away rotations-unfortunately, he made a massive, potentially unrecoverable mistake financially going to a foreign med school, with 300-400k+ in debt and statistically a 50% chance of actually matching into a likely quite undesirable residency position.

    1. Considering his first interview was at an ivy league school in a competitive residency, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be just fine. 🙂 I’m so proud of him! You’re right, there are some sketchy foreign schools for sure who will just take anyone and those students get screwed in the match, but his school has an extremely high match rate every year and has placed more students in U.S. residencies than any other medical school, U.S. or foreign, in the entire world. He had a choice of multiple schools in the Caribbean and picked that one even though it was the most expensive because of their track record. You can read more here: The foreign med school story won’t end nicely for every foreign grad, I totally agree, but we are planners and smart people so we only made the med school investment after thorough research and knowing the hubs would be a quality candidate once it got to this point.

        1. Honestly, I think you’re actually being pretty presumptuous and rude, and you couldn’t possibly judge whether or not he made a mistake without knowing his board scores, grades, and personality, which have garnered him 16 interviews thus far. If you’re in the medical field in any way, you know that is a significant number. So, please be kind and encouraging or please don’t comment. My husband and I definitely understand numbers and statistics. We did not go into this blindly, and we knew the scores he needed to get to statistically have the highest chance of matching. We look forward to posting about the positive outcome in March.

          1. Sorry but again I am just being realistic and the truth is hurtful but very real- any img needs to be well prepared to not match. The white coat investor , who is also an attending physician, will say the exact same thing.

        2. I don’t see how you can possibly conclude that “he made a massive, potentially unrecoverable mistake financially going to a foreign med school…”. When he matches, he will have made all those years of investment in his and his family’s future pay off big time. Your assumption that going to a non US medical school is, by default, a massive mistake, is just flat out wrong. Like Cat said, there are some sketchy foreign medical schools that sell false dreams to people, and those people are, sadly, likely to wind up getting burned. But there are also some very well known, long established, highly respected foreign schools, that attract top quality candidates who are prepared to work hard and earn the residencies the hard way. If you’re one of those candidates, then going to a quality foreign school, working hard during your clerkship and remaining flexible will almost certainly pay off. The people with the tenacity and courage to go those extra yards should be applauded, not stigmatized.

        3. Henry Ford once famously said, “Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right.” There are many doors that can take us where we want to go.

        4. If you’re getting your statistics from an SDN forum, you might consider reevaluating your approach. A reliable source like the ECFMG actually reports that 67% of IMGs from SGU matched and, according to NRMP, the 2015 match rate for IMGs is the highest since 2005. That’s great news for Cat and her family. Unfortunately, according to the LMBS, 100% of commenters on this post with the handle “PBat” are total trolls.
          Oh! And for your edification, SDN refers to Student Doctor Network.
          ECFMG stands for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
          IMG stands for International Medical Graduate.
          SGU stands for St. George’s University.
          NRMP stands for National Resident Matching Program.
          And, finally, LMBS stands for Land of Make Believe Statistics, where you’ll find many supporters of your claims.

        5. Well… PBat,

          Thanks for opening my eyes! (eye roll)…. I’m pretty sure almost every student who attends a foreign medical school is aware of the odds that are stacked against them. Funny thing is… they still have the guts to strive for their dreams knowing the risk that is involved. And that, my good sir (or miss), is a whole lot better than sitting behind a screen bullying those who are actually making their dreams come true!

          How’s THAT for being realistic?

    2. Many U.S. medical school graduates have 300-400k in debt as well. As a 30 year practicing physician I have been asked only a handful of times where I attended medical school. Scores are only one parameter and certainly not a predictor of ability. When it really comes down to it the residencies look at MANY factors. Do not presume to know.

    3. PBat,
      Very very bold statement. My husband is in his second year of residency and matched with his 1st choice 😉 MAJORITY of our friends who are foreign med school students matched with their 1st 2nd or 3rd residency programs! All programs that are amazing programs no matter where you attended medical school 🙂 so before you go ahead and make a large blanket statement check the facts….

      I have met some of the BEST doctors/people who attended SGU and are so passionate and driven to succeed in their field they will stop at nothing to make sure it happens…..

      1. Sorry but the numbers and the actual match lists say otherwise. It is what it is. He matched and has a job but to say that most IMGs have a shot at places filled with US MDs is just delusional.

    4. Can you share with us where you went to medical school, where did you go for residency, did you match with your choices, and how long you have been practicing?

      I think it’s important we get some perspective from where you are coming from so we can understand your decidedly pessimistic outlook?



  8. I think you have to be quite an out of the box thinker to consider “self-investments” outside of the traditional formal education, especially when the investment isn’t on physical capital.

    Well done on thinking it through, and investing well.

    1. Thanks Hannah! I’d consider my business coaching to be a good investment even though it’s not typical education. I still learned a lot and have success to show for it. It was definitely a good investment. 🙂

  9. Someone recently asked me what my best investment was and I said the one I made in myself. I believe that I am the best long term investment I could make and that’s why I started my business. It’s scary to make an investment in yourself and sometimes it doesn’t always pay off right away, but if you know yourself and your work ethic, then you know it will over time. Good luck to hubs with his interviews and to you with your rebrand!!

    1. Thanks Shannon! I know it takes guts to quit a job and start your own business, especially when it doesn’t pay off right away, but I think it was a good move for both you and I. 🙂

  10. Excellent news to hear! Smart move to define your message and specialize. Soon it will be time to up your rates and get paid what you deserve. Congrats, Cat!

    1. Thanks Aaron! Whenever you get more specialized and gain more experience in something it should increase your income too. That’s the downside of a lot of traditional jobs is that they don’t always recognize that growth with a bump in income. That’s why I love working for myself and having control over my client list and my business.

  11. Great move working with coaches, it’s really hard to hire one because it’s almost like you’re saying you need help. So powerful of you to bust past that and see the dividends paying off so quickly. Congrats again on the tv spot, you are killing it!

  12. I think this is a great move, it’s not just an investment in your future and your business, but it’s an investment for your family. As you mentioned, you have already made back the money used for your coaching by increasing your income. I have no doubt your hubs will be very successful you guys work hard. The twins are super cute on tv. Keep up the great work.

  13. At the end of the day we save up for a reason, a reason that means something to us. It sounds like you have saved up and decided to spend the money on something that means a lot to your family, which is great! We have to invest in ourselves at times to progress in life, no doubt your will pay off in time. The biggest investment I have made for myself is my education. I completed a bachelors and a masters degree and a few years later I felt like masters was a waste of time as I really didn’t need it for my field of work. However, now when I look back I am proud of what I achieved. Not everyone has the drive to complete post graduate studies and I am really happy I did it 🙂

  14. Awesome job on the GMA segment! You look and sound great. I always get excited when a blogger “I know” is on TV haha.

    I also think it’s great you’re investing in yourself. There is no better investment. And an outsider can really look at a business and see the holes that we don’t see ourselves. I think it’s a smart move and no doubt that it will hugely pay off for you.

  15. Congrats on the TV appearance! I have finally accepted that I need to plug at least SOME money into the blog. I’m hiring someone to help me with Pinterest now that I joined it (ugh) as my site. If I can ramp up traffic, I can see a return on that investment — and rationalize keeping the person to manage a lot of the account for me. Then I could just pin the stuff from blogs I read, rather than worrying about ratios or searching out new boards or… Did I mention “ugh”?

    I need to go after more money opportunities, but I barely get things done as it is. I’m hoping that if Pinterest increases my traffic, I’ll be better able to entice companies I like into sponsoring me. I’m very finicky about what kinds of posts I’ll choose, and so far the companies I’ve approached haven’t been that interested.

    Perhaps I’ll one day find time to cobble together the highlights of the last 8 years’ (!!!) of posts and use the material to help me write an e-book.

  16. I think it’s fantastic that you are both investing in yourselves! Good luck on all fronts…look forward to hearing about the rewards of all your hard work!

  17. I invested by buying Gina Horkey’s freelance writing class and it was about $47, I got a discount from an affiliate link. While it’s not thousands of dollars, I didn’t think that I could go into freelancing by myself so I’m happy to have paid for the class. I definitely think investing in yourself is the best way to go. =)

  18. Back when I was unhappy at my day job, I pretty much made sure to wake up early every single work day. While I was tired, I knew that waking up early allowed me to have just a little bit more time so that I could work on reaching my goals.

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