Just as it is important to have an emergency fund as well as an investment fund, having a self education fund is also equally important. I know what you are thinking, how many funds to I have to build? In this post, I want to write about the importance of having a self education fund and the things you should spend it on.
At first it can be zero cost but you will be spending a lot of your own time in learning over the internet, borrowing books and attending some 'Free Seminars.' But you can only learn so much with those free engagements, sometimes you need to spend on quality trainings, books and the like education related expenses in which you may need to set aside an education fund.
Why You Should Have A Self Education Fund
Learning over the internet can be fun, free and awesome but most of the time we are left to judge for ourselves whether a particular piece of information is accurate or applicable to our situation. This makes the self education journey like shooting something with the use of a shotgun. You are not sure about your own learning and when you do try to apply it, it is mostly trial and error!
But there are also freemium options online like subscriptions, MOOCs, a blog or targeted subjects such as coding, internet marketing and the like! This may cost from as low a $10.00 or up to $25 or more. You can use these amounts a benchmark should you choose to go for some online trainings.
The goal is not to learn everything as soon as possible or in one go. Each person's learning curve is different and you may need time to try out or apply your learnings before moving to the next topics.
|Real Estate Training on Industry Trends and Practices|
- I made an old post about this but you can try to allocate 3% of your take home pay to a "Self Education Fund" to learn more about this 3% rule read here: The power of 3% savings.
- Another way is to set a specific amount that you can setup with your bank accounts each month or every payday. You can do this through automated deductions from your payroll account to a specific savings account designated as your self education fund.
- You can also make this into a goal based type of education fund like, you only set aside a particular amount for you to buy a book or magazine you want to read every quarter or each month (What I did before was set aside Php140.00 pesos each month to buy either an Entrepreneur, MoneySense magazines or a higher amount for either a forbes or fortune magazine). An alternative could be for a yearly seminar, convevntion or summit fund.
|Listening to Marvin Germo|
|Learn from Financial Institutions|
What To Spend for your Education Fund
- Seminars or Webinars: It can be face-to-face or online (Done-in-a-day type)
- Courses: once again, this can be either physical or online (These are more than a day types of trainings); it can be through independent MOOCs or from universities even.
- Books and Magazines: as mentioned above, it can be anything so long as you don't hoard them. Buy single titles instead of buying in bulk since you will be pressured to have a to-read list
- Summits/Conventions: There is nothing better than making connections in person and being surrounded by like-minded people. Your knowledge will skyrocket and your network will greatly increase in value.
|Launching of Col Financial's Fund Source - this was a free event but it still cost some time & money to get there!|
Once again, do not try to understand everything, focus all of your energy and resources developing a deep understanding of one particular thing.
|On my birthday, I spent it attending a Seminar on Stock Market hahahaha|
It's an investment because you are investing in yourself and that you will apply what you learned. Execution is always key here, don't just learn all the theories, apply them! Many people may have a different amount in their education fund depending on the type of knowledge they want to acquire or the skill they want to build or ultimately boils down to what is important to you.
For me I started with magazines per month then moved into books, after that I had a yearly convention fund and so on and so forth. And I have come to the point that I no longer limit my education fund because I have built the habit of applying them which I use to enhance my capability to increase my income.
|Learn from the Best! Like Motivational Speaker Francis Kong!!!|
I spent Php128,100 in 2015 for my Self Education Fund, here is the breakdown:
- Registered Financial Planner training (Read more here) - Php29,000
- Transportation - Php1,000
- AFP excel training - Php4,000
- Comprehensive Financial Plan - Php200
- Real Estate Broker Training and Review - Php18,500
- Related expenses - Php2,500
- Entrepreneur Magazine - Php1,400
- MoneySense Magazine - Php140.00
- Various motivation, business and finance books (Shown in first image above, In which I will read in 2016) - Php15,605
- Total Stock Market Loses (Cut losses) - Php4,000
- Total UITF Loses (I made a choice to cut-loss) - Php1,000
- Gadgets (I use to enable my learning) - Php41,300
- Webinars - Php4,650
- Seminars - Php4,805
Myself was my biggest investment last year and thus far. Now where did I source that amount? About 80,000 of that was from the proceeds of company (employer) stocks I sold. I sold it since it increased my income tax and it was in dollar amount since the company was listed in NYSE. The remaining 40K+ was sourced from savings and others were losses as indicated above.
A self education fund ensures that you are consistently improving yourself and making progress. Many entrepreneurs only think about business growth, but what about your growth? Year after year you should be making personal progress, increasing your knowledge of a given subject of interest which in effect should increase your value. And of course apply what you learn!
Education is what other people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself!
If you want to gamble on something better make a BIG BET on yourself! Invest in yourself.