Make 2016 the year you expand your skillset, Grownups—to upgrade your training, your resume, and your daily life.

I have only one New Year’s resolution for you to complete in order to make 2016 magnificent: Don’t buy stuff. Buy skills.

You read that right, Grownups. Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars in the new year on things that will depreciate, be consumed, or thrown away, like clothes or electronics, you should look for opportunities to put your money towards timeless abilities.

Now, that seems like a tall order, but I think the number of purchases you can make that will benefit you for the rest of your life would surprise you. Each year there will be a new tablet or smartphone, but you will never be this young again. In other words, the sooner you acquire a new skill, the more years you will be able to enjoy the rewards thereof—financially and otherwise!

Skills Have the Highest ROI

One of the best investments you can make is investing in you. When you elect to use your money to improve your skillset, you make yourself more valuable to the marketplace and, in particular, your employer. Take a course on something in your area of expertise or earn a professional designation that speaks to your abilities. Then, when your annual review comes up, leverage your new achievement to ask for a raise. You can easily turn a few hundred dollars spent on a course into more income.

While job seeking, lengthening the list of what you bring to the table might help you snag your dream job. General skills like basic graphic design or social media management are becoming increasingly in demand at companies across every industry. Being able to add this to your resume could be what separates you from the pack among applicants for a competitive job. Look online or at local colleges for courses that can give you an edge in the job market.

You Can Also Buy Skills for Fun

Buying skills and knowledge that increase your paycheck is a nice way to see a monetary return on your investment, but not everything has to be about dollars and cents. You can also choose to invest in your hobbies. Why not get your yoga teacher certification or scuba diving license? Anything that expands your capacity to enjoy what you love will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

There are very few things money can buy that will last a lifetime—one of those things is education. If you have the opportunity to improve or broaden your skillset this year, make the investment. You will profit for the rest of your life.

Bridget-Casey-Headshot

Bridget Casey writes for
MoneyAfterGraduation.com.

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