Forget the Money Market- Invest in Yourself

I had a meeting with my financial counselor recently and asked him where I should invest my small inheritance that I received from my mother. I was thinking a CD, Money Market fund, or some other short-term investment where it could earn a bit of interest, yet not be penalized if I needed to use it. His advice?Ā  Keep it in my emergency savings account because interest rates are so low still that it wouldn’t be prudent to tie it up in anything right now. The assumption is that rates.will.rise. Yeah, and so will the price.of.things.

So I gave a lot of thought to where I might currently get the best R.O.I. for my little nest egg based on that advice, and came up with the some ideas; while CD’s are currently paying less than 1% interest, and mortgage rates are hovering near 5% now, perhaps I could hold a mortgage for someone? Nah. Not unless they intended to buy a tiny house to live in.Ā  The best Return On Investment would come from investing in my household: a new roof, long-term food storage, energy-saving measures or even learning new skills that might prove useful over the rest of my life. Self reliance tools like a pressure canner, a grain mill or sewing machine also came to mind but since I already own those things, I bought a new laptop instead.Ā  My old desktop computer was really outdated, and my daughter, whose computer was even older, can still enjoy the old one. I bought it during Tennessee’s annual back to school tax-free weekend and saved enough cash on the tax to pay for a new wireless printer. Both the computer and printer are tools for me, and learning the new Windows 8 operating system has turned out to be a REAL investment in my brain health (or brain degradation, depending on how you look at it). I don’t have a smart phone, (nor do I feel the need for one and the monthly fees to support its smartness), cable TV, a daily newspaper or any number of available technological wonders of the world. A computer is my tool of choice to stay connected to my family, the world, and to you. Besides, I’m writing the next Great American Novel and long hand is soooo 1980’s šŸ˜‰

I’ve also decided to invest in a rocket stove and a couple of small solar panels too, so that if the grid goes down, I can charge my laptop and my ‘dumb’ cell phone while boiling the water for a cup of herbal tea, using only a few twigs as fuel. Rocket Stoves rock.

Speaking of herbal tea, I’ve also decided it would be wise of me to invest a bit of money, some time and a lot of labor into a new medicinal herb bed so that I can grow some of my family’s medicines. Learning to grow and use plants like Elderberries for making cough syrups, Comfrey for wound care, Feverfew for headaches, Camomile for upset stomachs, and Hawthorne for high blood pressure should keep me and Michael out of the drugstore, more money in our pocket, and healthier to boot. That’s what I call a really good R.O.I. !


Outdoor clotheslines, a chicken tractor and a couple of hives of honey bees will complete my investments for now. The rest will be saved for when we need that new roof on the house-another good investment in our largest asset, which is our home.

It’s true, you can’t buy happiness. That said,Ā  I’m sure I could be REAL HAPPY with a European vacation -for about 2 weeks. But what could possibly be a more satisfying start to each and every day than eating a fresh egg that I’ve just gathered at my back door, spreading my morning toast with honey from my own hives, and washing it down with a cup of herbal tea, while writing a new book or reading the morning news on my laptop- all while sitting in my garden? Call me crazy, and I’m sure some of you would, but investing in yourself, your health, your home and your own unique ‘good life’ will give you the very best returns. Guaranteed.


17 Comments so far
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Sam, this is just what I needed to hear as I am rolling over my 401K and deciding whether or not to start collecting SS at 62 or 66. I always appreciate your perspective!

Comment by Sharon Brown

Sharon, I’m no expert but common sense tells me this is right for me, at this time. You’re such a smart cookie that I know you’ll figure out what’s right for your own future too. Good luck, and thanks for reading my blog.

Comment by simpleintn

Excellent ideas! Pay yourself first, and you’re paying yourself with some things that will be great for you and your family. I enjoy your blog so much!

Comment by sarasinart

Sarasinart, thanks so much for reading my blog. I hope you’ll share it with others. I enjoy reading yours too šŸ˜€

Comment by simpleintn

Thanks! Readers click on others’ “likes”, so I bet some wander over to your blog too. You always have good info.

Comment by sarasinart

I have feverfew to share, and also comfrey once it grows a bit.

Comment by Barbara Dray

I’m just beginning the preparation of the bed Barbara..it will likely be spring before I’m ready to plant most things. Is feverfew a perennial? How is it propogated? I already have a potted comfrey that was given to me, so will plant it this fall but thank you so much for the offer! I’ll take you up on it as soon as I can.

Comment by simpleintn

Yes perennial, propagated by seed, cutting or dividing. Just let me know when you’re ready.

Comment by Barbara Dray

I’ve seen some solar generators which can be charged by the sun or plugged in.

Comment by Barbara Dray

I have too, but they’re so pricey, just too much to consider at this time. Maybe I’ll win that big one that Mother Earth News is giving away šŸ˜€

Comment by simpleintn

Great post, Sam. Tell me more about your book! (Maybe you have and I just need to read back to see.) I want to start writing something, too. I’m praying for you guys. And missing Tennessee and friends there fiercely.

Comment by Jennifer

Hi Sam, I enjoy reading your blog. You provide such good solutions – down to earth common sense. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and life experience.

Comment by Mike Gilley

Thanks Mike, I enjoy your music, so we’re both official members of the Mutual Admiration Society now šŸ˜€

Comment by simpleintn

I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check my blog for details!

Comment by sarasinart

Thank you for the nomination sarasinart! I’m quite busy right now with getting the last harvest from my garden, preparing a fall bed or two, and will be making grape jam tonight/tomorrow with some locally grown, organic concord grapes given to me. But I will try later this week when things slow down a bit to follow the instructions I read on your blog. Again, thank you.

Comment by simpleintn

You’ere welcome. I enjoy reading your blog, and I know in gardening season we all have things to do. The award post will wait till you can get to it, cos gardening and that jam won’t wait! I’m knee deep in tomatoes to dehydrate, lol. But we love our summers when we can grow good things.

Comment by sarasinart

I faced the same dilemma a few years ago and decided to invest in myself by buying TIME to deeply connect with my family and the planet, and develop an expertise in sustainable lifestyle through growing duckweed. My life is so full and exciting as a result. Ya don’t get a prize for dying rich but you do for making a positive difference in the world.

Comment by tamraf

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