If you’re stuck in a rut — out of shape, behind your financial goals or feeling bleh about your home — you’ll get a lot further in the long run with a little professional help. Invest in yourself with these relatively affordable, easy-to-start projects that pay back in benefits you’ll feel every day.
Push Your Limits with a Personal Trainer
National Average Cost for a Personal Trainer: $40 per session
A trainer will help you safely push the limits of your comfort zone (without risking injury). You may discover that you’re stronger and more capable than you assumed. And if your physical limits are not as limiting as you thought, you may start to notice other areas of your life where things can get a lot better — and be inspired to face them head on.
Plus, studies show that people who work out regularly earn 10 percent more than those who don’t. So training just may pay for itself.
Organize Your Life Like a Pro
National Average Cost for a Home Organizer: $40/hour
For lots of people, “organizing” means moving a pile of stuff from one area of your house to another. And maybe tossing a few things.
But if that’s all you’re doing, you’re just slowly burying your life in clutter, adding microstress to things you need to do every day, like finding your keys or paying that bill you swore you left on the counter.
A professional organizer will give you judgment-free expertise so you can sort what you need from what you don’t, figure out where everything belongs and create habits to keep up an organized life. It’s worth the money, too: you can sell what you no longer use, find items you forgot you had (and were going to replace), and create good systems for handling finances (all that unopened mail).
Let a Designer Help You Love Where You Live
National Average Cost for an Interior Designer: $75/hour
Most homeowners know what they do and don’t like, but only a professional can quickly and efficiently design how all the pieces fit together, from the couch to the lighting to the location of the electrical sockets.
A decorator can help you save money and time by helping you make decisions faster and even using their relationships with suppliers to get the items you need at a discount. They can also help you avoid common mistakes like buying things in the wrong order, buying things that are the wrong size for the room, or buying too many things (or things that don’t work together).