The old saying goes “you have to spend money to make money,” but how much does that really hold true? If you want to be financially successful in your life do you need to spend some money to make it happen initially? If so, when is it okay to spend in order to make it?

The following are some things to keep in mind when it comes to following the rule of spending to earn.

Investing In Your Career

There are a wide variety of ways to invest in the career you currently have, and sometimes these can be worthwhile. If you’re in the trucking industry, for example, you might want to participate in a lease-purchase program, which means that you are leading your truck with the option to purchase it later.

Another way to invest in your career is to further your education.

It can, in some cases, make good financial sense to do some form of continuing education or training program to advance your skill set. However, before you do make that investment, sit down and crunch the numbers as you would with any investment.

Think about what your likely return on investment will be if you gain a new skillset and how you will be able to apply it either in your current role or a future role.

Not all education and training programs are equal in terms of the returns they can bring.

Along with courses that teach specific skills that could help you further your career, you might also want to keep up with events like conferences in your industry. These are often a good place to put your money because they can help you stay ahead of trends in whatever your industry is and also make networking connections.

If you do spend money on industry events, make sure that you’re getting the most of your time there and deriving value from it, rather than just using it as a time to take a vacation or socialize.

Making a First Impression

If you’re currently in the midst of a job search, it may be a time when it’s okay to spend money in order to hopefully make it. Your first impression that you make on potential employers isn’t something you can redo, so you might spend a little money to ensure it’s great.

Clothing, for example, is important, particularly in certain industries and higher-paying positions.

If you are going to invest in job search clothing, make sure the pieces you choose are versatile, and you can wear them after you get the job as well.

Additionally, if you think you need to be face-to-face with possible employers, and you’ll have to pay travel costs to make that happen, this is another instance where it may be smart to spend some money to make it.

If you’re willing to take the initiative and travel to where you’re talking to prospective employers, it can go a long way.

Some other things you might spend on during a job search are:

  • A professional evaluation of your resume. There are companies that specialize in helping prepare your resume not only for human eyes but for electronic eyes as well. The goal is to write it so that it captures the attention of both.
  • A personal website isn’t a huge expense, and it’s a way for employers to see what you’re all about and also potentially find you when they wouldn’t otherwise know you exist.
  • Depending on your industry and the type of role you’re seeking, you might also want a professional headshot.

Launching a Business

Finally, maybe you don’t want to work for another company, but instead, you want to start your own business. In the right situations, this can be a good example of when it’s optimal to spend money to make it.

There are a lot of different ways you might spend to launch a new business, and some are going to bring better returns than others.

As an example, search engine optimization or SEO for your new business can be critical because it’s really the only way customers will be able to connect with you, but depending on the agency and tools you use, it can be a big expense.

Before you jump into creating a new business or spending any money, do some research.

You should be smart and strategic as far as where you’re putting money, particularly in the earliest days.