The saying goes, “You gotta spend money to make money!”

We’ve all heard this saying at some point or another in our lifetime. We believe it to be true, but at the same time feel we wouldn’t go broke trying to actually make money…right?! Well, I can honestly say that I have spent way more than I have made over the past few years and more specifically in the past year alone.

Some background to paint the picture… approximately three years ago, I left my job of 13 years and moved my teenage daughter and myself from South Florida to North Florida with the expectations that we would be able to start fresh in a new setting. Fortunately, we have family that we were able to lean on while I looked for work and my daughter acclimated in her new school environment. The struggle became really real! It was so challenging for me to find decent full-time work and work that paid well. Over the course of time we’ve been here, I have held five different jobs with various companies ranging from Executive Admin Asst to Data Analyst roles. Nothing has felt like the “right fit” so to speak, but rather good enough to make ends meet, but still struggling while bills kept growing. Sigh…

Throughout this past year, I held a position that I felt was good and that could potentially foster growth in multiple ways. The problem? I didn’t experience that and instead was thrown into many different challenges (which I embraced head-on) with little to no guidance and was expected to explain why or how certain expectations were not achieved. Mind you, I had minimal training for my position, which in most cases I am completely ok with since I’m a fast learner and catch on rather quickly to the tasks at hand, but when it came to what they wanted me to produce for them, I felt incapable and my self-confidence rapidly decreased. I was constantly being compared to my predecessor or asked if I consulted with him prior to submitting/publishing my work. Having that repeatedly being said on a daily basis convinced me to submit my resignation without having another job secured. Crazy, I know!

Now, while I was in doubt of my capability in this position, or rather their lack of confidence in me that created that doubt, I searched for other work prospects or something that I could possibly transition to and ultimately resign from this position with a new one in place. I invested a ton of money trying to find this wonderfully fitting role and ended up being sucked into the whirlpool of “You can work remotely” and “Become location independent” all you need to do is PAY for this course/guide/master class. I will say, these are all valuable classes with “priceless” information that could take one person years to gather and compile into legibly useful tools to use to obtain a credible and secure position/job that pays as anticipated. However, when you are absolutely broke like me (and apparently horrible at budgeting) this sinks you faster than you could imagine! But now we are back to that saying, “You gotta spend money to make money!” I’m just convinced that there should be limits to what you spend and where you spend it (trial and error with self-actualization), especially if it will leave you beyond scraping the barrel to get by.

All in all, I have spent over $5k, if not more, in the past year to try and establish a better understanding of how I could work remotely or location independent. Not just to obtain a remote job, but to say that I have one that I could feel enthusiastic about and be proud of securing. Most of these courses that I paid for offer great tips and communities that have taught me a GREAT deal. I only wish I had known about them when I first moved or just prior to my move, then I would have been much more closer to where I wanted to be by now. I feel like I just keep stepping backwards and making very little progress. I feel like a failure and a disappointment to my daughter and my family, but most importantly myself. All of this has been a tremendous lesson in life and self-reflection.

How much are you willing to invest in yourself? When are you spending too much or is there a limit to how much you should spend? I understand it is different for everyone, but for me I often realize in hindsight that I spent too much or should have invested it better/differently. I have major school loans that need to be paid and here I am spending gobs of money on courses or advisors to help me get a job, which is only pushing me further in debt. Priorities and budgeting are essential in this aspect of finding ones “perfect job.” I feel I’m still so far off course from where I want to be and did I mention also very much unemployed at the moment. I keep telling myself and others that I’m confident I will get something soon as far as employment, but I’m beginning to think I’m just fooling myself.

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